We’re here for writing.

We can help you find your next hobby, a new niche, or meet some new writer friends. Our local author database will help you sift through our community’s collected works by genre, subject matter, or even style. (Perfect if you would like your local book club to read and meet a local author.) Our resources page will tell you about all of the different workshops and reading opportunities in town.

We want to help make an already robust community stronger by giving them a hub, a space for the literary arts.

All things writing, if it’s happening in and around the Fox Valley, is welcome here.

We encourage everyone to join our local author registry, an organized online network of local authors. Learn about them, what they’ve written, and what they have to say about writing.

If you are a published author who is looking for help with exposure, we offer our social media platforms to you. We offer the opportunity to sponsor a book launch, as well as many spotlight reading opportunities, including lit festivals and special events.

We are also a traveling local author bookstore. We sell local author titles directly from our website, and if you’re lucky, you can catch our pop-up booth.

We believe education is not only ongoing but fun. We offer many different writing classes from the therapeutic to the more craft specific, many of which are free or sliding scale. We also host book clubs and discussion groups. Anyone is welcome to teach a class, start a discussion group, or advertise something they’re already doing.

Though we do have a submission process, any local writer is eligible for our teaching opportunities, published or no. This is a great place to gain experience or share your expertise in your community.

However, we take COVID-19 very seriously, and at the moment, and until further notice, are only offering online courses and events. We will still advertise other literary events, but we feel it is best to offer what we can safely online.

Any local writer is welcome to read at any of our events. Again, published or no. We believe in good writing, and that can come from anywhere. It’s all the difference in voice that makes up the great literary fabric, we encourage everyone to engage with all sides of art.

We also encourage everyone to submit to Waterline Writers, a now quarterly reading series that began in 2012 and has since earned the reputation as the premier reading series of the Fox Valley.

If you need something published, we offer that too, through our micropress, Analog Books.

We offer one-on-one book writing hours to both adults and children ages 8 and up as well. These are designed to talk a person through various stages of the book writing process. Each hour is individualized and different pending what the writer is after.

The Republic of Letters offers volunteer opportunities. Many of which can help further your career. We always need teachers, discussion leaders, the social media savvy, networkers, and help with running our pop-up tables and lit fest booths.

The Republic of Letters is a small organization dedicated to the literary arts. We provide creative writing classes, as well as reading, publishing, and marketing opportunities to all local authors of the Fox Valley. Please consider a donation, or becoming a member. Support your local authors by shopping their collected works and merchandise at our store, or just by spreading the word. Sharing is caring. Supporting is magic.

Our History

The Republic of Letters was founded in 2016 by Ryan Block and Cathy Borders. Borders had grown up in St. Charles, lamenting then at its lack of a writing culture, now, having moved back to the area, she and her husband found a way to contribute to an already more robust and dynamic scene than the relative desert of the dot com days of yore. They carved out a space for the literary arts and opened a literary center inside a used bookstore on the river in Geneva, Illinois. And while the space itself was enchanting and wonderful, the organization ultimately outgrew its needs.

The Republic of Letters is no longer a used bookstore but a local author bookstore only. When you purchase a book, or any merch from The Republic of Letters, you are directly supporting local authors.

Everything we offer is now online, and will continue to be as long as there is a pandemic. That being said, now is a great time to try something new. Peruse classes, join a workshop, submit to our blog, start building a portfolio, a presence, a potential.