Midwest Writing Center

The mission of the Midwest Writing Center is fostering appreciation of the written word, educating and supporting its creators.

The Midwest Writing Center was founded in 1973 by Illinois writers David R. Collins and Evelyn Witter with a group of dedicated regional authors as an entity to educate and promote the work of local writers. The goal was also to have a permanent home which would be a place of retreat for writers, a reception place for book signings and workshops, a meeting place for book clubs, writing groups, and readings of both established and emerging writers, a display area for local writing collections, a reference library and computers available for use, and special project book publication. This goal was reached in 2002 when the Center found a home in Rock Island’s downtown Arts and Entertainment District. In 2005, MWC moved to the Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport, Iowa, and then again in 2016 to its current location at the Rock Island Public Library. 

The organization is managed by an active 15-member Board of Directors; holds an Annual Meeting each year in May; and publishes an annual report every year. Currently, we employ an Executive Director, and hire other employees on a contract basis. We have between 50-75 volunteers who contribute over 3,000 hours of service each year in the areas of fundraising, program development, office maintenance, web design, administrative assistance, and much more.

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How to Participate

Each year MWC increases the variety and sophistication of its programming and services to better meet the needs of local and regional writers and readers. Today, we primarily serve writers and readers who are residents of Rock Island, Henry, and Mercer counties in Illinois and Scott, Muscatine and Clinton counties in Iowa. Additionally, through contests, publications, and conferences MWC attracts and engages writers from all over the United States. MWC directly serves over 3,000 writers and readers every year through: monthly workshops and readings; a national writers’ conference each year; programs featuring bestselling and nationally known authors; a biennial poetry residency; a paid high school internship program each summer; a summer middle school writing camp; the Children’s Literature Festival for 3rd through 6th graders; the nationally recognized  SPECTRA Poetry Reading Series; and the publication of work of local and national writers through MWC Press. 

Partnerships are an important component to the function of MWC. We partner with the Davenport and  Bettendorf Public Libraries in Iowa as well as the Moline and Rock Island libraries in Illinois. We also partner with the Bi-State Literacy Council, the Figge Art Museum and with local venue Rozz-Tox in Rock Island, IL. These partnerships strengthen MWC’s ability to fulfill its mission by pooling resources to offer enhanced programs at a reduced direct cost to all partners involved. Many of MWC’s programs and events are free and open to the public. 

Date and Times

Hours: Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday, 11 AM to 4 PM

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