Category: Blog

The Words Between Us Mic Check

We’re hosting a special virtual mic check featuring the participants of The Words Between Us: A Writing Series for Black Womxn on Sunday, January 10th starting at 7pm EST. It will be hosted by workshop leader, Alisha Acquaye. RSVP as a guest and show your support! Best of all it’s free and everyone is invited!

In the spirit of our mission, we’re giving our workshop participants the opportunity to share the writing they’ve created in this writing series with the entire NYWC community—and the public!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AS A GUEST

ABOUT THE WORDS BETWEEN US: The participants wrote to different themes revolving around Black womxnhood, and received readings from Black womxn writers. The readings were meant to inspire, entertain and ignite their imaginations. It’ll be a wonderful event to commemorate this cycle of this writing series and to show support to all of these amazing writers!

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Alisha Acquaye is a writer, artist and event organizer with a passion for mutual empowerment across POC communities, and self-imagination as an instrument for resistance. Her work—ranging from journalism, creative nonfiction and multi-media collaboration—explores the relationships between art, identity, culture and intersectionality. Alisha is particularly inspired by the creative and afrofuturistic methods Black people use to reclaim their narratives, and self-care and community building as formative weapons against oppression.

In addition to documenting and storytelling, Alisha co-founded Sister Circle Brunch, a womxn of color event for sharing food and discussing self-care, and Unblended, a photo and interview series that celebrates the importance of Afro Asian friendships. You can find Alisha at alishaacquaye.com and read her essays in Teen Vogue, GQ, Allure, OkayAfrica, ELLE, The Establishment, Catapult, and more.

Black Writers Program / “Yes, And…”: Craft and Revision for Multidisciplinary Artists

Between the two of them, Donnetta Lavinia Grays and nicHi douglas have careers that span playwriting, screenwriting, acting, dancing, and directing for stage, television, and film. That’s a lot of ground covered—but creative breadth is increasingly common among artists today. Join Grays and douglas on Saturday, December 19 as they speak on a panel moderated by NYWC Interim Program Director Calley Anderson about multidisciplinary art. They’ll share their experiences, processes, and explain how they refine their writing craft and express themselves fully while wearing multiple hats.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER

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Donnetta Lavinia Grays – raised in Columbia, South Carolina – is a Brooklyn based playwright and actor whose writing credits include WHERE WE STAND (Lucille Lortel Nominee, Drama League Nominee, 3X AUDELCO Nominee, World Premiere Co-production – WP Theater and Baltimore Centerstage. O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist.), WARRIORS DON’T CRY (Theaterworks USA/Bushnell commission), LAST NIGHT AND THE NIGHT BEFORE (World Premiere – Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  Kilroys List. Colorado New Play Summit. National New Play Network Showcase. Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award Winner.  O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist.), LAID TO REST (O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist.) THE REVIEW OR HOW TO EAT YOUR OPPOSITION (WP Pipeline Festival. O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist.) THE NEW NORMAL and THE COWBOY IS DYING. Donnetta a recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwright Award, Lilly Award, the National Theater Conference Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, and is the inaugural recipient of the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. She is a former Space on Ryder Farm Working Farm Resident, is Time Warner Foundation WP Playwrights Lab alumna, a Civilians R&D Group alumna, an Actors Studio Playwright/Directors Unit alumna, and a terraNova Collective Groundbreakers Playwright group alumna. Currently, she is developing work at Hedgebrook (*Covid Class). Her work has been previously developed with New Harmony Project, Ground Floor Berkeley Rep, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Labyrinth Theater Company, New York Theater Workshop, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Portland Stage Company, Pure Theatre Company, [the claque], Naked Angels, Classical Theater of Harlem, Slant Theater Project, terraNova Collective, Theatre 4 the People, TOSOS, The Group Lab and Coyote REP. Donnetta is currently under commission from Steppenwolf, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and WP Theater. For television she has been staffed on Spectrum Original/Lionsgate’s “Manhunt”, “Y: The Last Man” for FX Network/Color Force and is currently an Executive Story Editor on “Joe Exotic” starring Kate McKinnon for NBC Universal.

Donnetta’s acting credits include Broadway’s IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY and WELL. She has originated numerous roles including the Off-Broadway debut of her solo show WHERE WE STAND, O, EARTH (The Foundry Theatre), MEN ON BOATS (Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb) OF GOVERNMENT, TIN CAT SHOES and 16 WORDS OR LESS (Clubbed Thumb), BE THE DEATH OF ME and IN THE FOOTPRINT (The Civilians- as an Associate Artist), and SHIPWRECKED! AN ENTERTAINMENT (Primary Stages). Regionally, she has enjoyed runs at American Conservatory Theater, Barrington Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, Arena Stage, Hartford Theaterworks, Portland Stage Company, Baltimore Centerstage, Huntington Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and LA Women’s Shakespeare Co. She is a 2-time Connecticut Critic’s Circle Award Winner and a Helen Hayes Award Nominee. Her film and TV credits include THE BOOK OF HENRY (with Naomi Watts), WILD CANARIES, THE ENGLISH TEACHER (with Julianne Moore), THE WRESTLER (opposite Mickey Rourke and Evan Rachel Wood). She’s enjoyed recurring roles on NEW AMSTERDAM, HAPPY, RUBICON, MERCY and Law and Order: SVU. And guest starring roles on HIGH MAINTENANCE, THE NIGHT OF, BLUE BLOODS,THE BLACKLIST, A GIFTED MAN, LAW AND ORDER, L&O:CI and THE SOPRANOS. She is a Civilians Associate Artist and a frequent cast member of many Outside the Wire/Theater of War projects. Donnetta is a Part-Time Lecturer at The New School of Drama. BA: College of Charleston. MFA: University of California, Irvine.

nicHi douglas is a Brooklyn-based performer, choreographer, director, writer and ART-IVIST. she is the Head of Movement in the NYU/Tisch Playwrights Horizons Theater School studio. her sacred offering for Black womxn, (pray), co-composed by Starr Busby & JJJJJerome Ellis, will be produced by Ars Nova when theaters reopen. nicHi’s reparations-based mutual aid fund, nicHi’s SuSu, launched in October 2020. recent stage credits: A Time Like This: Music for Change (Carnegie Hall, Stage Director), Girl From the North Country (Public Theater, Associate Choreographer), where love lies fallow (The Shed, The Public Theater, Playwright/Choreographer/Director), SKiNFoLK: An American Show (The Bushwick Starr/National Black Theater, Choreographer). upcoming: Untitled Mockumentary Project (Ars Nova, Executive Producer/Director), The Harriet Holland Social Club Presents … (The Movement Theatre Company/New Georges, Movement Director). BFA, Tisch/NYU; MFA, The New School. You can find more at www.mynameisnicHi.com

 

NYWC’s Virtual Mic-Check 12/18/20

NY Writers Coalition (NYWC) is hosting a virtual open mic night on Friday, December 18th, from 7 – 8 pm EDT hosted by Jon Sands. Not to mention it’s our last Mic Check of 2020!

In the spirit of our mission, we’re giving our workshop attendees and leaders the opportunity to share the writing they’ve created in our virtual workshops with the entire NYWC community—and the public!

To attend as a guest, register for the Zoom webinar, CLICK HERE

HOW THE OPEN MIC WORKS:
NYWC hosts three creative writing workshops per day, six days a week. Participants respond to prompts issued by the workshop leader and write for a designated amount of time. In our Mic Check events, participants and leaders will have the chance to share what they’ve written with the public. Each person will read for a max of three minutes.
 
ABOUT NYWC:
NY Writers Coalition work amplifies the voices of historically unheard and under-resourced individuals in our society; we welcome people of all backgrounds into our free virtual creative writing workshops. No writing experience is necessary, and writers of all levels of experience are welcome. In each workshop, participants write a piece in response to optional prompts provided by the workshop leader. NYWC’s workshops are based on the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method developed by Pat Schneider and are led by an experienced, trained workshop leader.
 
ABOUT JON SANDS:
Jon Sands is a winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series, selected for his second book, It’s Not Magic (Beacon Press, 2019). He is the author of The New Clean, the co-host of The Poetry Gods Podcast, and a curator for SupaDupaFresh, a monthly reading series at Ode to Babel in Brooklyn. His work has been featured in the New York Times, as well as anthologized in The Best American Poetry. He teaches at Brooklyn College, Urban Word NYC, and facilitates a weekly writing workshop for adults at Baily House, an HIV/AIDS service center in East Harlem. He tours extensively as a poet but lives in Brooklyn.

Black Writers Program / Capital B “Black”: Writing about Blackness with Hari Ziyad

Learn more about our Black Writers Program.

Capital B “Black”: Writing about Blackness with Hari Ziyad*
Thursday, December 10 from 6-7:30pm

Join Editor-in-Chief of RaceBaitr and author of the upcoming memoir Black Boy Out of Time Hari Ziyad for an interactive lecture on all that it means to center Blackness in your work and professional career, particularly in a world where it can further marginalize the already marginalized. What are the unmistakable rewards? The challenges? How do you learn to be adamant and immoveable in that choice?

*PLEASE NOTE: This event is exclusive to Black writers and artists. We ask that individuals who are not Black abstain from signing up.

Click here to pre-order the memoir Black Boy Out of Time, which is set to be released on March 1, 2021.

CLICK HERE to REGISTER

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Hari Ziyad is a cultural critic, a screenwriter, the editor-in-chief of RaceBaitr, and the author of Black Boy Out of Time. They are a 2021 Lambda Literary Fellow, and their writing has been featured in BuzzFeed, Out, the Guardian, Paste magazine, and the academic journal Critical Ethnic Studies, among other publications. Previously they were the managing editor of the Black Youth Project and a script consultant on the television series David Makes Man. Hari spends their all-too-rare free time trying to get their friends to give the latest generation of R & B starlets a chance and attempting to entertain their always very unbothered pit bull mix, Khione. For more information about the author, visit www.hariziyad.com.

Black Writers Program / Excite Strategies: Craft & Revision for Poets with Angel Nafis

For all the poets out there: Our next Black Writers Program event is just for you!

Excite Strategies: Craft and Revision for Poets with Angel Nafis
Tuesday, November 17th from 7-8:30pm EST

First drafts are the seed of any great piece — but what happens after that initial burst of creativity? How do you revise a poem and know when it’s truly complete? What are the tools that all poets need to have at their disposal to craft a compelling, completed poem? Join poet Angel Nafis as she takes you through an interactive journey that answers all these questions and more!

CLICK HERE to REGISTER

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Angel Nafis is the author of BlackGirl Mansion (Red Beard Press, 2012). She earned her BA at Hunter College and her MFA in poetry at Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in BuzzFeed Reader, them, Poetry Magazine, The BreakBeat Poets anthologies series and elsewhere. Nafis is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, Millay Colony, the Poetry Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Founder and curator of the Greenlight Bookstore Poetry Salon, she is also half of the ODES FOR YOU Tour with poet, musician, and visual artist Shira Erlichman, and with poet Morgan Parker, she runs The Other Black Girl Collective. Reading poems and facilitating workshops across the country she lives and works in Brooklyn.

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Want to know more about future events, panels, workshops, readings and offerings from our Black Writers Program? Click here.

NYWC’s Virtual Mic-Check 11/13/20

NY Writers Coalition (NYWC) is hosting a virtual open mic night on Friday, November 13, from 7 – 8 pm EDT hosted by Jon Sands!

In the spirit of our mission, we’re giving our workshop attendees and leaders the opportunity to share the writing they’ve created in our virtual workshops with the entire NYWC community—and the public!

To attend as a guest, register for the Zoom webinar, CLICK HERE

HOW THE OPEN MIC WORKS:
NYWC hosts three creative writing workshops per day, six days a week. Participants respond to prompts issued by the workshop leader and write for a designated amount of time. In our Mic Check events, participants and leaders will have the chance to share what they’ve written with the public. Each person will read for a max of three minutes.
 
ABOUT NYWC:
NY Writers Coalition work amplifies the voices of historically unheard and under-resourced individuals in our society; we welcome people of all backgrounds into our free virtual creative writing workshops. No writing experience is necessary, and writers of all levels of experience are welcome. In each workshop, participants write a piece in response to optional prompts provided by the workshop leader. NYWC’s workshops are based on the Amherst Writers and Artists workshop method developed by Pat Schneider and are led by an experienced, trained workshop leader.
 
ABOUT JON SANDS:
Jon Sands is a winner of the 2018 National Poetry Series, selected for his second book, It’s Not Magic (Beacon Press, 2019). He is the author of The New Clean, the co-host of The Poetry Gods Podcast, and a curator for SupaDupaFresh, a monthly reading series at Ode to Babel in Brooklyn. His work has been featured in the New York Times, as well as anthologized in The Best American Poetry. He teaches at Brooklyn College, Urban Word NYC, and facilitates a weekly writing workshop for adults at Baily House, an HIV/AIDS service center in East Harlem. He tours extensively as a poet but lives in Brooklyn.

Black Writers Program: INSIDE THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

The publishing industry can be hard to decipher from the outside looking in. But how do you “get in”? Where do you start as a writer? How do you get published in the first place? Join our panelists as they walk through their experiences as Black women navigating through the publishing world, their points of access, and what it means to be a “professional” in the industry today.
This panel will feature Jennifer Baker, Kaitlyn Greenidge, & Quressa Robinson and be moderated by our Interim Program Manager, Calley Anderson.

CLICK HERE to RSVP as a guest

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ABOUT OUR GUESTS

Calley Anderson is the Interim Program Manager for NYWC and a Brooklyn-based playwright from Memphis, Tennessee. She is a graduate of Davidson College (BA in English, Concentration in Film and Media Studies) and The New School for Drama (MFA in Playwriting). Anderson spent three years working in the Memphis non-profit arts sector before moving to NYC in 2017. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the American Theatre Group PlayLab, a 2020-2021 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, and is currently commissioned by the University of Memphis Dept. of Theatre and Dance. Anderson is also one of eighteen Memphis Hub fellows of the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Forum for Young Cultural Innovators. Learn more at calleynanderson.com.

Jennifer Baker is a publishing professional of 17 years, creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and contributing editor to Electric Literature. In 2017, she received a NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship and a Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant for Nonfiction Literature. Her essay “What We Aren’t (or the Ongoing Divide)” was listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2018. In 2019, she was named Publishers Weekly Superstar for her contributions to inclusion and representation in publishing. Jennifer is also the editor of the all PoC-short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life (Atria Books, 2018). She has volunteered with organizations such as We Need Diverse Books and I, Too Arts Collective, and spoken widely on topics of inclusion, the craft of writing/editing, podcasting, and the inner-workings of the publishing industry. Her fiction, nonfiction, and criticism has appeared in various print and online publications. Her website is: jennifernbaker.com.

Kaitlyn Greenidge‘s debut novel is We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books), one of the New York Times Critics’ Top 10 Books of 2016. Her writing has appeared in the Vogue, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, Elle.com, BuzzFeed, Transition Magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, American Short Fiction and other places. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Whiting Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study other places. She was a contributing editor for LENNY Letter and is currently a contributing writer for The New York Times. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. Kaitlyn’s forthcoming novel, Libertie, will be released in March 2021. Her website is: kaitlyngreenidge.com.

Quressa Robinson joined the Nelson Literary Agency in 2017 after working as an editor for five years. She is originally from San Francisco, but has been living in New York City for over a decade. As a New York based agent, she is eager to build her MG, YA, and Adult lists. When not curled on her couch reading, she plays video games, enjoys too much TV–mostly Sailor Moon and Avatar: The Last Airbender (Fire Nation!), eats delicious things, drinks champagne, hangs out with her very clever partner, and adds another “dramatic” color to her lipstick collection. Quressa is also a member of the 2017-2020 WNDB Walter Grant Committee and holds an MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction from Columbia University. In 2020, she was named one of five PW Star Watch finalists.

Introducing Our Online Journal!

click here to view the journal!

2020 has been a year filled with many challenges, and it has introduced to us new ways of thinking, living, and doing. Earlier this year, at the onset of COVID-19, we here at NY Writers Coalition deployed our corps of writers & activists—our workshop leaders—to provide virtual creative writing workshops to our community. These workshops have now expanded to our outreach programs and specialty workshops, including our newly-launched Black Writers Program.

In spite of the difficulties of these times, each new day continues to bring reminders that most people are caring, loving, creative, and compassionate in the face of the most challenging circumstances. In our virtual public workshops, our leaders and participants have been able to form deeply supportive communities, and their stories that have emerged continue to help name what may feel unspeakable at this moment. Further still, these virtual workshops have remained true to our mission: To create safe spaces for creativity and deep listening, to find purpose, and to support and uplift the members of our community and, now, the world at large.

We invite you to explore the beginnings of our Journal, and to keep checking back as we go on to include new writing. To remain updated with our most current virtual workshops and events, please sign up for our newsletter here. And if you would like to consider making a much-appreciated donation, you can find that here.

I Am Music: Horror Edition / Creative Writing Workshop

In this special horror edition deep dive writing workshop led by NYWC workshop leader Alisha Acquaye, we’ll specifically listen to Black musicians who use horror, absurdity, mystery and eccentricity in their art. Through curated media lists (essays, music videos, performances, interviews, music reviews and more), group discussions and imaginative writing prompts, we’ll use music as a guide to writing through our complex emotions, ideas and fears.

This workshop will begin on Wednesday, October 7th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. (edt), and will meet six (6) weeks until November 11th.

(Note: this is a creative writing workshop, not a songwriting workshop! But songwriters are welcome. )

Workshop title inspired by Timbaland and Magoo’s song “I Am Music” featuring Aaliyah and Static Major.

APPLICATIONS TO THIS WORKSHOP ARE CLOSED

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR DROP-IN WORKSHOP FOR BLACK WRITERS


Alisha Acquaye is a writer, artist and event organizer with a passion for mutual empowerment across POC communities, and self-imagination as an instrument for resistance. Her work—ranging from journalism, creative nonfiction and multi-media collaboration—explores the relationships between art, identity, culture and intersectionality. Alisha is particularly inspired by the creative and afrofuturistic methods Black people use to reclaim their narratives, and self-care and community building as formative weapons against oppression.

In addition to documenting and storytelling, Alisha co-founded Sister Circle Brunch, a womxn of color event for sharing food and discussing self-care, and Unblended, a photo and interview series that celebrates the importance of Afro Asian friendships. You can find Alisha at alishaacquaye.com and read her essays in Teen Vogue, GQ, Allure, OkayAfrica, ELLE, The Establishment, Catapult, and more.

Black Nightmare Creative Writing Workshop

In this month long writing workshop, led by NYWC workshop leader Alisha Acquaye, we’ll watch and discuss films and television episodes revolving around Black horror. We’ll write into the themes, ideas and inquiries these visuals introduce, and contemplate how they intersect within our identities, relationships, society, and most of all, our creativity.

This is a 5-week workshop that will begin on October 8th from 6-8 p.m (edt) until November 5th.

APPLICATIONS TO THIS WORKSHOP ARE CLOSED

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR DROP-IN WORKSHOP FOR BLACK WRITERS

 


Alisha Acquaye is a writer, artist and event organizer with a passion for mutual empowerment across POC communities, and self-imagination as an instrument for resistance. Her work—ranging from journalism, creative nonfiction and multi-media collaboration—explores the relationships between art, identity, culture and intersectionality. Alisha is particularly inspired by the creative and afrofuturistic methods Black people use to reclaim their narratives, and self-care and community building as formative weapons against oppression.

In addition to documenting and storytelling, Alisha co-founded Sister Circle Brunch, a womxn of color event for sharing food and discussing self-care, and Unblended, a photo and interview series that celebrates the importance of Afro Asian friendships. You can find Alisha at alishaacquaye.com and read her essays in Teen Vogue, GQ, Allure, OkayAfrica, ELLE, The Establishment, Catapult, and more.

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