LIBRARIAN / HOST: ELIZABETH GAFFNEY
LIBRARY INQUISITOR: JOSHUA C. CRAIG
24-HOURS | This space is named it after the all-night room at the library of my college. I had a lot of fun there, and I experienced a certain amount of anguish, some of it weirdly beneficial. I wrote and I thought and I crammed and sometimes I panicked. Or I simply wept. Some of these tears had to do with Heidegger or James Fennimore Cooper. Some of them were about rejection, romantic, literary or otherwise. I remember nights that bled into mornings when my friends and I sat on grubby armchairs and talked nonstop, despite the rules, because we were the only ones there. I studied alongside students I'd never met before, and some of them became my closest friends. More than once, I went to The 24-Hour Room in the hope of getting an impossible amount of work done before a due date and woke up hours later, cold and disoriented, face down in Aristotle, with a crust of drool rimming the corners of my mouth. I don't even remember if I finished those papers on time. I just remember the passion. No matter how bleary I might be, there was an energy there, generated by some combination of fluorescent lighting and the public gaze, by the mere possibility of community. I made The 24-Hour Room in the hopes of reproducing some of that here, despite — or really because of — the terrible isolation of our present times.
I hope it helps your writing, and please feel free to fall asleep while typing in a fugue state at the 1 a.m. Studio. I did it just last night, and I wrote a couple half decent sentences while simultaneously dreaming.
STUDIO | The Studio is the silent virtual meeting room where Members can write together any time of the day or night. No talking, and mute yourself. If anyone else is noisy, you can mute them, or just turn down your own volume. (You can communicate using chat though.) When hosted, there is usually a very brief reading at the top of the hour, with the intention of helping writers disconnect from dailiness and slip into the flow state. If it works, it's like being swept away by a great DJ who just keeps you dancing. Transition? What transition? You cut straight from the Italo Calvino track you just heard read aloud to the trancelike state you need to channel your muse. Noise cancelling headphones are only required if your house is noisy, because the Studio is silent.
BULLETIN BOARDS | Use the Log to brag, lament or record whatever you've written or edited lately; you can also tell the Room what you're reading and listening to. Forums is for general conversations about writing and manuscript swaps. Notices is for announcements of events and publications. Craft Responses is for discussing the topics covered by the notes on the Craft Page.
CRAFT | I'll be posting notes about different aspects of craft and method roughly every other week. Some may want that. Others may have no interest. There's no curriculum, just a collection of resources. My notes will include prompts. They are not an assignments, just ideas for ways of working on your writing. If you want, you can chime in on the current topic or post your response to the prompt in the Stream. The craft topics will be the touchstone for the weekly Craft Forums that take place in the Lounge. There will be special guests there, too, occasionally. It's all very informal. See the Calendar for current Craft Forum times.
LOUNGE | At my old writers room, Powderkeg, we had a silent workspace, naturally, but also a wondrous kitchen where people could talk, and boy, did we. A lot was shared, learned and eaten there. Friendships were forged and cemented. I hope the Lounge of The 24-Hour Room will be like that. It's always open. Maybe you'll arrange to meet someone after a Studio session, using the chat. We'll also have readings, open mics and happy hours. It's where all the out-loud events on The 24-Hour Room take place.
SUPPORT | The Studio is open to all who join with a free Membership. If you find you use it and it benefits your work, please help ensure the existence of The 24-Hour Room with a contribution, which you can send to our Venmo account @the24h or visit Support for more options.