Building a More Perfect Union

    April 26, 2022

    The New York City Writing Project and the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance has been awarded a grant through the National Writing Project’s Building a More Perfect Union program! As part of the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grantmaking for Organizations at the National Endowment for the Humanities (@NEHgov), Building a More Perfect Union funds organizations to develop programming in anticipation of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States.  #NWP #SHARP #NEHrecovery

    Learn more about about our award and project:

    A More Perfect Bronx History

    New York City Writing Project at Lehman College and the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
    New York, NY

    Van Cortlandt Exterior 1880s.

    This partnership between Lehman College’s New York City Writing Project and the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance will engage students from underserved Bronx high schools in a year-long experience focusing on learning and communicating the results of historical research to produce resources that will support the Alliance. Students will produce online media; interpret
    and explain history serving as site guides and docents; and contribute to creating opportunities for students, teachers, community members, and Park visitors to learn about the enslaved people who built, sustained, and lived on Van Cortlandt Plantation.


    Join the NYCWP Literature Seminar: “Reading Like a Writer II”

    February 4, 2022

    The New York City Writing Project is offering a new Spring Literature seminar: Reading Like a Writer II

    A continuation of last year’s successful ‘Reading Like a Writer,’ this seminar offers teachers a chance to pour over carefully selected texts to ask the question, “How did the author do it?” This semester we will be looking specifically to learn how to confront catastrophe, investigating prose that avoids sensation and evokes the maximum pathos through variously disintegrating characters or worlds. Each class will include a writing exercise that explores tricks that month’s author used within their own work.”

    Meetings: Once monthly, 1st Saturdays March-July, 10am-12pm

    Five session dates: 3/5, 4/2, 5/7, 6/4, 7/2

    CTLE credit approved.

    Participants must access their own copies of the following texts:

    • Ways of Going Home, Alejandro Zambra — A memoir-styled novel that grapples with Pinochet’s reign of terror in Chile by looking at the author’s parents, who supported the dictatorship.
    • My Tender Matador, Pedro Lamebel — Immediately in conversation with ‘Ways of Going Home,’ Pedro Lamebel’s queer novel also focuses on Chile during Pinochet, but this time with a drag queen protagonist who knowingly assists the student uprising.
    • Blood Sisters, Kim Yideum — Written in vignettes, Yideum’s novel follows a queer female protagonist on the streets of Seoul as she slowly unwinds during that country’s military dictatorship.
    • Ledfeather, Stephen Graham Jones — Jones’s book takes place on the Blackfeet Reservation where two timelines press against each other and we witness how the past cannot be divorced from the present.
    • Harrow, by Joy Williams: A novel of emotional and ecological breakdown, our final text looks at the end of the world through the everyday banality of the survivors. Written in Williams’ singular style, creeping senses of alienation are hardwired into the prose, showing us just what can be done when a writer commits to their concept on a word-to-word level.

    Cancelled: NYCWP Winter Writing Boot Camp 2021

    November 30, 2021

    The Winter Writing Boot Camp has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Looking to start a new piece of writing or creative project? Longing to get back to the page, but finding yourself blocked? Join the NYCWP for three days of generating your own creative writing! Over this three-day “boot camp,” writers will have the opportunity to engage with a variety of prompts and participate in micro-studies surrounding various craft elements, creative forms, and model readings. While participating for all three sessions is encouraged, as the activities will build, a pop-in model is also acceptable for those with limited time.

    CTLE credit approved.

    Event Information:

    • When: December 27, 28, and 29, 2021, 7pm-9pm
    • Who: Writers of all levels
    • Where: Online, zoom link after registration
    • Cost: $20 per individual session; $50 for 3-day session

    Contact: Jane.higgins@lehman.cuny.edu


    Teaching Argument Writing Fall 2021 Online Courses

    October 19, 2021

    The National Writing Project is pleased to announce its Fall 2021 Teaching Argument Writing online courses.

    These opportunities are open to all educators, so please share widely with teachers in your area. The primary purpose of these courses is to give as many teachers as possible access to the most high-leverage aspects of this program. The courses also provide opportunities for leaders at your site to access new and updated C3WP resources and learning experiences. 

    Interested in how your site could set up credits for these courses for teachers in your area through your institution? Sites have done that and we have examples to share! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you are interested in learning more about how that might work at your site.  


    Check Out the NYCWP’s Fall Literature Workshops

    September 14, 2021

    The NYCWP is offering two literature workshops this Fall 2021: “Redefining Memory” and “Subverting Genre.” Read about the programs below, and be sure to look out for similar programming in the future!

    Redefining Memory

    Writers are often told, “write what you know,” but that doesn’t mean memoir is not a deeply imaginative process. In this reading and discussion group, we will examine one text per month and discuss the ways in which experimental writers are bending the boundaries of memory and redefining what “autobiography” constitutes. We will experiment with different forms, modalities and narrative structures as participants repackage their own experiences into unique ways of telling their story. A second semester of this workshop will be offered in the spring with a different book list.  

    • October 16: In the Dream House, by Carmen Maria Machado
    • November 13: Dictee, by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
    • December 11: Jane: A Murder by Maggie Nelson
    • January 15: The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom

    When: Saturdays, 10am – 12pm

    Where: Online, Zoom

    Cost: $125

    Subverting Genre

    It is often the writer who dwells on the future that shows us the darkness of our own age. In this seminar we will be surveying multiple facets of genre fiction to discover what is possible outside the confines of “traditional” literature. Our goal will be to observe both the strengths and the weaknesses of each novel we explore to better understand what can be learned, borrowed, or adapted to our own work. Special care will be given to the prejudices or problematic aspects that may or may not exist within each novel with an aim of learning to subvert such tropes. While it is beyond the bounds of this course to be all-encompassing, the booklist has been designed to give solid introductions to Afro-futurism, historical speculative fiction, Lovecraftian cosmic horror, and 1960’s American science fiction.

    • October 9: Clay’s Ark, by Octavia Butler
    • November 6: Ledfeather, by Stephen Graham Jones
    • December 4: The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle
    • January 8: VALIS, by Philip K. Dick

    When: Saturdays, 10am – 12pm

    Where: Online, Zoom

    Cost: $125

    Contact: jane.higgins@lehman.cuny.edu

    Both workshops provide CTLE credit.


    Apply to the NYCWP Writers’ Residency Fall 2021

    August 31, 2021

    The New York City Writing Project (NYCWP) has designed the Writers’ Residency to foster the teacher-as-writer as they engage in an intensive and intimate writing workshop experience. Writers will read, write, workshop, and learn together to improve their writing craft and explore publication options. Writers of all levels are encouraged to apply. Past residency participants may join this residency program.

    The residency offers participants the opportunity to:

    • Enjoy dedicated time to write in the genre of their choice;
    • Explore and improve their craft in a community of writers;
    • Consider aspects of craft, style, and form;
    • Engage in focused workshop sessions to provide and receive feedback;
    • Read selections chosen with their writing style in mind;
    • Study craft essays and try out new techniques together;
    • Learn about publication opportunities with the NYCWP and elsewhere;
    • Earn CTLE credits for participation;
    • And more!

    When: October 7 – December 16, 2021

    • 6:00-9:00pm
    • 10 Thursday sessions (except for Thanksgiving)

    Who: Writers of All Levels

    Where: Zoom, link to follow registration

    Cost: $300

    Facilitators: Mallory McMahon and Alan Holt

    Contact: Jane.higgins@lehman.cuny.edu


    Write from Anywhere Summer Mini Institute

    June 17, 2021

    Renew and rejuvenate with writing while learning about the NYCWP’s student-centered approach to literacy learning across the disciplines.  

    The institute offers participants the opportunity to:

    • Read and write to process and reflect on the past year
    • Learn ways to engage students and support learning across disciplines
    • Share your practice and join the community of teachers teaching teachers
    • Write from Anywhere at Gateway National Recreation Center  
    • CTLE hours for participation
    • And more!

    When: July 19-22, 10am-1pm

    July 26 at Gateway National Recreation Center

    Who: Teachers PK-12 all subjects

    Where: Online, Zoom link to follow registration

    Cost: $100

    Contact: Jane.higgins@lehman.cuny.edu


    Join the NYCWP Celebratory Reading!

    May 21, 2021

    Writers Residency Celebratory Reading Spring 2021

    Join us to support our teacher-writers and find out more about the program!

    Our teacher-writers have been writing since early March, and they are now sharing their work publicly. In addition to supporting our teacher-writers, join us to learn about this program and how to apply for the Fall Writers Residency 2021.

    When: June 4 & 5, 2021 7:00pm – 8:00pm

    Where: Zoom– https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8484400980

    Contact: Jane@nycwritingproject.org

    Schedule for Readings:

    • Friday, June 4:
    • Nora Kurt
    • Diana Agosta
    • Michelle Koza
    • Emily Hartzell
    • John Rearick
    • Saturday, June 5:
    • Eve Becker
    • Leah Oppenzato
    • Darcy Minsky
    • Catlin Preston
    • Tee Pace

    More about the Writers Residency:
    This MFA-style workshop, designed for writers with works already in progress, draws participants through a series of intensive exercises, readings, and submissions of their own writing, toward a goal of improving and completing projects in various genres. Residents will be responsible for providing feedback to one another and participating in conversations about craft, style, form, function, and creative choices that deepen or texturize writing. Each resident will have the opportunity to submit two writing samples, which will be analyzed alongside mentor and master texts, to help each writer better understand their own strengths and points for future development.