Jim Powell, founder of Indiana Writers Center, dies

Jim Powell was “the real thing.” That’s what comes to my mind when I think of him. No frills, no phoniness, no extra baggage. He brought me back here to do workshops at The Writers Center when I lived in Boston. I later learned – from others, not from Jim, who liked to pat others on the back but never himself – that he had been the main endorser/defender here of my novel Going All The Way when others were disparaging both book and author.

He was one of the best editors I ever knew. I had sent him a long essay I was working on a few days ago, knowing he would understand how and where to cut it and shape it. He had offered to do this even though he knew his time was limited and there was work of his own to be done. His presence here was a gift.

— Dan Wakefield

Release from the Indiana Writers Center

The below is a copy of a release sent by the IWC on January 29, 2020

Honoring Jim Powell

Dear Friends and Writers – I am sad to write with the news that Jim Powell, the founder of Indiana Writers Center, and a great friend to writers, passed away on Monday.

The Indiana Writers Center exists because of Jim’s vision, and his drive and desire to support writers in Indiana. In 1979 Powell breathed life into the organization, and because of his efforts writers have continued to find each other, and the resources they need for success in our community, for over forty years.

If you have memories of Jim, we welcome them, and celebrate his life.

In 2019, Jim published Only Witness, a collection of short stories, through the Indiana Writers Center to commemorate the Center’s 40th anniversary. IWC was grateful and excited to be involved in this lifelong project with him. We talked to Jim about the founding of the organization in this article.

Read Jim Powell’s obituary, including details for his calling, here. Our hearts and thoughts are with Karen, his family, and his many friends. He will be missed.

Sincerely,
Rachel Sahaidachny, IWC Staff, & Board

One Response to Jim Powell, founder of Indiana Writers Center, dies

  1. Norbert Krapf January 30, 2020 at 2:33 pm #

    Jim Powell was a great natural resource for Indiana Writers. His commitment to Indiana writing was endless, but he didn’t give blanket approval just because it was of Indiana by Indiana writers. He spoke his mind, he was honest and direct, but he also appreciated and celebrated what is good. His founding and directing of what’s now called the Indiana Writers Center was a great gift to us all. We will all miss him – and will continue to enjoy the benefits of what he leaves behind.

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Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield