Kerouac House is Looking for Your Books
COLLEGE PARK — The Kerouac Project, which supports writers by providing them with residency as they create new books, will suspend its Writers Residency program for 2023-24 Season to focus instead on meeting new fundraising goals. Their hope is to gather enough funds to make some much needed repairs to the bungalow home in College Park known as the place where author Jack Kerouac once lived and worked.

“We are putting our writers’ residency program starting in Fall 2023, and will not accept submissions starting Jan. 1 as we usually do,” the directors noted in a news release. “Instead, we will be carrying out much-needed repairs and refurbishment on the 100-year-old house. We want to concentrate on those efforts and raise the money we will need.”

What is the Kerouac Project?

Officially known as the Jack Kerouac Writers In Residence, this non-profit provides aspiring writers with the opportunity to live in the house where Jack Kerouac lived while writing his 1958 novel The Dharma Burns. Kerouac lived there rent free for three months, around the same time that his 1957 novel On The Road became a sensation.

The bungalow was preserved and is now known as the Kerouac House, created as a living and literary tribute to Kerouac and his enduring legacy.

For the past 20 years, the directors have chosen four writers each year to spend three months at the house free of charge, giving them a place where they can focus on their literary projects. The writers also take advantage of quarterly literary readings and writing workshops held there.

This is a volunteer-run organization, but the age of the home has left it in need of repair work.

“The plan is to raise the house on jacks, replace the existing footers that support the house, reset the house, and then repair any interior damage that occurs during the lifting and resetting.,” the Kerouac Project noted, adding that repairs are expected to cost at least $300,000.

“We will complete the 2022-23 season, and our remaining writers will still take up their residency at the appropriate time,” the news release noted.

A key focus of 2023 will be the ongoing Kerouac House Fundraiser to raise the money needed to complete the repairs. “We have already begun a fundraising drive to raise the money necessary to repair the house,” the directors noted, “so we need your help.”

To donate to the Kerouac Project, visit their website.

The Kerouac Project is also looking for new board members “to help usher the Kerouac Project — the house, the writing residency, and the community — into a new era, and we need your help,” the organization noted. “We are looking for community members who would like to help us lead the Kerouac Project: business leaders, community leaders, artists, and people with nonprofit experience. We are especially looking for people who have fundraising skills. But most importantly, we are looking for people who have the desire to step forward and help us, regardless of your skill level or experience.”

Anyone interested in learning more can email Erik Deckers at erik.deckers@gmail.com.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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