The 24-Hour Room is a virtual writers space hosted by Elizabeth Gaffney. It includes a 24/7 virtual Studio where Members writer together in silence; craft notes, prompts and live discussions, a Forum for sharing ideas and proposing mansucript swaps; a 24/7 virtual Lounge where Members meet and hold Open Mics; presentations by visiting writers and more. Its governing ethos is Radical Editorial Empathy.
This space arose out of interest from writers who have taken my Novel Workshop at A Public Space. With a season of critiques and craft discussions behind them, they yearned for an ongoing community with the common belief in the importance of literature in general and their own literary visions in particular. So did I.
Among the things I miss about the literary life in this time of isolation are book parties, writer's groups, readings, seminars, lectures, writers' rooms, and meeting friends to see plays in parks. A particular absence for me as a writer has been the indirect public gaze that has always fired my writing, whether I was working in a women-only writer's space in downtown Brooklyn, Yaddo, MacDowell or the Blue Mountain Center, the Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library or the all-night study area at college. The 24-Hour Room is named for the space in Vassar's Thompson Memorial Library where I first experienced that synergy.
Maybe one night you won't be able to sleep because you have a compelling dream, a worry or a totally new idea for the structure of your book. It's late, and your partner (or pet) will groan when the blue light from your laptop spills across the pillows. Instead of doom scrolling, you'll remember that The 24-Hour Room is always open and click on the Lounge. With any luck, someone else will be there, too, and you can write and drink herbal tea together, apart. If no one's there, you might decide to try out a craft prompt that seemed tedious or facile by the light of day — and it might be the one that makes all the difference. Or you'll take the plunge and decide to read at an Open Mic night in the Lounge a few nights from now. Or post an invitation in the Notices board, inviting the Members to hear you read a new chapter.
Just as our bodies need a constant air supply, a work-in-progress requires continuous attention to flourish and come to fruition. The 24-Hour Room is here to rally this attention — both from you and from The 24-Hour Room community.
An incubator for stories and a safe harbor for storytellers, The 24-Hour Room offers fellowship, structure, solutions, motivation and intellectual sustenance.
Membership and use of the Studio is free. Beginning in March 2021, elements beyond the Studio will be accessible only to Sustaining Members. It's a pay-what you-wish system, designed to be utterly inclusive.