2016 Tell Your Story Campaign: Spotlight on Shante’ Cozier

The Tell Your Story Campaign is back!

Cozier PicEvery June, members of the NYWC community write stories about their experiences with NYWC as a way to raise awareness and revenue for our programs. Each week throughout the next month we’ll be featuring one of these stories on our website. This week’s letter comes to us from Shante’ Cozier, who started and leads a workshop for people of Carribean descent at the St. Albans Episcopal Church in her neighborhood of Canarsie in Brooklyn.

Be sure to follow and support NYWC’s 2016 Tell Your Story Campaign here!

Dear Friends,

It is with great joy that I extend this letter to you. I have been working with NY Writers Coalition, an organization that I love, to facilitate free writing workshops throughout Brooklyn. Currently, I facilitate three free writing workshops each week: one with the smartest group of 10, 11 and 12-year-olds I know; another with beautiful adults in Fort Greene; and the final one in Canarsie with elders that have the most incredible memories. I am immensely happy doing this work.

Each time I set­-up for one of the workshops, I get jittery with excitement. The fact that there are simply places to write, safe spaces for anyone to come and clear their mind on the page, is truly a gem.  And, I suppose, the kind of thing I have been searching for for years!

Many times I have sat in my workshops in amazement after someone has shared their writing with the group.  Amazement because someone has written a piece that has moved me. Amazement because it seems like a piece that has been edited, worked on, perfected line by line, because it hits the ears so beautifully. Amazement because it wasn’t, instead it was written only 10 minutes prior. In those moments, when I see people with truly natural talent, I feel like I could do this forever. This being facilitating spaces for creative writing, and working with NYWC to create more spaces like these.

A special byproduct of the workshop is the trust, connection, and intimate emotional exchange that happens when strangers get together each week to write. They become no longer strangers. Instead, they recognize each other’s style, they compliment each others boldness, they become familiar.

For me, the most satisfying place is a place where I am writing. To be able to do so each week through NYWC is an incredible privilege. In my workshops, there are no amateurs, or professionals or experts. We are all there for the same purpose. To share in the same joy. To write to our heart’s desire.

I hope you will also share in their purpose by supporting them.


Shante’ Cozier

Click here to donate to Shante’s Firstgiving page!