2023 BWP Workshops

Our new Black Writers Program is now a year-round experience. This include opportunities to write in “one-off” and abbreviated workshops of one, two, or three weeks. We will still have an extended BWP cycle this spring and summer—12 weeks of craft workshops, panel discussions, events, traditional NYWC-style workshops, and more—but you’ll get a little something in the other months as well.

We’ve expanded our range of workshop offerings! Our new 1-3 week workshops are opportunities to focus on a specific genre, craft element, and/or theme throughout the year. These 1-3 week workshops will give you bursts of inspiration and hone your skills. These one-off workshops will be offered both before and after the 12-week cycle.

Check out the details below and get excited! The workshops will take place in the first quarter of the year, so don’t worry if spots fill up. There will be more to come.

***Sign-ups are CLOSED***

Stay tuned for future Black Writers Program events and panels!

Questions? Email bwp@nywriterscoalition.org.

Want to learn more about the workshop leaders in our 2023 Cycle? Visit the BWP Workshop Leader Bio Page.

Announcing the 2023 Cycle!

BWP WRITE-IN WORKSHOPS led by Michele Gilliam and Judith Ohikuare

Write-Ins are for participants who may not be able to commit to a longer-term experience. NYWC’s Write-Ins are 90-minute generative writing sessions that also provide the opportunity to read your work on the spot. Space is unlimited but registration is required for each session. During each workshop, the facilitator/teaching artist will provide a prompt, give participants a set amount of time to write, and then leave time to share.

Sunday Write-Ins:

In these generative, traditional NYWC-style workshops, participants will have the opportunity to come away with 1-2 fresh new pieces each week. The offered prompts will primarily be pulled from poetry, flash, and microfiction—but writers of all genres are welcome. The goal is to get writing, get experimental, and get inspired by the many styles, forms, and techniques that have developed in fiction and poetry over the years. If you love discovering new work and are open to letting your creativity guide you, this workshop is for you.

Mondays, May 15 – July 24 (10 Weeks) | 6 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Sundays, May 21 – July 30 (10 Weeks) | 11 a.m.  12:30 p.m. ET

Please note: Workshop will NOT meet Monday, May 29 & Sunday, June 25.


This workshop is for Black men (of both cis & trans experiences) to create with other Black men. This will be a writing space where Black men can explore language, hopes, dreams, and fears in a community eager to pour into each other. Writers of all genres are welcome. This workshop will be capped at 15 participants.

Mondays, May 15 – June 26 | 7 – 9 p.m. ET
Please note: Workshop will NOT meet Monday, May 29


Telling stories inspired by Black experiences—in our own voices!—is important to our representation in film, television, stage, and literature. The purpose of this workshop is to get writers comfortable doing just that in any genre. Participants will explore four films from the 1970s that left a mark in Black cinema history. The group will watch, discuss, and write to prompts based on excerpts from the following films: Blackula (1972), Cleopatra Jones (1973), Claudine (1974), Black Belt Jones (1974), and Carwash (1976)—with bonus clips from Truck Turner (1974) if time permits. 

Writers will leave having started new pieces that boldly reflect the rawness and beauty of Black culture through their eyes. The goal is always to write. Your vision must be to finish. (This workshop will be capped at 15 participants.)

Mondays, May 15 – June 26 (6 Weeks) | 6 – 8 p.m. ET

Please note: Workshop will NOT meet Monday, June 29


Black Writers Program Creating Community Workshops are generative writing opportunities in which participants can cultivate relationships with a leader and a consistent group of attendees. Here, you can write, discuss, and be part of a space tailored for Black writers from all genres, of all ages, gender expressions, and levels of experience. 

As in our standard NYWC workshops, the teaching artist will provide a prompt, give participants a set amount of time to write, and then leave time to share. (This workshopswill be capped at 12 participants.)

Wednesdays, May 17 – July 5 (8 Weeks) | 7 – 9 a.m. ET


Have you been exploring a factual historical event that you want to expand on creatively, in your own way? This workshop is designed for beginner-to-intermediate writers looking to generate new work and/or build upon historical fiction projects (novels and short stories) already in progress. Participants will learn how to bring historical settings to life through research and the principles of craft.

The first two weeks will be in the format of a traditional NYWC workshop: Facilitator Shante’ Cozier will present prompts, give a specific amount of time to write, and then the group will have the option to share their fresh writing. Subsequent sessions will also begin with a brief prompt—before transitioning into an exploration of well-known historical fiction pieces by Black writers and reviewing participants’ manuscript drafts (10 pages max).

Participants will leave “Crafting the Story” having developed their skills at writing dialogue, expanding plot, strengthening character development, and using research (the foundation of historical fiction!) to expand on dramatic scenes. (This workshop will be capped at 7 participants.)

Wednesdays, May 17 – July 19 (9 Weeks) | 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Please note: Workshop will NOT meet Wednesday, June 21


this workshop calls comrades in for a collective dive into storytelling and principles primarily sourced within assata’s poem, “Affirmation,” which can be found on the first page of Assata: An Autobiography—a book i’d encourage all to read and celebrate (even if for no reason other than it being assata’s story & a damn good one!). all writing styles & forms are welcomed & celebrated, and all that is required to attend is an open heart towards assata shakur, freedom fighters, and writers in the movement for black liberation.

together we’ll write through 7 workshops centered on assata shakur’s affirmational beliefs with an 8th and final workshop concluding with her affirmation of “knowing,” in celebration of her 75th solar return. each week, i’ll offer warm-up writing exercises & prompts based on select affirmations. there will be space to talk about assata’s life, how particular affirmations show up in her story, & what a compilation of these truths may mean to the group of those present. as we search for a better and/or deeper understanding of assata shakur’s life work, we’ll consider how we might apply her beliefs to our own lives, cultivating a better understanding of our selves and own affirmations.

folx can expect breathing, observation, speaking, and listening exercises woven into every workshop, as well as space to write something new each week, discussions in the community forum of our group, and the ability to generate an assata- & community-inspired compilation of drafts. this workshop will be capped at roughly 15 participants.

Thursdays, May 25 – July 13 (8 Weeks) | 12 – 2 p.m. ET


Whether you’re working on a new script or revising an old one, a point comes when you ask yourself “What comes next?” or “What am I missing”? In reality, the core of those questions is asking “What stays?”

This workshop is for scriptwriters (TV, film, and plays) looking for both assistance with craft and feedback on pages of their script. Participants will spend 8 weeks moving through a mixture of mini-craft lectures, prompt-based writing exercises, and feedback sessions with the goal of pushing each writer further along in their journey to finish their script. 

After the first two introductory weeks of the workshop, each week will start with either a mini-lecture or writing exercise followed by two 45-minute feedback sessions. During each feedback session, one participant will have their work read aloud and receive critique from the rest of the group on up to 15 pages of their script.

This workshop is open to writers of all levels who have at least a partial script draft and will be capped at 10 participants.

Saturdays, May 20 – July 15 (8 Weeks) | 12 – 2 p.m. ET
Please note: Workshop will NOT meet Saturday, June 3

WRITING A SONG led by Z Bell

When we push to expand the realms of our own personal creativity, so much more becomes possible in our art. This workshop series, “Writing A Song,” prioritizes artist growth, the dimensionality of craft, and intentionally held community. Participants will engage with different types of lyricism across various music genres. In a typical session, we might study a chorus, a song structure, a subgenre, or more. We’ll spend a lot of our time listening—and we’ll spend even more time generating new work. 

Some sample topics include: (1) discussing what we mean by “song,” (2) what musicality sounds like and what counts as melody, (3) the role of repetition and rhyme, (4) how to kickstart and troubleshoot different types of songwriting processes. Participants will also have many opportunities to read and/or perform their work. It’ll be a “bop,” as pop music lovers might say.

The ideal “Writing A Song” participant celebrates vulnerability, joy, and rhythm, and maintains a willing, open mind. What happens when we combine what we love about music with what we love about writing? This workshop will support participants in responding to that question. We gon’ be alright! (This workshop will be capped at 14 participants.).

Saturdays, May 27 – July 15 (8 Weeks) | 12 – 2 p.m. ET