2021 BWP Spring Workshops

The Spring 2021 Black Writers Program includes 10 weeks of workshops, running from Monday, April 12 – Saturday, June 19, 2021. All BWP programming, including workshops, is free to attend.

Spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis—and sign-ups will be open via Google Form from 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 31 – 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 4. Participants will be notified of their workshop placements from April 7-8.

Please note: Black Writers Program participants are only allowed to sign up for one specialty workshop (although you can rank your choices when you register). You may attend an unlimited number of drop-in workshops—but all other workshops are one per person. Those who have not been placed in a specialty workshop will be prioritized for drop-in workshops. Click the button below to sign up for the Black Writers Program newsletter, and receive alerts about when drop-in workshop registration is open.

Registration is now closed for our specialized workshops. Please sign up to our email list below to be notified of when sign-ups for our BWP drop-in workshops go live.

BLACK WRITERS PROGRAM / DROP-IN WORKSHOPS led by Michele Gilliam & Takiyah Jackson

NYWC’s Drop-In Workshops are generative writing opportunities for participants who may not be able to commit to a longer-term experience. Sign-ups open on a week-by-week basis—and do not require attendance every week.

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.

*Mondays / 6-8 PM EDT & Fridays / 6:30 – 8:30 PM EDT
*Runs April 12 – June 14 & April 16 – June 18 (10 Weeks)
*Each drop-in workshop will be capped at 12 participants.


The most exciting—and daunting—part of the writing process is revision. It is here that we confront areas of our writing that need strengthening, sharpening, and support. But it is also through the revision process that we lean into what makes our writing unique, passionate, and engaging. In this workshop, participants will each have the opportunity to share essays, poems, and other pieces of writing they have been working on and are ready to have critiqued. We’ll identify ways to make our stories fuller, richer, and more vibrant, and support each other in whatever writing projects we’re currently composing. (This workshop is exclusively for writers who identify as Black womxn and femmes.)

*Wednesdays / 2 – 4 PM (EDT)
*Runs April 14 – June 2 (8 Weeks)
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.


In this creative nonfiction workshop, writers will develop a foundational understanding of creative nonfiction as a genre and generate new work. During each session, the group will explore texts by Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Isabel Wilkerson, Ibram Kendi, and Jayson Reynolds, and then write to prompts that highlight the voice and craft decisions of those mentor texts. Workshop peers will also provide positive feedback that helps everyone build on their strengths as creative nonfiction writers and storytellers.

*Wednesdays / 6:30 – 8:30 PM (EDT)
*Runs April 14 – June 2 (8 Weeks)
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.


Through reading and writing poems that center the work of Black poets, participants will reflect upon the world we’ve been given; the movement and the trials we have inherited; and the role art (poetry in particular) plays in holding these experiences to the light—and transforming them. Featured Black poets include Lucille Clifton, June Jordan, Mari Evans, Ntozake Shange, Jayne Cortez, William Waring Cuney, Willie Perdomo, Aracelis Girmay, Amiri Baraka, and others.

*Tuesdays / 6 – 8 PM (EDT)
*Runs April 20 – May 11 (4 Weeks)
*This workshop can accommodate up to 20 participants.

BLACK CINEMA led by Alisha Acquaye

The Black movie theater experience is one of the things we lost during the pandemic. In this workshop, we’ll recreate that space, in addition to writing stories and poems inspired by the themes in each film. Every week, we will choose one Black film to watch revolving around a theme—coming of age, afrofuturism, spirituality, and love, to name a few. Each participant will then review that film (because we all have an inner film critic!) and then write to prompts inspired by that week’s theme. Come ready to laugh, throw shade, be analytical, be creative, and most of all, have fun! (This workshop is open to Black writers of all genders.)


*Fridays / 6 – 8 PM (EDT)

*Runs April 23 – June 11 (8 weeks)
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.


In the novel Libertie, Kaitlyn Greenidge urges us to think about what it means to live in the world as a Black girl and be simultaneously free and bound. Drawing from some of the themes in the novel, this workshop will explore the terrain that Black women and girls must traverse to discover and navigate freedom. Through a series of writing prompts and conversations, we will explore the relationship between freedom and themes like loneliness, care, love, silence, and healing. Prompts will incorporate music, art, film and other creative forms. This workshop welcomes participants who identify and Black womxn and write in any genre. (No prior knowledge of the novel is required to participate; however, participants will receive a complimentary copy of the book.)


*Saturdays / 1 – 3 PM (EDT)

*Runs April 24 – May 15 (4 weeks)
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.


In this creative nonfiction-centered workshop, writers will explore the art of interrogating memory. How do we do this and still tell the truth? During the last series writers in this class explored using voice to tell the truth and in this series writers will explore the art of interrogating, honoring, and rediscovering memories to tell the truth. Writers will respond to prompts after exploring mentor texts and the  craft moves of authors including but not limited to Jaquira Diaz, Damon Young, Kiese Laymon, Hari Ziyad, Maya Angelou, and Kendra Allen.

*Sundays / 5 – 7 PM (EDT)
*Runs April 25 – June 13 (8 weeks)
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.

CRAFTING THE STORY led by Shanté Cozier

This workshop is designed for both new writers and individuals with prose projects already in progress, including novels, short stories, and prose poetry. NYWC’s workshop leader, Shante’ Cozier, will offer prompts and techniques that help participants develop their skills at writing dialogue, creating dramatic scenes, expanding plot, and strengthening character development.

*Wednesdays / 5 – 7 PM (EDT)
*Runs April 28 – June 16 (8 weeks)
*This workshop will be capped at 12 participants.