Trolley began with an idea from author William Kennedy, who envisioned an online literary journal published free of charge in which each issue's words and images related to a single theme.
Kennedy shared his idea with Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl, who decided the inaugural issue theme would converge on the issues of truth, fake news, and journalism.
Those themes were central to the Institute's two-day "Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World" symposium held in October, 2017.
The name Trolley was selected as an homage to Kennedy's 1984 collection of his journalism, Riding the Yellow Trolley Car.
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy is the founder and executive director of the New York State Writers Institute. For some 40 years, Kennedy has used his hometown of Albany as the inspiration for his work, crafting history and memory into an “Albany of the imagination.”
Paul Grondahl is director of the New York State Writers Institute, Grondahl. He is the third director in the Institute’s 35-year history.
Grondahl is an author and an award-winning journalist who worked at the Albany Times Union for 32 years, starting in 1984. He continues to write a weekly column for the paper.