NY Writers Coalition Inc. (NYWC) empowers and enriches the lives of
New Yorkers of all backgrounds and experiences through the art of creative writing.
Participants in our free and low-cost writing workshops in New York City become part of a community of peers, present their work publicly through NYWC’s readings and publications, and connect with broader audiences. Our workshops are particularly targeted toward underserved people, including youth, seniors, women, LGBT communities, people with disabilities, people who are incarcerated or have been incarcerated, and others from traditionally silenced groups.
Writing and sharing their work with others in a safe atmosphere of respect and acceptance, NYWC’s writers discover the power of their own stories, gain confidence and a stronger sense of self, and become part of a creative and socially conscious community. We encourage creative writing as a long-term practice in the lives of our constituents, developing an audience and recognition of individuals’ artistic and personal value. We believe that everyone has a voice and a story and that the world is a better place when we respect, deeply listen to, and honor all of its citizens.
NY Writers Coalition’s Workshop Method
NYWC’s workshop method is designed to reduce competition among writers and allows writers of all backgrounds, ages, experience levels, and genres to work together and grow as writers. Writers in NYWC workshop are offered the opportunity to generate new writing in a supportive environment, and workshop size is limited to ensure that each member receives enough time and attention. Our workshops follow the Amherst Writers and Artists writing workshop method, created by Pat Schneider and described in her book Writing Alone and With Others.
Click here to read NYWC's tribute to Pat.
What happens during an NYWC workshop?
Each week, a NYWC-certified workshop leader supplies writing prompts to the writing group, but workshop members are free to ignore the given prompt and write on their own.
All standard NYWC writing workshops run for two hours. Workshop participants write together during the time allotted and are then encouraged, but not mandated, to share. Those who choose to share receive positive, supportive feedback from their writing group; 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.
NYWC workshops provide structure for writers to produce new work on a regular basis. Writers are given the freedom to find and strengthen their individual and unique voices and are encouraged to experiment with form, style, and new genres. Workshop members become part of a creative community, easing some of the isolation that they and those in marginalized groups often encounter.