A list of NYC’s best writing resources for teachers, parents and students. Take a look below and don’t forget to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to add a resource!
Student Classes, Programs & Resources
Adult Classes, Programs & Resources
Mentorship & Tutoring
826NYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. Each year we organize a Young Authors’ Book Project. Working closely with teachers, we match a well-known guest author and volunteers with students at a school for a semester-long writing and publishing project. 826NYC staff work closely with a teacher in the school to determine the subject of the project that aligns with the teacher’s current curriculum and Common Core standards. Once defined, volunteers work with students on a weekly basis to assist them as they write and edit their pieces. The students’ stories, essays and/or poems are ultimately collected and professionally published.
In addition to the YABP, we run multi-session in-school projects each year to provide curriculum support to teachers. These projects culminate in a publication of the students’ work. Each project is led by our Director of Education, Rebecca Darugar, with the help of four to five trained volunteers.
The strength of our volunteer base allows us to provide in-school support to work with students in New York City classrooms. If you are a K-12 teacher and would like to add your name to our in-schools waitlist, please email our Director of Education, Rebecca Darugar at email@example.com. 718-499-9884
Center for Fiction
Provides low-cost workshops led by celebrated and award-winning writers. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Girls Who Write
With mentors and mentees writing side by side, our monthly workshops are where are community gathers, where we take creative risks, where we remember that we are all in this together. Everyone is challenged to work outside her natural genre: poets become memoirists, memoirists become screenwriters, writers become performing comedians. Focus is girls, underserved and high school, but a resource for authors, honing craft and mentorship model. 212.336.9330
Established in 1993, Gotham soon became a New York City institution, then a virtual home to writers from almost every country in the world. View an online course catalog for Spring 2016 at https://www.writingclasses.com/cat/GWW_Spring_2016.pdf
Institute for Writing & Thinking, Bard College
Professional Development Opportunity. The July weeklong workshops offer teachers an opportunity to develop an understanding of “writing-based teaching,” its theory and practices, and its application in the classroom. Each workshop will focus on writing methods that deepen learning across all subject areas–literature, history, grammar, and STEM.
Early-bird fee: $1,350 – The early-bird deadline is June 1, 2016
Regular fee (after June 1): $1,500
Early-bird Commuter fee*: $1,050
Regular Commuter fee* (after June 1): $1,200
INTERLOCHEN Center for the Arts
Creative Writing Program for Grades 6-9. Immerse yourself in the world of poetry and fiction during our three-week creative writing program for grades 6-9. Guided by teachers who are also professional writers, you will develop a portfolio of poems and stories, and learn how to give and receive constructive feedback.
Johns Hopkins CTY Online Programs Writing Series
The Johns Hopkins University CTY Online Programs Writing Series is designed especially for these children. Begun in 1983 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, these courses provide gifted writers in grades 5-12 rare opportunities to work with professional writers to explore both academic and creative writing.
Crafting the Essay- http://cty.jhu.edu/summer/docs/syllabi/wrtg_1.pdf
Writing About Place– http://cty.jhu.edu/summer/docs/syllabi/wbay_1.pdf
Whodunit? Mystery and Suspense on Literature and Film– http://cty.jhu.edu/summer/docs/syllabi/whod_1.pdf
Writing for an Audience– http://cty.jhu.edu/ctyonline/courses/arts_humanities/writing_for_audience_all.html
Lincoln Center Theater- Songwriting in the Schools
In the Songwriting in the Schools Program, middle and high school students engage in a rigorous creative process, writing their own songs from a character’s point of view under the guidance of a professional lyricist and a composer. At the end of the 9-session residency, students share their work with their peers. All students receive a CD of their songs. 212-501-3247
Lincoln Center Theater, Middle School Shakespeare Program
Middle school students study one Shakespeare play a year and participate with LCT teaching artists in an interactive performance of that play at Lincoln Center in May.
NYU Creative Writing Program
Welcome to the undergraduate Creative Writing Program. Located in the very heart of literary Greenwich Village, the undergraduate program offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the writing life with workshops, readings, internships, writing prizes, and events designed to cultivate and inspire.
Play Scripts for Middle School
Playscripts plays and musicals represent a great diversity of voices, styles, and stories, and have been enjoyed in over 100 countries. We license amateur and professional productions, publish standard acting editions, binder books, collections, and eScripts. The Playscripts website provides a unique and extensive suite of services for playwrights and customers. Visitors can search for plays that fit their specific needs, read lengthy script samples for free, and buy books and performance rights, online with ease.
SKIDMORE COLLEGE- The 18th annual New York State Summer Young Writers Institute (NYSSYWI)
June 28 – July 10, 2016 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. Co-sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and Skidmore College, this well-established creative writing workshop for high school students provides opportunities to work one-on-one with professional writers and editors. Participants will receive instruction in poetry, fiction, and dramatic writing (screenwriting, playwriting, and dramatic monologue) from nationally recognized writers who are also skillful teachers. The NYSSYWI provides young authors with not only opportunities to develop professionally, but also with recognition, respect, and invaluable peer support. The Institute is open to any high school student entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade in the fall of 2016, who is a resident of the United States.
Symphony Space/ Thalia Book Club
Thalia Book Club Camp is a unique program geared for avid readers and writers ages 9 – 13 offering up-close interaction with favorite children’s book authors and illustrators. Campers will meet with children’s book authors, take part in book discussions, and go on book-related field trips around New York City. For more info about the camp visit http://www.symphonyspace.org/thalia-book-club-camp or contact Madeline Cohen at email@example.com or 212.864.1414 ext. 221.
Teaching of Writing Institute at TC
SUMMER INSTITUTE JUNE 20-24 & AUG 1-5- $825 Writing Institute Highlights: Common Core-aligned curriculum development in the teaching of writing; Creating ambitious goals that encourage independence, volume, qualities of good writing and craft; Genre studies in writing essays, short fiction and informational texts; Methods of holding students accountable for doing their best work; Teaching reading in the writing workshop; Classroom structures that support inquiry and collaboration; Using performance assessments and writing continua to develop data-based instruction in writing; Toolkits, charts and other resources that support writers in revision; Teaching students to research towards source-based information and argument writing and using technology to enhance the research and writing process.
The Writers Studio
Creative fiction and poetry workshops to high school students living in Brooklyn. After-school workshops and an intensive summer writing camp are offered free of charge in Bedford-Stuyvesant at the Beacon Center inside Middle School 35. The purpose of these workshops is to help high school students discover their personal voices through writing and reading contemporary fiction and poetry. For more info contact Rebecca Gee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 347-633-2280
The Writing Faculty
We believe that every student benefits from individualized attention. Our instructors tailor each writing course to your student’s specific needs, customizing lesson plans and assignments to fit his or her skill level, goals, and learning style. You can choose your preferred tutor from our team of exceptional instructors, all of whom have a wealth of teaching and writing experience. Programs offered for elementary and middle school students in the categories of Academic Support, Admissions Assistance, Creative Writing and Unique Writing Programs. http://www.thewritingfaculty.com/programs-ems/elementary-middle-school-fiction-programs/ 1-800-262-WRITE
University of Virginia Young Writers Workshop
Summer 2016 Dates * Session I: June 19-July 1 * Session II: July 3-22 9th-12th graders- The Studio Workshops evolve through the dynamic principles of play, invention, response, revision, performance, and publication. Participants learn strategies to invent, develop, and revise material using the writer’s most essential tools—language, imagination, craft, sight, and insight. They conference with instructors and peer writers. They examine contemporary artists’ work. They become more discerning readers.
Courses include: Intro to Storytelling; The Elements of Fiction; Creating Otherworlds; Writing & Drawing Comics; Writing for the Stage; Write Like a Girl. For more info contact Kate Reuther, Executive Director at (929) 27-STORY. Kate Reuther is the founder and director of Uptown Stories. She has taught writing for over fifteen years, in both public and private schools, including Calhoun, Fieldston, and Bank Street. Her own fiction has appeared in The Madison Review, Brain Child, Salamander, and The Ledge. She has a BA in English from Yale and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Writopia Lab fosters joy, literacy, and critical thinking in children and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing. *They are offering a FREE 3 hour workshop for educators on JUNE 9 For more info contact Rebecca Wallace-Segall ; Executive Director; email@example.com (212) 222-4088.
Young Writers Workshop
Six studio workshops are offered in Graphic Fiction & Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Songwriting, Screen and Playwriting
Young Writers Workshop at Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Grades 9-11; Unlike conventional workshops in expository and creative writing, Simon’s Rock’s focuses on using informal, playful, expressive writing as a way to strengthen skills of language and thinking. Out of these informal writing activities, using techniques of peer response, students develop more polished pieces, ranging from pers onal narratives to stories, poems, and exploratory essays. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-528-723.
ONLINE TOOLS FOR THE WRITER
|EVERNOTE||Drafting & Research||There’s a good chance you’re already using the ever-popular Evernote. And you should: it’s perfect for storing your research, no matter the shape it might take: Evernote syncs text notes, photos, scans, web pages, and audio recordings between devices and makes them searchable, and for that alone, it’s a must-have.
It’s probably less popular as word processor. There are a slew of other options, including Apple’s fully featured Pages and minimalist apps like Writings, tyype, and Daedalus, which promise a distraction-free environment. I’ve tried most of them and always returned to Evernote for my on-the-go drafting needs: it’s already on my home screen, it has just enough features, the full screen mode is clean and simple, and it syncs automatically. And if you have a premium account, it keeps a history of your notes in case you want to roll back to an earlier version.
|PENULTIMATE||Handwriting||Typing is more efficient, but for certain kinds of writing, I switch to longhand. For years, I carried a Moleskine wherever I went, but no more: a capacitive stylus and Penultimate take care of all my longhand needs. Of all the note-taking apps I tried, Penultimate offers the best balance of features, simplicity, and elegance — and the app was purchased by Evernote, so it integrates nicely. Pro tip: try a number of different styluses. In my experience, there are huge differences in how smoothly they slide across the iPad’s screen.|
|INDEX CARD||Outlining||The latest addition to my toolbox, Index Card has quickly earned itself a spot on my home screen. Not every writer believes in outlining, but the ability to jot down notes and quickly shuffle them around a corkboard is useful for working out any number of structural problems — and it’s dead easy. Index Card in the little brother of the popular Windows/Mac outlining software Scrivener and lets you export your work in a number of formats.|
|GOODREADER||Editing||Before the iPad, I went through massive amounts of paper. To edit a manuscript, I had to print, hold, and annotate it with a pen. Now, I save a PDF to GoodReader and mark up the document with a stylus. It lets me interact with the text as if it were a printed page and handwrite in the margins. Every draft goes through a pass in GoodReader now, and it’s also what I use for my clients’ manuscripts as developmental editor for MJedit.|
|CLOUD ON||Word Processing||Minimalist interfaces are great for drafting, but depending on what stage your manuscript is in, it sometimes has to be Word. CloudOn offers a slick, somewhat-stripped-down Office experience on the iPad, including Microsoft Word. It connects via Dropbox so it’s easy to find and sync your files. The only downside: it requires an Internet connection to work.|
|OFLOW||Oblique Strategies||Oflow randomly serves one of more than a hundred creative methods, such as “act it out” or “emulate” as a way to jumpstart your brain. You can mark favorites and set daily pop-up reminders. The methods are reminiscent of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, which aren’t available as app but as Twitter feed: @oblique.|
|STORYCUBES||Creativity||My 3-year-old daughter loves the real-life inspiration for this app, 9 dice with 54 icons that are designed to generate stories. The app lets you roll the dice virtually and offers expansion packs. Use them when you’re stuck in a scene: wondering how to insert one of the images into your work is sometimes enough to trick your mind into seeing things in a new way.|
|BRAINSTORMER||Ideas||The Brainstormer is a very attractive app that spins wheel to randomly combine plots, subjects, and styles. Tap once, and you get, for instance: “Sacrifice for Love/grunge/taxi cab.” It’s great for quick prompts or a new impulse. And if you don’t like the included wheels, you can add your own scenarios. While I’ve never written anything based directly on a Brainstormer result, it’s simply too much fun not to recommend.|
|BEAUTIFUL TAROT||Archetypes||Regardless of how much you know about the ancient system of the tarot, this app allows you to milk the 78 cards of the minor and major arcana for ideas — shuffle and flip them, and the built-in descriptions offer archetypal characters and situations you can combine into stories. And if you don’t like the provided readings, there’s room to add your own. (I’m partial to learntarot.com and Rachel Pollack.)|
|PLOTTO||Plotting||This one’s a little bit of a cheat since Plotto isn’t really an app but a book from 1928. In it, William Wallace Cook purports to have put together a system of all possible plots—a whopping 1462 of them. You can get a beautiful new hardcover edition of Plotto from Tin House, but for your iPad, I recommend this $2.99 crosslinked ebook. The Plotto method involves a lot of flipping back and forth to combine scenes and conflicts into storylines, all cross-referenced by number codes, and thanks to the links, the ebook version becomes a highly usable hypertext app that’s stuffed with great ideas.|
|Write or Die||Science the ‘Write’ Way||Allows users to set word count goals for themselves, with various punishments administered if the word counts aren’t met. The app can either be set to stimulus mode, in which luxuries such as a user-created playlist are taken away when goals aren’t met, and consequence mode, in which laziness is met with “the disappointed glare of grumpy cat.”|