Workshops

Apogee staff and affiliates are committed to the power of merging literature and social justice, not only in our journal but also in classrooms, writing groups, and community centers. Our outreach covers a variety of subjects from identity politics and direct action to craft-focused workshops. We are excited to participate in and collaborate with organizations creating space for underrepresented artists and writers. Please find our list of current and past programming below. For queries regarding workshop and project proposals, email alexandra@apogeejournal.org.

Writing in the Margins Workshop
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

An eight-week activism workshop series hosted by Apogee Journal and NY Writers Coalition to explore the politics of identity and social justice in, and through, creative writing. The first workshop took place from April 2 – May 21, 2015. Each session encompassed both critical discussion and writing. The critical discussion addressed a variety of topics including race, gender, intersectionality, privilege, and allyship. The creative writing component encompassed a NYWC-style workshop in which writers responded to writing prompts during a sustained, reflective writing time, followed by non-obligatory sharing and responses to the work read. Guest poets, writers, and activists visited throughout the eight weeks, and it concluded with a reading of participants’ work at Verso Books.

Apogee Writing & Activism Workshop Series is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

“Becoming socially responsible writers”
Hudson Valley Writers Center
Sleepy Hollow, NY

Recent events have shown us that we are still a long way from achieving equal rights for all people in America. Many of us want to write “politically”–for example, write work that responds to the recent events surrounding police brutality in Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri, or Staten Island, New York–or injustices that are occurring in the fields of women’s rights, healthcare and migration. How can we as writers approach political subjects that we might not have first-hand experience in? How can we develop the language and tools to identify power structures, abuses of privilege, and “blind spots” in our writing and the writing we read? “Becoming socially responsible writers” is a workshop led by the editors of Apogee Journal, a literary-activist journal that works to highlight voices marginalized from mainstream literature. This workshop will have both critical discussion elements and writing exercises, involving a reading of literary texts followed by directed, critical discussion on ways to dissect topics like race, gender, class, and sexuality in literature, and written exercises exploring these subjects through narrative, voice, point of view, and topic choice. The workshop, in keeping with the Writers Center’s mission, will be open to writers and readers at all levels.

The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1988 with a mission to advance the art and craft of writing by encouraging writers and readers at all levels to participate in and enjoy the literary arts. For more, visit https://writerscenter.org/.

“Everything I Couldn’t Say: Poetry & Prose From GUMBO”
January – May 2015
Benjamin Banneker Academy
Brooklyn, NY

This collection of poetry, prose and visual art is the battle cry of Great United Minds Believing in Ourselves (GUMBO), NY Writers Coalition’s after-school workshop for teens at Benjamin Banneker Academy in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Apogee staff taught publishing principles to the group of young writers, assisted in editing and production of the printed volume that was celebrated by a release party. The GUMBO Writing Group was made possible by the Cultural After School Adventures Initiative (CASA), supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

“Writing and Activism: How can we be good allies?”
November 1, 2014
New York Writers Coalition Write-a-thon
Brooklyn, NY

A workshop at the NY Writers Coalition’s annual Write-a-Thon, New York City’s most popular marathon writing event. The workshop was an informal critical discussion addressing privilege, hierarchy, and the social power dynamics we encounter in published writing we read, the work we write ourselves, and the unpublished work we encounter in workshop environments. The session consisted of a short reading of texts, a writing exercise, and a directed discussion on the role of allies in literature.