Over the past year we've discovered a number of students staying late in the learning center or arriving early to work on their own writing projects. These were not the type of essays that students practice to prepare for the TASC, Test Assessing Secondary Completion. They were writing steamy romance, poetry and other personal stories like autobiographical memoir.
Students were sometimes asking for feedback on their writing; to listen for a phrase; asking about dialect.
Brooklyn Public Library Adult Learning Centers traditionally support students seeking to improve literacy around educational, employment and personal goals.
A personal goal that some of our students are aspiring to is to become published writers.
The project we are proposing is a workshop for the adult literacy learner who is a creative writer.
The workshop we propose is one in which the adult learner will experience practicing the craft of writing in a nourishing and supportive environment. Adult literacy learners will write in a safe space where they will share their work; learn to critique and give feedback; encourage and be encouraged; explore literary journals both print and digital; learn about submission guidelines; submit their work; write from prompts; review manuscripts and publish in an anthology the group will create.
Creative writing workshops are available at Brooklyn Public Library through NY Writers Coalition. Adult Literacy Learners are often private about their literacy skills and need very supportive environments. Adult learners not familiar with writers’ workshops might be encouraged to attend if they were introduced within the adult learner setting.
We’ve contacted NY Writers Coalition to support our efforts to engage our adult learners in creative writing.
We’ve contacted Women of Color Writers Workshop to conduct the workshops. WOC Writers Workshop has worked in the Brooklyn Community since 1999 for both women and men from diverse communities and cultures to hone their craft and create new work.
Imani House, Inc. Women of Color Writers Workshop, facilitator and Executive Director, Bisi Ideraabdullah has committed to conducting the workshops for our adult learners. Twelve writers would be given the opportunity to participate.
Brooklyn Public Library adult learning centers participate each year in the submissions process for the NYU Gallatin’s Literacy Review and Brooklyn Public Library’s New Expressions. The preparation for submission to these publications, don’t give the creative writer in the group a full writers experience.
What we propose is to offer the adult literacy learner creative writer an experience that includes workshops, manuscript review, literary opportunities that include publication, a launch party complete with authors reading and signing their books.