Adding significantly to Tucson’s “cool quotient” is January’s launch of The Write Place: Story Land at the former offices of architect Paul Weiner. Tucson joins the likes of New York, London, Nashville, and Santa Monica with this start-up haven for writers. Writer and entrepreneur Cecily Crebbs nursed this idea for a few decades, since she first learned of the concept of sharing a writing home-away-from-home after reading about the New York original model which opened in 1974.
The idea is to create 24/7 access to a beautiful space where the solitary task of writing has quiet company. Persons serious about their work–the criteria for admission along with a monthly contract–show up at random, access entrance through the security system, and take advantage of the amenities and the dedicated silence of others at work on their books, articles, stories or theses.
“There is always something that needs to be done when I am at home. The dishes, the laundry, just lots of distractions,” Crebbs, who is writing a biography of a rock musician, says. “I joined a writing meet-up last year that met in cafes.” While she enjoyed the energy being with other writers generated, “I’ve tried writing in cafes. It didn’t work for me.” She found those not there for the meet-up seemed determined to intrude on the gathering with loud conversations. “I’m doing this for myself. This is a gym membership for writers. Yes, it’s sometimes hard to get yourself to the gym, but once you are there, you do your workout.”
Security cameras keep a constant eye out for the safety of patrons who have individualized access codes. There is a break room with coffee maker and small refrigerator. There is also a conference or meeting room available to host workshops of up to 12. The two stories high north windows supply ample natural light and a view of the Catalinas. If the old Shoe cartoon is correct that “Typists type. Writers stare out windows,” this spot is perfect.
Starting a writers’ oasis in this desert has already been a long journey for Crebbs. Story Land is just the biggest next step on the trip. She has borrowed from family and other investors and judges that her timing may be right because, “I couldn’t have dreamed up a better space,” she says of the 1202 E. Broadway building, which was famously re-purposed from a muffler shop.
Close to downtown and the University on a major bus route, parking is available. Fees run $99 a month for 24/7 access and $75 a month for students, seniors, and those only accessing after 5pm. “For the price of a cup of coffee a day you get free coffee, wifi, printing and the use of an amazing space,” Crebbs says.
For more information and to request a tour, visit the website at http://www.storylandtucson.com/