When Mary Morgan opened 702WI last April, it was meant to be a place to “celebrate books and authors” as a co-working space for writers, but now the space has encompassed a different way of honoring that mission.
Located at 702 E. Johnson Street, the space has become a hot spot for book events, private events, galleries and even a winter market. Co-working has taken a back seat, as Morgan rolls with what the community wants.
The space still can be used for co-working, but that part of the business might come to an end, she said, while event-hosting has taken off more quickly than anticipated.
“We’ve had great turnouts for all of our events,” Morgan said.
But she isn’t just utilizing the cozy atmosphere of 702WI to bring authors to town. By collaborating with local partners, she’s been bringing authors to wherever might best suit their needs, she said.
Ellie Roscher, author of “Play Like a Girl,” will be at Keva Sports Center in Middleton for her book event on April 21. The book is about creating a girl’s soccer academy in Kenya, so it’s fitting to have the event there, Morgan said.
“If we might not reach the best audience (by hosting at 702WI) we have to think outside the box,” Morgan said. “We don’t want an author to travel all the way here for two people. So we’re figuring out the best ways to reach people whether it’s hosted here by us or somewhere else.”
For Angie Thomas, author of “The Hate U Give,” 702WI arranged an event with the Goodman Community Center and Girls, Inc. They invited area schools and organizations to attend and hosted an event at La Follette High School, too. Thomas’ book caters to young adults, focusing on 16-year-old Starr’s activism after witnessing the police shooting of her friend.
702WI has coordinated with Arcadia Books in Spring Green to give authors a chance with audiences there. And there even is an event in the works for November 15 featuring Marta McDowell, author of “The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” at Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
Regardless of location, the organization is staying true to its mission of spreading the joy of writing and authorship.
“It’s been exciting to see how excited people are to come out for a book reading,” Morgan said.