HOST | ELIZABETH GAFFNEY | Author of Metropolis, When the World Was Young and many stories; translator of four books from German; and NYU, A Public Space and Queens University of NC faculty member; Elizabeth Gaffney is a former Managing Editor of The Paris Review and the current Editor-at-Large of A Public Space.
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 always just turn down your own volume. (You can communicate using chat.) There is a brief reading at 7 & 10 am ET on weekdays, 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 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.
CRAFT | I'll be posting notes about different aspects of craft and method regularly. They are not an assignments, just ideas for ways of working on your writing. The craft topics will be the touchstone for the weekly Craft Conversations that take place in the Lounge. We also hold 30-Minute prompt sessions a few times a week, and the prompt is offered as a guide.d However, it's not a class, there is no fee, and there's no formal curriculum; it's just a collection of resources and opportunities for inspiration and conversation. It's all very informal. See the Calendar for current Craft Conversation 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. We also have readings, open mics and happy hours.
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. See Support for how to contribute.