Who We Are

      Writers in the Heartland was founded in 2008 by Patricia Brett Erens and Charlotte Newberger to provide support for writers working in a wide variety of creative forms, including short story, novel, drama, screenplay, poetry, essay, and memoirs.

      Writers in the Heartland is located in Gilman, Illinois, 90 miles south of Chicago (for more information see tab for directions).  The residency is situated on a secluded lake surrounded by 32 acres of peaceful woodlands and tranquil farmland.  There are hiking trails, meditating gardens and a running track for outdoor use.

      Writers are housed in The Writers Building that contains five private bedrooms and two baths,  a kitchen and a conference room.  Three meals a day are provided in the main dining room, although writers may prefer to take food back to their rooms.  All meals are mostly vegetarian, low in fat and sodium, 1,500 calories a day.  With the exception of mealtimes, the residency enforces a non-communication policy up to six o'clock p.m. to allow writers the necessary privacy to concentrate on their work.

      The closest town to Writers in the Heartland is Crescent City, which has a gas station and grocery store.  This is 3 miles and can only be reached by foot or by car.  For more facilities, Kankakee is a 30 minute drive.

      At present, Writers in the Heartland will operate during the months of September and October only.  Hopefully in the future, this period will be extended.

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