The Reopening

We Were Awarded a California Arts Council Local Impact Grant

Dear Readers,

I’m pleased to announce that San Francisco Creative Writing Institute just received a Local Impact Award from the California Arts Council. State funds will support Dispatches from Quarantine: A literary blog turned hybrid performance series of literary events and workshops that attempt to answer the question: How will Covid-19 affect storytelling for the years to come? 

If you haven’t been following this blog from the beginning: here is it’s origin story:

I was supposed to return from maternity leave on March 17, 2020, the same day California announced the lockdown. I started this blog in March 2020 and posted for the first time on April 1, my late-night thoughts about lockdown as a mom of two under four in San Francisco during the pandemic, just to honestly gather my thoughts about what it all meant.

The blog quickly morphed into an online literary magazine receiving submissions from all over the world by writers also affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns eager to share their stories. We quickly made it a publishing project of SF Creative Writing Institute.

I never thought that the SF Creative Writing Institute would survive the pandemic, yet here we are.

Our lives are completely changed by the pandemic and the great social changes of these past few years. Many writers are trying to make sense of this time.

How will it show up in storytelling over the years to come? And how will we write the next draft of history together as artists and creative writers? How will it flow into our storytelling in TV/film, poetry, fiction and more?  That’s what fascinates me the most as a storyteller.

Here’s a little bit more about the new project and the grant we received:

[San Francisco, CA] – The California Arts Council has announced a grant award of $18,000 to San Francisco Creative Writing Program as part of its Local Impact program in its first round of funding for 2022.

With support from the California Arts Council, San Francisco Creative Writing Institute will present Dispatches from Quarantine: hybrid storytelling events and writing workshops with working writers from diverse genres and backgrounds. The program will examine how the Coronavirus Pandemic will shape the next generation of writing and creative work.

This year, we would like to expand our program to bring artists from diverse backgrounds and genres to host and lead four virtual/hybrid public readings and discussions and teach four free or low-cost creative writing workshops that help generate meaningful discussion and preserve this exchange of knowledge and inquiry in a digital format.  We will be broadcasting the public readings and discussions on our youtube channel:

SF Creative Writing Institute and their fiscal sponsor, CounterPulse were featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council, with grant awards for its Cycle A programming totaling more than $31 million across more than 1,100 grants supporting nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state. The dollar amount already marks the largest annual investment in the California Arts Council’s 46-year history. 

“We are elated today to be able to say that, with this first round of funds, we are placing a historic amount of money into the very worthy hands of California’s arts and cultural workforce—and with more yet to come,” said California Arts Council Chair Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez. “We have long since understood the value of our artists in this state, and we are incredibly grateful to our Governor and our Legislature for their support and sharing in a like-minded vision for a California where all people flourish with access to and participation in the arts.”

Organizations were awarded grants across seven different program areas within Cycle A, focused on the CAC’s efforts to address geographic equity, enable autonomy and sustainability for smaller organizations, and grow the strength of local arts agencies and their partnerships.

To view a complete listing of all California Arts Council grantees by county, visit this link. For a complete listing of grantees by organization, go to this link.

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San Francisco Creative Writing Institute is made up of people from all walks of life who love the written word. San Francisco Creative Writing Institute (SFCWI) strives to be a supportive, nurturing, yet challenging environment where anyone can belong in order to create and craft their writing. SFCWI resolves to try to make creative writing sustainable–for the teachers, clients, and community of artists in the Bay Area and beyond. The organization is dedicated to delivering meaningful writing resources and premier instruction to help writers hone their craft.

SFCWI is proud to partner with our fiscal sponsor, CounterPulse. Counterpulse represents a 25-year legacy of experimental and interdisciplinary dance and performance in San Francisco.  CounterPulse is a dynamic movement of experimental art that sparks personal transformation and builds enduring community. They provide space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture.

The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Lilia Gonzáles-Chávez, Chair; Consuelo Montoya, Vice Chair; Gerald Clarke, Vicki Estrada, Jodie Evans, Ellen Gavin, Alex Israel, Phil Mercado, and Roxanne Messina Captor. Learn more at

The California Arts Council is committed to increasing the accessibility of its online content. For language and accessibility assistance, visit

Thank you for reading. We are still accepting submissions. We also have a queue of submissions waiting to be published on here. We are especially looking for posts that have to do with the latest phase of the pandemic. Send submissions to

In all the craziness of our time, we’re happy to share at least one piece of positive news. Have a great weekend.



Alexandra Kostoulas,

Founder & Executive Director

San Francisco Creative Writing Institute

Categories: The Reopening, Uncategorized

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