About the Indiana Writers Center

At the Indiana Writers Center (IWC), we believe everyone has a unique story to tell; and our goal is simple: to help you tell it. For more than 30 years we have worked to foster a vibrant writing community in Indiana, providing education and enrichment opportunities for both beginning and accomplished writers. Located in the  Circle City Industrial Complex just around the corner from the shops, restaurants, and theaters on Massachusetts Ave, we offer a variety of classes and workshops led by some of Indiana’s best writers. In addition, we host literary events such as readings, open mics, critique groups, and the annual Gathering of Writers to instruct, inspire, and connect writers throughout the state.

The IWC also provides community outreach programs in schools, community organizations, nursing homes and correctional facilities, helping people of diverse ages and backgrounds to find their voices. Read more about our outreach initiatives here.

Vision Statement: Where Indiana writers find a home.


Over thirty years ago, writer and teacher Jim Powell envisioned a vibrant writing community in Indiana and went on to found the Indiana Writers Center in 1979. Powell served as the director of the IWC for twenty years. Under his leadership, the organization grew from a small community group into a professional nonprofit organization. Powell instituted weekly classes, weekend workshops, monthly readings and The Flying Island, a magazine featuring Indiana Writers. Some of the authors who have visited over the years include W.S. Merwin, Galway Kinnell, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver, Lisel Mueller, Charles Simic, Thomas Mallon, Tim O’Brien and Rita Dove.

Today Executive Director Barbara Shoup, with the assistance of an outstanding staff, dedicated volunteers and an active Board of Directors, has expanded Powell’s original vision. Added to the growing list of classes, publications and educational opportunities within the IWC, are outreach programs, which serve the community. Hundreds of members across Indiana now benefit from the ever-evolving IWC.   



The mission of the Indiana Writers Center is to educate, inspire, connect, and support Indiana writers working at all levels and in all genres; to recognize excellence in Indiana literature; and to provide outreach programs designed to bring forth the voices of people who are not usually heard. It advocates for writing and literature as essential to a community that values clarity of communication and honors diversity, tolerance and compassion.

Programs, services, and venue selections reflect our commitment to this mission and to broadening our base as well. More than ever before, the Indiana Writers Center is forging new collaborative relationships with arts organizations, schools and universities, community organizations and social service providers.


We fulfill our mission by:

Offering classes and programs in which accomplished authors share their expertise

  • Published writers teach classes in poetry, fiction, memoir, nonfiction-and more

Providing support for Indiana writers working at all levels

  • E-Newsletters spread the word about IWC events, as well as other literary happenings in Indianapolis and beyond.
  • The Indiana Writers Center promotes the new work of Indiana authors
  • We provide aspiring and experienced writers a wealth of information about writing and the writing life, as well as opportunities to connect with one another and share their work.
  • The Indiana Writers Center provides sound advice and useful information to writers seeking to publish and market their work



Providing enrichment opportunities to a diverse often underserved audiences in the community

  • Memoir projects serve diverse audiences, including war veterans, mothers of special need children, senior citizens and girls in prison.
    •  Our summer learning program, “Building a Rainbow,” annually serves up to 120 at-risk youth, teaching writing skills and publishing their work in print anthologies.
    • Visits to libraries, schools, and a variety of other community organizations promote Indiana writers and writers and provide insight into the writing life.


    © Indiana Writers Center 2012