Bookends University








Bookends Univeristy is an author event programming initiative launched in early 2022 that runs independently of the bookstore's general events, offering both virtual and in-person workshop-style sessions led by authors. Designed to engage attendees in an experiential, educational way, Bookends University offers writing workshops, cooking classes, life-skills tutorials, creative accountability groups, and more!

In fall 2023 we will continue our popular writing accountability group, “Writing Buddies,” an affordable, supportive group that meets on Zoom on Sunday afternoons, perfect for anyone who is ready to make a weekly commitment to writing. In September, we will begin to offer in-person classes and craft talks on select Sunday and Monday evenings in the bookstore. 

Bookends University is a concept that dates back to owner Nina Barrett’s original plan for the store in 2014:

“I was always conscious of Evanston as a rich community of authors and writers, and I had a vision of writing classes and writer’s groups that would meet in our back room and help anchor the local literary community in our space.”

The store did host workshops in its early days, integrating Zoom into our toolbox during the pandemic opened up a whole new world in terms of a wider geographical access to both author-instructors and audiences, who could attend these classes from their own kitchens or at home in pajamas if they want to. You are also welcome to show up to our in-person workshops in your pajamas too. We won't judge. 

Check the Bookends & Beginnings Events listings for updated offerings —we are always adding new workshops! For more information, to pitch a class, or to share ideas for workshops you think we should offer, please email Bookends University programming director, Freda Love Smith: