The Journal of Ordinary Thought (JOT) features selected writing from participants in our weekly writing workshops. JOT was founded in 1991 on the propositions that Every Person Is a Philosopher and expressing one's thoughts fosters creativity and change.
Each participant in the writing workshops is published at least once a year, usually more often. Publishing provides a way for the writers to share their stories with a broader audience, and extends those conversations to a broader community.
Originally, two of the three issues of JOT published per year were devoted to a specific theme, with coordinating programming. The remaining issues featured a combination of work from all workshops. As a volunteer group, going forward, we will strive to continue this process, however it is more likely that JOT will be published only once per year, depending on the self-publishing funds.
The themes for JOT grow out of topics JOT writers are already discussing and writing about, and have included topics such as criminal justice, individual and community health, housing, work and labor, and formal and informal education.
JOT is archived at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Library in their Little Magazine Collection and available for browsing at the Publishers Gallery at the Chicago Cultural Center.
The Journal of Ordinary Thought has been awarded two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards. JOT and contributor Henry Hardee were recognized in 2000 for Henry's piece "Mama's Big Boy," which was published in the February 1999 issue, Road Maps. In 2002, JOT and Pennie Holmes received the award for her piece "Casey's Story," which was published in the March 2001 issue, "Just Passin' Through."