On December 11, 2014, the New York City Writing Project hosted a writing marathon at Harlem’s Lenox Coffee, who generously donated their space. Despite the cold, blustery night, participants enjoyed the warm, cozy space of the café and got an impressive amount of writing done. Everyone wrote, shared and mingled in three cycles, which allowed us to get to know each other as writers as well as getting a little closer to our writerly selves.
Those who wanted to work on an existing project or simply freewrite were welcome to do so; however, Harlem-inspired prompts were provided in small bags that dotted the tabletops. In these bags were photographs, works of art and quotations; all of them were either directly related to Harlem or the product of a Harlem-based artist or writer. Some participants fished through the bags to find a prompt that spoke to them, while others left their prompting to fate and stuck with the first prompt they drew.
After the event ended, many participants lingered in the space to enjoy each others’ company or finish writing a few more lines. We are grateful to our wonderful facilitators (JoAnna Bueckert-Chan and Renee Ehle), to Harlem Coffee for providing the space, and to everyone who came to the event.