Lonely Planet Writer

The first centre for fiction in the US will be a haven for book-lovers and writers

If you’re a book-lover, the opening of the first centre in the US completely dedicated to fiction will be music to your ears. The Center for Fiction organisation will open the doors of its new home in January 2019  in New York, welcoming readers and writers of all ages and from all walks of life.

A rendering of the Center for Fiction in the US. Image: BKSK Architects

The 18,000-square-foot space will place books and the celebration of story in all its forms at the heart of a vibrant cultural area in Downtown Brooklyn. Its bookshop will have the latest novels, as well as works in translation, beloved classics and the best of independent publishers. Visitors can also pore over books in the café, as well as meeting friends for a coffee, glass of wine or food.

A rendering of the café at the Center for Fiction in the US. Image: BKSK Architects

There will be a 160-seat auditorium that will have recording and streaming capabilities to reach audiences around the country. Dedicated in the evenings to showcasing fiction across many forms with lively discussions between authors and experts in other disciplines, during the day the auditorium will be filled with events for children.

A rendering of the Center for Fiction in the US. Image: BKSK Architects

Designed by Julie Nelson at BKSK Architects, the building will have a reading room and terrace on the second floor, where visitors can avail of its library collection featuring the best in contemporary and classic fiction. There will be a new writers’ studio with floor-to-ceiling windows and a space for lively discussion groups, seminars, and writing workshops. The centre’s expanded website will feature in-depth essays, creative book lists, videos, podcasts, virtual writing workshops and more.

A rendering of the auditorium at the Center for Fiction in the US. Image: BKSK Architects

The Center for Fiction was established as the Mercantile Library, a lending library for merchant clerks, in 1820, and was renamed in 2008. “Brooklyn is home to so many wonderful writers and devoted readers and we are very much looking forward to serving them and all New Yorkers in this beautiful new building,” says Noreen Tomassi, the centre’s executive director.

For further information, check out the website here.