• Places Journal: Writers Fund
    Nancy Levinson and Josh Wallaert
    Places Journal

The Writers Fund is a capacity-building initiative that will allow Places Journal to commission articles on topics that otherwise might receive scant attention and to support the valuable intellectual labor of research, reportage, and critique. Since moving online in 2009, Places has become an essential and trusted resource on the future of architecture, landscape, and urbanism, harnessing the power of public scholarship to promote equitable cities and resilient landscapes. Now, with the Writers Fund, Places seeks to counter the economy of scarcity that has long limited the scope and impact of noncommercial publishing. Digital distribution confirms there is an eager readership for public-interest journalism on the built environment. Yet the same technology that is building audiences is undermining the fragile funding models of serious publishing. Alternative models are emerging, focusing on donor communities committed to robust public discourse, and the Writers Fund will build vital capacity in a volatile time.

Nancy Levinson is editor and executive director of Places Journal. Levinson brings to her editorial work significant experience in academia and practice, most recently as founding director of the Phoenix Urban Research Laboratory at Arizona State University, and earlier, as co-founding editor of Harvard Design Magazine at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she directed the journal's rise to international prominence. Previously, she worked as acquiring editor at Princeton Architectural Press, and before moving into publishing, she practiced architecture in Philadelphia. Levinson has lectured widely on the future of publishing and research, and written for many periodicals, including Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture Magazine, the Journal of Planning Literature, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and Perspecta. She received a BA from Yale University and an MArch from the University of Pennsylvania.

Josh Wallaert is senior editor of Places Journal and a writer working at the edge of language and landscape. His fiction has appeared in TriQuarterly, Southern Review, Black Warrior Review, Gettysburg Review, and other journals. He co-directed the documentary Arid Lands (2007), hailed in the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of "today's best environmental films." He holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota, grew up in rural Oregon, and currently lives in San Francisco.

Founded in 1983, Places Journal is dedicated to harnessing the moral and investigative power of public scholarship to promote equitable cities and sustainable landscapes.