Detroit start-up offers professional writing advice
Detroit — Two millennial-aged media professionals are partnering with a retired Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter to launch a business based on offering writing advice to everyone from aspiring authors to entrepreneurs.
The Detroit Writing Room debuts in a downtown Washington Boulevard building in June. Its founders describe the start-up as a "space for writers, entrepreneurs, creatives and anyone looking to improve his or her writing skills for business or literary works."
The start-up appears to merge elements of writing workshops, public relations agencies, co-working spaces and the gig economy. Potential clients will be able to hire "coaches" at an hourly rate to get consulting on a variety of writing and social-media needs.
The Detroit Writing Room is the brainchild of Stephanie Steinberg, managing editor of Seen magazine, who along with her husband Jake Serwer, founder of Espresso Public Relations, have worked on the concept for three years. A partner and investor is Bill Vlasic, a member of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team of reporters at the New York Times. Vlasic and Steinberg are also former reporters at The Detroit News.
Vlasic is among 20 coaches, mainly former and current newspaper writers and editors, who have agreed to be the talent for hire. Other coaches include Detroit freelance journalist Anna Clark, author of the book "The Poisoned City: Flint's Water and The American Urban Tragedy." Another coach is Robert Yoon, a journalism professor at the University of Michigan.
The start-up is about to launch a $20,000 Kickstarter campaign to help furnish the second-floor space at 1514 Washington Blvd. into the living room-like decor that's popular with companies trying to attract a millennial workforce. The company website detroitwritingroom.com also debuts this week, which explains rates and membership offers.