“Providing Healing and Promoting Hope”: Writers’ Haven Evanston offers community for writers, reopens just in time for Women’s History Month

The+living+room+workspace+at+Writer%E2%80%99s+Haven+Evanston.+The+room+has+navy+blue+walls+with+a+couch+and+two+light+blue+chairs%2C+with+a+fireplace+in+the+corner.+The+windows+overlook+the+porch+outside.

Photo courtesy of Christine Wolf

The living room workspace at Writer’s Haven Evanston. The collaboration space, specifically designed for women writers, is reopening this winter after being closed for nearly two years due to the pandemic.

Lily Carey, Reporter

Writer and business owner Christine Wolf’s picturesque rowhouse on Maple Avenue is full of cozy nooks and inviting workspaces, from third-floor bedrooms with window seats to a living room lit by a crackling fireplace.

For Wolf, the space is not just her home — it belongs to women writers everywhere. Wolf is the founder of Writers’ Haven Evanston, a coworking space designed to provide women writers with a place to write, relax and connect. Clients can reserve a room in Writers’ Haven to work on projects and collaborate with other writers, a space that Wolf hopes will build community and promote healing.

“Writing has saved me over and over again in my life,” Wolf said. “So I’m hoping to be a good literary citizen and pass that on to others.”

Wolf opened her business in February 2020, but closed the following month due to the pandemic. Although she soft-launched her reopening in January, Sunday will mark the business’ first time accepting clients at full capacity.

Wolf plans to host open houses throughout March to introduce writers to the space.

Wolf previously founded a similar space, Writers’ Haven Michigan, at her second home in Michigan several years ago. After selling that house, she realized Evanston was lacking a strong center for its writing community — something she could provide through an Evanston-based Writers’ Haven. 

Melissa Baron, a Writers’ Haven client who has used the space twice this year, said its homey atmosphere allows her to enter a more focused headspace when she writes. 

“It’s really cool mentally to see that it has these lasting benefits,” Baron said. “It’s not just the day you’re there. It’s the mindset it gives you that you carry forward into your writing for the next few days and weeks.”

The March reopening of Writers’ Haven’s coincides with Women’s History Month. The theme for this year’s Women’s History Month is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” which Wolf said fits perfectly with Writers’ Haven’s mission. 

Drawing on her own experiences as a writer, Wolf noted that women’s voices are often diminished in writing. 

Julie Lambert and Nicole Schnitzler, two Writers’ Haven clients, said the workspace has been an empowering space for their women’s writing group. The group, which consists of local writers who have collaborated on their memoirs, visited Writers’ Haven together once before the pandemic.

“I just remember feeling really uplifted after I left that day and really supported by the other writers,” Schnitzler said. “It was just a really encouraging feeling in my writing.”

Schnitzler, a freelance writer and a creative writing graduate student at Northwestern who is currently working on a memoir, and Lambert, a writer also working on a memoir and a poetry chapbook, both said they have loved the opportunity to connect at Writers’ Haven.

For Lambert, putting together a community of women centered around this space has been a special experience.

“So many of my friends are mothers as well as writers, and it’s just very difficult to find that ‘away space,’” Lambert said. “It’s really wonderful that the place is specifically all for women to get together and work on their writing.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @lilylcarey

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