Who are your people? Who believes, plays, creates, organizes, identifies, looks, or lives like you? What groups do you seek out or find yourself in?

Family is most people’s first community, but we don’t choose our biological families. An important part of discovering your own identity is finding where you belong in the wider world. Who helps you be your true self? Who recognizes your unique contributions? Where are you inspired to grow?

This summer, 12 teens will come together to write non-fiction, memoir-style stories about community. You’ll learn narrative writing techniques along with research and interviewing skills as needed, and work one-on-one with a professional adult editor as well as sharing your work with your peers. Participants will publish at least one story in our online magazines.

Surprise us! We’re interested in stories that we haven’t even thought of, but you want to tell. Sorry, no fiction or poetry. If you have an experience of community that you think would help a reader, please apply for the workshop!

We especially want to publish stories that will show readers how young people find supportive people and spaces and how they discovered that a group was for them– or wasn’t for them. We’re interested in stories about communities that form around identity, neighborhood, an issue, an art form or sport or business.

Participate in writing lessons, discussions, and group activities. Explore the personal and sociopolitical factors that influence your idea of community.

Our workshop is a safe space for open conversations. Guest speakers and field trips will deepen our understanding of these topics. No prior writing experience is required, but you must be able to attend for all six weeks and will be expected to complete at least one publishable story. The writing process is rigorous, involving many drafts, but with lots of support and guidance from an editor. We will provide laptops and writer notebooks.

Our stories reach thousands of readers through our online publications and newsletters. Your story may also be republished by our media partners such as The Nation and Chalkbeat, or in Youth Communication curricula. 

The workshop will be held in person at our midtown office on West 38th Street. We will modify this as needed if the COVID situation changes, including providing masks.

All participants receive a $2,000 stipend for completing at least one story in the workshop. A daily two-trip MetroCard will also be provided. Dates: Monday, July 8 to Thursday, August 15.

For New York City youth who are ages 15-20 in summer 2024.

We will respond to all applicants by May 24 and schedule group interviews with prospective candidates during the following week May 27-31.