A new nook for writing soon to open at Brassworks in Williamsburg

  • Magda Bartkowska, owner of the Mill River Writers’ Nook in The Brassworks Building, sits in one of the work areas Thursday morning. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Magda Bartkowska, owner of the Mill River Writers’ Nook in The Brassworks Building, sits in one of the areas Thursday morning. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Magda Bartkowska, owner of the Mill River Writers’ Nook in The Brassworks Building, sits in one of the areas Thursday. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Magda Bartkowska stands in The Mill River Writers’ Nook, a co-working space she’s creating with writers in mind that she’s hoping to open in August. STAFF PHOTO/BERA DUNAU

Staff Writer
Published: 7/18/2021 6:56:20 PM

WILLIAMSBURG — One day Magda Bartkowska could not find a place in her house in Haydenville, where she lives with her husband and three children, to write.

Eventually, Bartowska ended up writing in the back of her husband’s truck at the Daughters of the American Revolution State Forest in Goshen, but the experience inspired her to create The Mill River Writers’ Nook, which she is hoping to open in August.

“The basic idea is to set up a space where writers can come and write at their own convenience,” she said.

The Mill River Writers’ Nook is located on the second floor of The Brassworks Building at 132 Main St. Bartkowska is creating it as a coworking space with writers in mind, but one won’t have to be a writer to sign up to use it.

Bartkowska is thinking about charging $125 a month for memberships that allow use of the space 24/7 with a reserved desk, $100 a month for members to use 24/7 without a reserved desk, and $75 a month that would allow use of the space during office hours. She is also considering charging people $25 a day who want to use the space on an individual basis.

“I needed a space to write that one day,” Bartkowska said. “I want there to be an option for someone who doesn’t have a ... monthly membership to drop in if they need to.”

Asked about why people should use the space over a library or coffee shop, Bartkowska noted that “libraries are not free of distractions,” and she said that coffee shops can also not work as well, depending on the kind of work one is looking to do.

Bartkowska has a love of old things, and she has populated The Mill River Writers’ Nook with older books and furniture, including a teal chair from 1939.

“I think about who’s sat in this chair?” she said. “What news might they have heard in this chair?”

She also said that being around older objects makes her see how everything is connected.

The Mill River Writers’ Nook is decorated with plants as well, and Bartkowska has plans to offer coffee and snacks, as well to expand the space if things go well. She would also like to offer writers groups at the space.

Bartkowska said that she’s gotten some interest in the space already, and she believes she will find an interest in the space from among those in the Valley’s writing community.

Bartkowska emigrated from Poland to the United States when she was 7 years old and is working on a creative nonfiction book about her immigrant experience.

Those interested in The Mill River Writers’ Nook can call Bartkowska at 413-304-1300.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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