Fort Greene Summer Youth Program & Literary Festival

Young Readers at our 2016 Fort Greene Literary Festival

LitFest 2016 featured writers: Kaitlyn Greenidge. Nicole Dennis-Benn & Yaa Gyasi

Launched in 2005, NYWC and our partners each year present the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival (LitFest), which engages the vibrant and diverse community neighboring Fort Greene Park in free literary and creative activities. LitFest consists of a six-week series of free Saturday creative writing workshops for young people and an end-of-summer reading. The free creative writing workshops serve six-to-eighteen-year-olds in dynamic and innovative activities designed to create a safe space for young writers to find their voices and explore all genres of creative writing.  Participants are broken up by age into small groups.  The young writers come from all over New York City, but specific outreach is made to economically disadvantaged communities, and many of the young people return to the workshops for many years.  The workshops bring together young people of diverse backgrounds that share a love of art, words and writing.

There is a $25 registration fee to attend the workshops per child.

The workshop series culminates in an end-of-summer reading presenting well-known, established writers reading alongside the young writers from the workshops.  Past readers include Amiri Baraka, Jennifer Egan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rick Moody, Gloria Naylor, Sapphire, Sonia Sanchez, Colson Whitehead and many others.

LitFest honors the power of the written word to build inclusiveness and give voice to the thoughts and experiences of everyone, not just the privileged and powerful.  It also provides a means for self-expression and creativity for area young people while increasing the accessibility of the arts and literature for all.

Fort Greene Park is New York City’s oldest park, with a rich literary history.  Walt Whitman was instrumental in the park’s creation, and the writers Richard Wright, Marianne Moore and many others wrote in the park.  The Lit Fest highlights and honors this history by presenting the joy of creating words to a new generation of writers, and by presenting award-winning writers to the public.  Many of the featured writers live in the neighborhood, so the Lit Fest helps reinforce the notion of Fort Greene as a literary community.


Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival from NY Writers Coalition on Vimeo.

PLUS! Read The New York Times Local Lit Fest Feature

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