And the Amplifier goes to...Girls Write Pittsburgh!

Barrelhouse is pleased to announce that Girls Write Pittsburgh has been awarded the inaugural Barrelhouse Amplifier, a $1,500 award for emerging literary organizations co-sponsored by Submittable. In addition to the cash award, Girls Write Pittsburgh will receive advice, support, mentoring, a free Submittable account, and other non-financial resources. "We set out to support a positive, inclusive, community-focused literary organizations with a plan for sustainability," said Barrelhouse Blog Editor and Poet Sheila Squillante, "and, wow, did we ever find one."

Girls Write Pittsburgh serves teen girls in the Pittsburgh region through the craft of creative writing, encouraging self-empowerment, growth, and discovery. The organization was launched in 2016 and works with underserved and at-risk teen girls aged 13 to 18 throughout 12 of Pittsburgh's South Hills neighborhoods through weekly meetings, quarterly immersive workshops, and yearly readings and publications. You can learn more about Girls Write Pittsburgh at girlswritepittsburgh.com.

The impulse to create the Amplifier grew from the desire to support other literary organizations, and the recognition that while the support we can offer may be limited, it is still important to do what good we can. We believe that Girls Write Pittsburgh is doing very big, good things, and we’re proud to be able to lend them support in this way and any other way we can. We want to again thank our co-sponsor Submittable for lending their financial support to the Amplifier, without which this work might not be possible.

We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of applications we received, especially since this is the first year for the Amplifier. There are so many deserving groups doing amazing work in the literary space and we were humbled to even learn about what many of these organizations are doing and the directions in which they hope to grow. We look forward to featuring some of these groups on our site in the coming months.

The Barrelhouse Amplifier is an annual award and the 2018 application will go live in December 2017. We’re open to supporting literary magazines, small presses, mentoring organizations, or other kinds of community-driven organizations. We want to support writing and reading, and the people who do the work of supporting writing and reading.

We feel that we're going to need the arts more than ever in the coming years and this is a one small way that we can help. Thanks to the many worthy organizations that applied this year, and our hearty congratulations and thanks to Girls Write Pittsburgh!