About

Five vintage postcards showing the painting of a lady, a drawing of someone sitting under a tree, a drawing of a room with a desk, a street in Paris and a photogprah of a pyramid monument sit on top of a green foliage backdrop together with a string of pink ribbon, with several labels that read from left to right: "May 10, 1771: Oh if you could express that again", "if you could breathe into the paper that", "what so fully, so warmly lives inside of you", "that it may become the mirror of your soul just", "like your soul is the mirror of infinite Almighty!", The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Five vintage postcards showing the painting of a lady, a drawing of someone sitting under a tree, a drawing of a room with a desk, a street in Paris and a photogprah of a pyramid monument sit on top of a green foliage backdrop together with a string of pink ribbon, with several labels that read from left to right: "May 10, 1771: Oh if you could express that again", "if you could breathe into the paper that", "what so fully, so warmly lives inside of you", "that it may become the mirror of your soul just", "like your soul is the mirror of infinite Almighty!", The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

What we do

Young W is a directory and online shop covering nine themes:

Reading, Writing, Paper,

Art, Performance, Poetry,

Cities, Society and Language.

We help people reduce screen-time and make more space for arts & letters in their life by directing their attention, time and energy towards offline cultural experiences and creative pursuits.

Our mission

We can all agree we want to know how to make more time for creative activities or cultural experiences in our hectic lives and how to spend more of our free time away from screens. Despite the barriers we all know exist, we have found that a big part of the problem is that seeking out offline arts & letters activities and creative experiences usually requires quite a bit of effort. Oftentimes, it is easier to get our entertainment from digital devices and let those determine how we spend our leisure time.
Yet we believe that we shouldn’t only rely on tech platforms and algorithms when choosing how to take in the world around us. Too often they make decisions for us on what information we receive, what stories we get to hear, what art we see and what music we listen to. And as we have already seen, this can have dramatic and unexpected consequences for us as individuals and as a society.
That’s why our answer is to disconnect from our devices more and fill that newly found time with our own decisions about how to engage with arts & letters and with our communities. Here’s how:

by having access to ideas and inspiration for our creative pursuits and interests: what offline things to read, see, learn and create, what products to get and where to get them, and which people and places to get to know in our communities to discover a flourishing offline life.

So when you have disconnected from your device and ask yourself “now what?”, YW has an answer for you: suggestions for local records shops and music venues (if you are into music), suggestions for local paper shops and places to learn about calligraphy (if you like stationery), suggestions for theatres and dance companies (if you like the performing arts) and so on. We love helping people discover new things along the way and showcasing all the fascinating work done by local businesses, artists, writers, non-profits and organizations in communities all around us – work that not always receives the recognition it deserves.
Not only does this make our offline leisure time more vibrant, we may also find that it makes us part of an important cultural ecosystem right here in our communities: as supporters of arts and culture, as curious readers, as art buyers, as film festival and theatre patrons, as life-long learners, as newspaper subscribers, as museum goers, and as informed and active citizens.
You can read more our vision for Young W here.

Here's how to get started:

The components of the analog lifestyle kit: they include a stack of printed cards, a notepad, a small fountain pen and a log book, among others things.

Try our first exploration kit

We've created a product we call an 'exploration kit'. It's a type of guide that gives you ideas about activities and places to explore and specific prompts on how to do so. Our first exploration kit is called ‘the analog lifestyle kit - chapter 1'. It has everything you need to get started on your journey to discover a flourishing offline life.
Try the analog lifestyle kit – chapter 1
Collage of images and quotes arranged neatly on a yellow/green/purple board. Type reads from left to right: "Learn a new language", "Practice calligraphy", "Collect used books", "Listen to a poem", "Discover your own city", "See a dance show", "Attend a live debate" and "Get a penpal".

Browse the directory

Find inspiration for new hobbies, interests and activities in our arts & letters directory. And check back often - we are only just getting started and are adding new entries on a weekly basis.
Start Exploring
An assortment of products assembled on a white background: the book 'Digital Minimalism', the book 'The Sorrows of Young Werther', a candle with a label that reads 'Sturm und Drang', a gift wrapped in green fabric gift wrap with a floral pattern and a few multi-coloured postcards

Get supplies for your offline life

We sells books, stationery, art and more. Check out Young W's launch collection in the shop.
Shop
Small cards with text and a pink ribbon sit on top of a green background with rubberstamped print of purple flowers: Text reads: "May 1771: Every tree, every hedge is a bouquet of blossoms", "and it makes you want to become a maybug", "to float around in this sea of fragrance", "and find all your fuel in it". The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Get involved with Young W

Check out our Get Involved page to find out how to have your organization added to the directory, how to get your event added to our community events page, how to submit a manuscript, and to learn about the various things we have planned at YW.
Get Involved

Who we are

Black and white illustration of a woman wearing glasses holding a squirrel.

Elena W

Young W is a creation of Elena W.

Always curious and always learning. Loves linguistics, books, architectural history, pop art, classical music and theatre. Interested in writing systems, typography, critical discourse analysis and how language shapes our society (and vice versa). Still sends snail mail letters and maintains a physical address book. Huge fan of: Eurovision Song Contest, fall foliage, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Wannabe writer. Always trying to learn too many languages at once, but sadly only fluent in English and German. Obsessed with: squirrels, list-making, useless architectural structures called follies. Likes to go to art galleries. A lover of pretty stationery and musicals. Totally into colours. Always uses colour fountain pen ink. Favourite colour: deep purple. Favourite season: autumn.

Young W was inspired by two books: ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1774) and ‘Digital Minimalism’ by Cal Newport (2019). Read more about the inspiration for Young W here.
(Illustration by AlfAlfA)