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Founded in the 2006 – 2007 academic year, the Write On, Downtown project has evolved from a celebration of student writing on the Downtown Phoenix campus to a celebration of the integration of students and community writers across demographics.
In its first year, we produced a small-scale publication and played host to an associated conference and luncheon where students presented their work in front of peers, family members and faculty.
In 2009, the journal was awarded a $4500 Women and Philanthropy grant to defray publication and luncheon costs. That same year, the editorial internship (ENG 498) was established, which resulted in a dramatic increase in the journal’s visual appeal as well as an online presence.
The internship has continued to flourish over the past decade, providing real-world editorial experience to a select group of dedicated undergraduates (and an occasional graduate). The vision of the journal has evolved to reflect the collective intent and aesthetic of the editorial board, all of which has helped us reach a wider audience each year and make an even greater impact on the downtown Phoenix community.
Over the past year, Write On, Downtown has repositioned itself at the crossroads of university and community. While continuing its tradition of providing valuable editorial and publishing-industry experience for undergraduates on the Downtown Phoenix campus, the breakdown of the journal has changed dramatically, featuring the work of roughly 40 percent university students, 20 percent Osher Lifelong Learning Institute students, and 40 percent alumni and community members. Given our new demographics and goals, we’ll be launching issue 12 at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, and we expect more support from the community than ever. Our hope is that Write On, Downtown can become a venue for the publication of local writers and artists – both within the university and without – who are dedicated to the creative growth of our city.