The 826 Network

826 National amplifies the impact of our national network of youth writing and publishing centers, and the words of young authors. We serve as an international proof point for writing as a tool for young people to ignite and channel their creativity, explore identity, advocate for themselves and their community, and achieve academic and professional success.

Since our founding, 826 MSP has been inspired by the 826 National Network model of youth writing centers that has seen success with 32,000 students annually in eight other cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit/Ann Arbor, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Boston, and Washington DC.

Young writers across the 826 Network have seen their words in print in The New York Times and The Atlantic, and online at NPR and Their stories have been turned into animations on Cartoon Network. They’ve grown into acclaimed authors, college graduates, and some even into employees of their local 826 chapter.

826 was founded in 2002 at 826 Valencia St. in San Francisco. Envisioned as the home for both a publishing company and a youth writing & tutoring center, it turned out that 826 Valencia was zoned for retail and needed a storefront. The space, a former gym, looked like the hull of a ship—thus the Pirate Supply Store was born.

Each 826 center opened independently and chose themes tailored to their location: 826NYC has The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.; 826LA has The Time Travel Mart; and 826 Boston has The Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute. Beyond the eight official chapters of 826 National, there is 826 Digital, a hub for 826’s unique educator resources, and over 50 organizations inspired by the model around the world.

The 826 National office was established in 2008 to serve the growing educational network by providing strategic leadership, administration, and other resources to ensure the success of the 826 network.

As a chapter, 826 MSP:

  • Participates in network-wide opportunities for our students.

  • Engages in a learning community with the other 826 chapters, including resource sharing, monthly calls, and a summer development conference.

  • Has access to infrastructure and administrative support and systems, including research and evaluation.

  • Benefits from a national brand and fundraising platform.

With the support of 826, the power of our students’ voices carries across the country, enriching the collective narrative our youth are writing nationwide.