A Concrete Fairy Tale

Karen Gettert Shoemaker

Monday, December 13, 2021

Once upon a time there was a bank, a Cornhusker Bank branch, to be exact, on the corner of Fairfax and North Cotner in the fair prairie town of Lincoln Nebraska. The bank was in a building that once was a house and it retained the charm of that original state, with a fireplace, a balcony, and a center staircase open on all sides. It was, by all accounts, beloved by its workers and customers and all who wandered inside. Then time and technology called for changes in service and all that was inside the house that made it a bank was carefully packed up and moved away. (To 84th and O, for those of you wanting specific real-life details, but that phrase doesn’t fit the fairy tale rhythm I’m going for here, so I offer it only parenthetically. Now back to the story.)

As fate would have it, there was a dreamer driving by when the news was announced that the house would be looking for others to love it. That dreamer had already had her eye on that house, its parking lot, and excellent location, so it took but a moment to decide the match of the dreamer and the house was one for the ages. In July of this year, the house that was a bank became a place for writers - strictly online for a while, but not to worry! Soon the house that became a writers’ place will be open for in-house events of all sorts, from workshops to readings and meetings and various good times. It may be taking more time than we’d hoped, but construction is progressing in such satisfying leaps, it’s easy to believe this dream is for keeps.  And that my dear friends, is a fairy tale we can all believe in.

Just to sprinkle a little believing dust on you, check out the photos on our Facebook page of the drive-through lanes being turned into an outdoor patio floor! Picture yourself at a table there, writing your next novel or poem. Or maybe just reading a book, enjoying the company of others.

Stay with us folks, we’re all going to make this happen!

* Become a member today to support the dream that welcomes you to be a part of it.

* Are you looking for a gift idea for the writer in your life? We also offer gift certificates.

* We also accept donations. Your financial gift supports the writers who teach and allows Larksong to offer free programing, such as the annual Writing and Reading Holiday Party. You can find a Donate button on our Mission page.


Yes Is The Answer In So Many Words

Karen Shoemaker

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Is this a place for me?

It was one of those blistering hot days Nebraska summers are famous for. I was pulling tools and supplies out of the backseat of my car when I heard her calling out. I turned to see her rushing toward me across the parking lot. Breathless when she reached me it took a moment for her to speak.

“I saw your sign and I just had to find out what you are and what you do here!”

We stood in the sun talking about writing, the desire to write, the need for guidance and community.

“Just this very morning,” she said in a voice full of wonder, “I wrote in my journal that now is the time. I must start my book even if I don’t know how, and then suddenly, here you are!”

Is this a place for me?

 He stopped by one rainy afternoon and peered hesitantly through the door.

“I saw your sign out front,” he said. “Is this a real . . . are you . . .what is this place?”

He seemed to have trouble formulating his questions and at first I didn’t know if he was looking for the bank that had been in this building for decades or if he was asking about us – Larksong Writers Place.

Either way, the construction mess behind me wasn’t helping him make sense of what exactly we were so I told him about our plans for the building, our current and planned online offerings, and gave him a brochure. Again, a sense of wonder was evident in how he looked around the room, as if he too could see it as we envision it: a place for writers to gather.

“I drive a cab,” he shook his head slowly. “I want to be a writer. I can hardly believe this place is here.”

 Is this a place for me?

She knocked on the front door, the one so seldom used it sticks tight and takes both hands and all my body weight to open.

“I saw your sign,” she said, pointing at the monument sign that sits in our front yard on the corner of Fairfax Ave and N. Cotner Blvd. “Are you really a writers place? Please tell me you are!” She’s new to Lincoln, she said, and in search of a writing community like the one she knew out on the West Coast. She sat on the edge of the chair as I explained our mission and our plans. Her words bubbled out, tumbling over themselves as she realized we were just what she was looking for. “I’ve so missed working alongside other writers!”

On average these exchanges occur one to two times a week. Some people come to our door, some contact us online, some flag us down on the street. They are looking for help getting started, for guidance on how to be better writers, for education, connections, community, and support. All have the same basic question, is this a place for me?

Yes, I say to them, this is a place for you. Welcome to Larksong.


Larksong is committed to supporting both the writers who come to us for instruction and the writers who come to us to teach. We keep our class fees low, offer free programming, and pay our instructors. Please consider supporting our mission by making a tax-deductible donation.