Bolnick’s brain child for writers, The Hatchery, grows up and out

| June 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

MAIN SPACE in the West Egg has morphed into a quiet area on its own

When The Hatchery Press opened its doors in 2015 as a writers’ co-working space on Clinton St., the Larchmont Chronicle interviewed Talia Bolnick on her plans and goals for the fledgling enterprise. The idea for the space was born out of the Oxford grad’s own need for a dedicated, tranquil place to write, but one that also came with a sense of community.

Now, three years later, we decided to check in to see how the writers’ space was working out.

What changed?

Still co-owned by Bolnick and her mother Suzanne Phillips, an artist and owner of the property, The Hatchery has expanded to include the building at 601 N. Larchmont Blvd.

With the expansion came some changes. The buildings on Clinton and Larchmont have been dubbed “West Egg” and “East Egg” respectively (Hatchery — Egg — get it?).

An outside terrace with tables, chairs and sun umbrellas connects the two buildings. The East Egg now houses the lounge, where many of the writers go for free coffee and tea, or to buy snacks (using the dollar honor jar) stowed in the communal kitchen. Writers often bounce ideas off each other in the lounge while relaxing between bouts of writing. It has become the place where writers visit and develop relationships, says Bolnick.

There also are dedicated, enclosed, quiet spaces for writing — more than there were before — including the Deadline Room and the Library, both in the East Egg. The Deadline Room has carrel desks in rows and an assortment of research and writing books on the shelves. The room is dark, except for carrel desk lamps. It seems like a room that would “cocoon” writers as they worked on their projects.

LIBRARY in the East Egg is one of the dedicated quiet areas.

The Library, while similarly arranged, has more light, but is as quiet as its namesake.

And while the main area of the West Egg, which used to be a communal area for idea exchange, has not officially been deemed a quiet zone (and also has one of the communal kitchens in the back), Bolnick said it has seemed to organically, or naturally, become one of the quiet zones in the co-working space. And again, there are resource materials available on the different aspects of writing, as well as a printer available for special projects.

Because of the expansion’s possible impact on the neighborhood, there were some changes to the format. Where The Hatchery used to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for example, it is now open to members 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Business hours are Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays by appointment only.

While Bolnick and Phillips are still co-founders, and Bolnick still manages the space, she is now helped by Clarissa DelaTorre-Colín, director of operations (“She does everything I don’t get around to,” said Bolnick). Bolnick’s fiancé, Luis Quintanilla, is the business manager. He also takes care of their tech issues.

And then, of course, there is the most important member of the team, Chief Barketing Officer Eggy the Pup, a French bulldog who keeps everyone in line.

In 2015, Bolnick noted that The Hatchery had been a “crash course in business entrepreneurship.” Before the expansion, there were so many writers who wanted to take advantage of the space that there was a waiting list. Where her mother, the business woman, would have admitted more writers in the space, Bolnick, the writer, felt it was important to keep a certain balance of space. They were able to reach a compromise with the expansion.

What is the same?

In her book “Writing Down the Bones” (1986), Natalie Goldberg notes how a focused writer at work has similar physiological responses as an athlete: heart rates increase, the body relaxes, and all but the work falls away. As I looked around the rooms on my brief tour of The Hatchery, I observed the intense focus of the writers, mirroring Goldberg’s assertion.

Joselyn Takacs, one of the writers at The Hatchery, said that, for her, a Hatchery membership was similar to a gym membership — it motivated her (and many other writers) to more clearly direct her writing efforts. Bolnick pointed out that for some members, it seems to make them more serious about writing — and the space gives writers a safe, clean, orderly space for that purpose.

Membership ranges from $35 for a day pass to $350 per month for full time membership. There are discounts for committing to a six-month or year contract. Free trial days are offered for those considering membership.

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Category: Real Estate

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