What word would you use to describe 2020? I pick the word: grateful. Despite this year’s challenges, writers in New Orleans and its surrounding areas have continued to create and contribute to a vibrant writing community that has found amazing ways to thrive in uncertain times. For this, I am grateful. If you’re looking for ways to support and give back, here are a few of my recommendations to help support the New Orleans literary community and its writers, and your own community:
Buy from local bookstores: Help stimulate your local economy and small businesses by shopping at your local bookstores. Circulate local dollars. Many have been able to transition to curbside pickup or online orders during the pandemic. Search for local bookstores in your area with the Literary Places database and read my post on New Orleans bookstores.
Purchase books by local authors: Ask your neighborhood independent bookstore or public library to point you in the direction of local writers. Or take it upon yourself to do a little online research, many writers have social media accounts you can follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you might even connect.
Sharing is caring: See news about a local writer online? Retweet, share, tag. Help promote your favorite writers and the city.
Donate to local literary organizations: Invest in the literary future of New Orleans by donating to organizations like One Book One New Orleans, 826 New Orleans, Runagate Press, and Friends of New Orleans Public Library. Find an organization (or writer) that reflects your passion and stuff their stocking with a donation of any size.
Help Poets & Writers support writers in New Orleans and beyond: Become a friend of Poets & Writers and help support the resources of this website and programs that give back to the literary community.
Finally, have a safe and healthy remainder of the year. We’ll return in 2021 with more literary news to share with you.Kelly Harris is the literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers in New Orleans. Contact her at NOLA@pw.org or on Twitter, @NOLApworg.