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.

General Info

Describe your program idea in one sentence

Echoes Of Our Lives is a writing project that encourages adult writers in our learning centers to participate in a writers workshop in which they will write and publish their work.

Describe how you will highlight library resources, collection material, and/or programs

The project will use the library's catalog collection and make use of the library's collections of fiction, memoir and poetry. Reading is part of becoming a writer. Having an active working library card will be part of the project as we also want writers to understand that reading other writers is one of the aspects of becoming a writer.

Describe the community need you will address

The Echoes of Our Lives workshop will provide creative space and community for writers within the adult literacy learner community of Brooklyn Public Library. It is our hope that it will provide support for creative writers. It is our hope that it will provide literary opportunities to adult literacy learners.

Target Audience

Adults
Older Adults
Team Leads

Name

Anna Limontas-Salisbury

Location

New Lots Learning Center

Is this proposal a collaboration of 2 or more branches?

No
Community Partner

Organization Name

Imani House

Describe why you chose this/these partner(s) and the context of your collaboration

Executive Director of Imani House; Former Teacher, Certified Laubach Literacy Tutor Trainer; Established Imani House- a clinic for heatlh and adult literacy in Brooklyn and Liberia, Africa.

Imani House is an organization with adult literacy as the foundation of their services. This makes them a qualifed canidate to partner with Echos of Our Lives.

"Every person is a writer and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn and develop craft". Amherst Writers

Organization Name

NY Writers Coalition

Describe why you chose this/these partner(s) and the context of your collaboration

NY Writers Coalition workshops have been consistent standard in the community.  No matter how many times adult learners who write creatively, have been encouraged to attend their workshops, in both the Young Adult Literacy Programs or the Adult Learning Pre-HSE classes, they’ve not attended.  It’s important that we introduce adult learners who write creatively to outside sources in hopes that students will develop relationships with writing groups to continue to hone their craft.

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