Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will Write for Food:the return of the FWP

Saul Bellow. John Steinbeck. Zora Neale Hurston. Ralph Ellison. Stud Terkel. They're all famous for participating in The Federal Writers' Project (FWP), which, as you recall, was a United States federal government project to fund written work and support writers during the Great Depression. It was part of the Works Projects Administration, a New Deal program. It was a fabulous success.

With waves of laid-off journalists (the Chicago Tribuen going under? WTF?)and talented writers, historians, editors, researchers around these days, there's word it might be time for another FWP.

Here's an article on why President-elect Obama should resurrect the WPA and bail out laid-off journalists and a cheeky essay on how a modern FWP might work (bottom line: writers aren't in it for the money anyway. They are compelled to write. They can't help it.)

I think this is an excellent idea. I just have one question. Where do I sign up?

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