Starting January 3, 2024, we host weekly literary salons. Every Wednesday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., we encourage readers, writers, and friends to stop in for a while.

What's a salon, you ask? It's a time when people can come together, informally, to network and make progress on their reading or writing projects. The Salon program is offered in conjunction with the Lakeshore Literary Foundation.

Each salon offers a chance for people to write in community. You are welcome to come, set up shop, and just write and ignore everyone else altogether. But the value of writing here is that you have access to other writers, so you can bounce ideas off them (serendipity!) or talk to Jason for a one-on-one critique of your work.

Jason has more than 20 years' experience as a writer and editor, ranging from editing a community daily newspaper to running an indie press. He's edited literally thousands of writers over the years in different capacities and is willing to help you on your projects during a salon. For free.

Regular presence as a writer at a salon may prompt invitation into private critique groups through the Grand River Writing Tribe that meet regularly, either in-person or virtually.

The writing-and-critique part starts at 4 p.m. In addition, we offer a "special activity" every week that rotates through the month. Each special activity begins at 6:30 p.m.

  • The first Wednesday is game night. Bring a game or play one that we've made available.
  • The second Wednesday is book club. It'll meet once per month, with the next book chosen by the group at each meeting. Participants will be expected to procure their own copy of the book and to have read it before joining the conversation.
  • The third Wednesday discussion club. We'll pick a "deep topic" – something controversial, or philosophically hefty, or emotionally intense – and discuss it like grown adults. No performative nonsense allowed.
    • January: How Should You Navigate the Transition to Independent Adulthood?
    • February: Does a Biased Media Ecosystem Matter?
    • March: Is the Catholic Church Thriving Under Pope Francis?
    • April: Is Anti-Racism Morally Coherent and Politically Viable?
    • May: What Does it Mean to Live a Happy Life?
    • June: What Do We Owe to Each Other?
    • July: Evil: So What?
    • August: How Valid Is the Populist Critique of Liberalism?
    • September: Should Businesses Be Political?
    • October: Does Voting Matter?
    • November: For What Do We "Give Thanks?"
    • December: What’s the Big Deal with Saying “Merry Christmas?”
  • The fourth Wednesday is seminar time. Jason will offer an organized presentation about some topic related to either the craft or the business of writing.
    • January: The Pros/Cons of the Five Main Models of Contemporary Publishing
    • February: Writing Against the Brain: Practical Advice for Authors with Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, and Autism
    • March: Software, Platform, and Archive Solutions for the Aspiring Writer
    • April: How to Thrive in a Critique Group
    • May: An Overview of the Literary Revenue Cycle and Core Literary Stakeholders
    • June: Voices of Authenticity: Writing What You Know — and What You Don’t
    • July: Poetry! Or, Why Working in Verse Makes Your Prose Sing with Joy
    • August: The Art of the Synopsis: Approaches to Novel Planning
    • September: Most Common Errors in Fiction Structure and Composition — and How to Fix Them
    • October: What Every Editor and Agent Wished Debut Authors Knew About Publishing, but Were Afraid to Tell Them
    • November: Closed for Thanksgiving break.
    • December: Closed for Christmas break.
  • The fifth Wednesday — well, that'll rotate with extra-fun activities.
    • January: Martial arts demo (with Allison) as conversation starter for writing about action/combat scenes.
    • May: Mid-Year Cookout/Potluck Extravaganza
    • July: Author Festival
    • October: Grokking the Zero Draft: How to Make the Most of a Novel Writing Challenge

No cost or obligation to attend. Snacks and drinks may be purchased as normal from the bookstore or outside material brought in, but purchases aren't necessary. On certain dates, for certain topics, special snacks or treats may be provided.