The Midwest Writing Center was founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1980 by Illinois writers David R. Collins and Evelyn Witter. The founders worked to raise funds to support an annual writing conference (the Mississippi Valley Writers Conference) and a national poetry contest (the Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest). The goal was also to secure a permanent home to serve as a place of retreat for writers; a reception place for book signings and workshops; a meeting place for book clubs, writing groups, and readings of both established and emerging writers; a display area for local writing collections; a reference library with reference books and computers available for use; and special project book publication.
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