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Sep. 6, 2019

Isabelle (Izzy) Bellinghausen is the Program Director at The Writer's Block, an independent bookstore in Downtown Las Vegas. Her programming includes hosting and running free creative writing workshops for kids aged 5-18. The students who participate have their books published in the store's book binding machine for the kids aged 5-8, or typeset, bound, and published for the older students through an outside partner.

Graduating from the NEW Leadership Program in 2015, Izzy treasures her deep friendships from the program most of all. "NEWL is difficult to explain in one word or even one sentence. How can I encompass all of the love, support, humor, gratitude, and depth of emotional reasoning for social, economic, and daily struggles for women and those in the LGBTQIA+ community? Since that task would take up the word count of War and Peace, I would instead say that NEWL greatly shaped my resolve, my optimism, and my resources to help bring to light issues that resonate strongly with me and to help re-shape the world around me through my daily interactions and creative writing classes."
Thankfully, Izzy is surrounded by over 20,000 books, a flock of artificial birds up for adoption with their own unique "auto-bird-ographies," and a warm, embracing community of NEWL alum who visit her often at the store. "Hopefully surrounded by all of these deep and reflective stories, I'll be able to one day write how all the pieces of NEWL have intricately and lovingly wrapped around every facet of my life. In the meantime, I'll keep sharing what I've learned from this incredible program in any way I can, through storytelling, writing, and teaching the next generation of writers."