is excited to announce Off the Grid: Dispatches from Chicago’s Writers-in-Residence, a new blog launching Friday, August 12th. Every so often, Off the Grid will feature a new writer who will post about topics of his or her choosing—anything from personal essays to reported pieces—related to the city.

“Chicago has long been the muse for a lot of fantastic writers, and this blog will showcase both the city and its talent,” said editor Esther Kang, who will oversee the blog.

Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here and The Other Side of the River will be the inaugural writer-in-residence for Off the Grid. “Alex Kotlowitz is one of those writers who doesn’t go for the obvious, over-covered stories. He finds real gems throughout the city, and I think readers will appreciate that,” Kang said. 

In between books, Kotlowitz writes for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and various other publications. He also contributes to WBEZ’s This American Life. Most recently, Kotlowitz coproduced a documentary, The Interrupters, with filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams).