March 17, 2013

The Cabin- An Idaho Writers Organization

This Organization is worth looking into for both Idahoans and anyone visiting that picturesque state.

In 1996, a deteriorating log cabin in Boise, Idaho, built in 1940 for the Forest Service, was on the verge of being too broken to fix.  At the same time, a new literary organization was just getting started on its mission to inspire a love of reading, writing and discourse in Idaho communities.

It was perfect timing. The City of Boise agreed to provide the cabin as a home for Idaho literary arts, if the organization would renovate the structure and make it fully accessible.

The transformation of the old log cabin – from the foundation to the attic – was an excellent metaphor for the power of words and writing. Each requires a solid foundation to build on, respect and discipline for the tools that transform, imagination, and a vision for what can be.

While the cabin took shape, with accessible meeting rooms, an elevator, exterior ramp and fully accessible restrooms, The Cabin, a 501c(3), also evolved and is, today, Idaho’s anchor for literary programs.

With grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and sponsorships and grant awards from dozens of other government and corporate entities, The Cabin offers programs year-round. They include youth education, a Readings & Conversations series that brings internationally acclaimed authors to Idaho, and workshops and seminars that inspire and grow the community’s celebration of words.

Recently, a teacher from Victory Academy, which participates in The Cabin’s Writers in the Schools program, sent us this note:

“Our program accepted a student with a behavior log an inch thick. This student was continually suspended from other schools and programs… Then he decided to take a creative writing class through the WITS program. The student turned out to be a talented poet with a unique voice… That student will be walking the line as a high school graduate in two weeks. He is already registered for college and intends to become a teacher.”

Even more important than renewing the structure of an old log cabin, giving young writers tools to enrich and, in some cases, to rebuild their own lives is the most rewarding part of our on-going community efforts.


  1. What a wonderful project. Thanks so much for sharing.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Fascinating and very worthwhile project.

  3. What a wonderful inspiration. And what a sharm more organizations doing try to do something similar. There are always old buildings falling apart that could be used for something so worthwhile. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I've seen that cabin. My son & grandkids live in Boise, so I am going to pass this on to them. Thanks for posting it.

  5. Rico AustinMarch 17, 2013

    I am an Author now living in Scottsdale, AZ; I grew up in Marsing, ID and attended Boise State University of which I have passed by that cabin several times near the Boise River and had no idea of its background. I do hope to be able to participate in a writing program or a reading during one of my visits to Boise. My mother just moved back to Marsing after living in Boise for 28 years and I usually attend at least two BSU Bronco football games each year on the Blue Turf. Great inspiring story! rico austin

  6. Roxe Anne PeacockMarch 17, 2013

    What a touching story from an inspiring project. I thoroughly enjoyed this post today.

  7. Wow! What a great idea, and how unusual to find people who think that writing is important! Thanks for sharing information about this worth-while group.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing. My mom grew up in Boise and that Forest Service cabin really intrigues me. I write about and give talks on the CCCs. Will check it out.

  9. What a marvelous story and a creative (re)use for an old, dilapidated building. Just proves there is still life in that old house! And the writing program for children is amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I commend you on your efforts to make this a better world.
    All the best to you.


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