NYWC Day connects writing communities across New York

On Friday, May 18, 2012, people gathered from all five boroughs to celebrate NY Writers Coalition Day with writing workshops in iconic spots throughout New York.  Executive Director Aaron Zimmerman and several members of the NY Writers Coalition converged at Times Square, where they staged a guerilla-style takeover of the No. 7 train to host a NYWC-style writing workshop.  One participant described it as “an elevated train full of companionable & contemplative quiet.”  The NY Times joined us for the commute and we were thrilled to be featured in both the print and online editions.

The No. 7 train was one of 10 public workshops held to celebrate our 10th anniversary of leading over 7,000 writing workshops in underserved communities throughout New York.  Other locations included Brooklyn Bridge Park, where New Yorkers and visitors from Germany, Brussels, and Denmark assembled to write together.  When the workshop ended, leader Deborah Clearman noticed participants exchanging contact information.  “Just like that, a new community was born,” Clearman said.

Almost a dozen writers trekked to the Coney Island Side Show where, as Judy Chicurel described, “the seaside scenario provided a rich backdrop that spoke to the prompts and resulted in some terrific writing.”  At the Villalobos House in the Bronx, writers were inspired by the  neighborhood soundtrack of the “No. 1 train, the Mister Softee truck, several barking dogs, arias from inside the multi-color, multi-cultural house and street sounds from the hood,” said workshop leader Mary Ellen Sanger.  The day concluded, aptly, on the Staten Island Ferry.  Mary Feinberg, who led one of the breakout groups on the ferry, had this to say: “All of the people who participated had smiles on their faces and just appeared happy to be there and to be writing and sharing.”