Programs For Youth

NYWC currently provides free ongoing long-term weekly creative writing workshops throughout NYC. Through partnerships with various social service organizations we operate an Adult Writers Program and the below Youth Writers Program workshops for diverse groups of unheard New Yorkers.  Our young writers also participate in our readings and events, including the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival, The Write Stuff, and the Writing Aloud Reading Series, and their work is published in our online literary journal, Dig Deep, and in NYWC’s high-quality books.

Youth Writers Workshops

Ali Forney Center: A day center with support services for homeless LGBT youth in Manhattan.

Brooklyn Public Library, Coney Island Branch:  Program for teens in Coney Island.

Brooklyn Public Library, Cortelyou Branch: Program for children in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Public Library, Kensington Branch: Program for children ages 11-13 in Kensington, Brooklyn.

CARES, The Child & Family Institute: An alternative therapeutic high school for youth dealing with addiction, located at St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center.

Fort Greene Park Summer Workshops and Literary Festival:  Summer-long, outdoor writing workshops for 40 young people aged 6-18 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

GEMS: Workshop in a program that provides educational and mentoring services for girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.

Imani House: at P.S. 282 in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  An after school program for elementary school children, providing support and assistance to immigrant and economically disadvantaged residents of the community.

Lutheran Social Services of New York: Workshop for young men, ages 12-17, in a non-secure  juvenile detention facility located in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

New Alternatives:  Workshop for homeless LGBTQ youth in downtown Manhattan.

NY Presbyterian Psychiatric Unit: Workshop for adolescents in acute care in Manhattan hospital.

Ridge Kids and Ridge Girls : Programs for younger children and teenage girls at the Brooklyn Public Library, Bay Ridge Branch.

Workshop Methods

NYWC’s workshop method is designed to reduce competition amongst writers and allows writers of all backgrounds, ages, experience levels and genres to work together to grow as writers. Workshop size is limited to ensure that each member receives enough time and attention.

Workshop participants write during the workshop and receive positive, supportive feedback. We do not critique brand new writing, because the writer has not yet had a chance to read or revise it. In addition, it is assumed that all writing done in the workshop is fictional. Workshop leaders also write as part of the group, providing a model for taking risks and showing vulnerability in a group setting. These guidelines ensure that participants feel safe to write and read aloud even the riskiest material.

Writers are given the freedom to find and strengthen their individual and unique voices as well as to experiment with form, style and new genres. In addition, the workshop provides a structure for writers to produce new work on a regular basis. Workshop members become part of a community of writers, easing some of the isolation that writers and those in marginalized groups often encounter.