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On various Saturdays and some weeknights, Queens writers will study and practice craft with some of the best writers from our area. These classes focus on a particular theme, craft technique, or element of poetry, memoir, essay, or fiction writing and include reading, discussion, and lots of writing time. These classes are not critique groups and no one will tell anyone what they were doing wrong with their writing—these classes are a chance to be inspired, to meet fellow writers, and to write, write, write. They are free and open to everyone, no matter their experience with writing or number of publications.

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, in-person Newtown Literary classes are postponed until further notice. We do have instructors and classes on deck through the end of the year which will likely all take place online. 


Click through our free writing class offerings below to RSVP and receive instructions on how to join. Stay safe and WRITE ON!

Crafting Personal Statements and Applying for Grants & Residencies

September 19, 2020

2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Writing a personal statement is HARD! Sometimes harder than writing itself. But it’s part of the vital logistical life of an artist. In this two-day workshop, held on Saturday, September 19th and Saturday, September 26th, we will learn how to write clear, concise, and compelling personal statements through in-class brainstorming and feedback. We will also discuss tools for managing submissions and calendars, as well as researching and accessing online writing resources. Please be prepared to come to both sessions.

Instructor: Abeer Hoque is a Nigerian-born Bangladeshi American writer and photographer. She is the author of a coffee table book of travel photographs and poems, The Long Way Home (Ogro Bangladesh), the linked story collection, The Lovers and the Leavers (HarperCollins India), and a memoir, Olive Witch (Harper360). She is the recipient of a Queens Arts Council grant, a NYFA grant, a NEA Literature Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and the Tanenbaum Award, and she has attended residencies at Albee, Saltonstall, SLS, Millay, and VCCA. Her writing and photography have been published in Guernica, ZYZZYVA, Elle, Outlook Traveller, 580 Split, India Today, Catapult, the Daily Star Bangladesh, and the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, among others. She has BS and MA degrees from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco, and she has held two solo photography exhibitions. See more at

The Fresh Edit: A 4-Week Writing Workshop

November 07, 2020

2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Every writer needs a fresh pair of eyes to help them see what they can't. The Fresh Edit is a workshop for writers who'd like help revising their fiction or non-fiction work-in-progress; this can be a self-contained short story or personal essay, or an excerpt from a novel or memoir. As a participant in this 4-week workshop, you will receive a thorough line edit of your submission from instructor Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond. As a class, we will examine each piece (as well as other published work) for successful examples of different key elements of story.

By the end of this series, our goal is for you to have a sharper, clearer draft, and a better understanding of how to proceed in tightening your work. Attendance at all 4 Saturday classes is required (Nov 7 & 21; Dec 5 & 19). Participation is LIMITED to 8 writers, and a complete application must be submitted.


Applications close Friday, October 16th.

Instructor: Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the author of Powder Necklace, which Publishers Weekly called "a winning debut." Named to the “Africa39” list of writers “with the potential and talent to define trends in the development of literature from Sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora,” her short fiction was included in the anthology Africa39. Her work also appears in Everyday People: The Color of Life and New Daughters of Africa, among others. Forthcoming from Brew-Hammond are a children's picture book and a novel. Brew-Hammond was a 2019 Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, a 2018 Aké Arts and Book Festival Guest Author, a 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, a 2016 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, and a 2015 Rhode Island Writers Colony Writer-in-Residence. Every month, Brew-Hammond co-leads a writing fellowship at Manhattan's Center for Faith and Work.

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Newtown Literary is committed to providing accessibility for people with various dis/abilities. Please email us at least two weeks before an event if you have any accommodation requirements.

Community Partnerships

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These classes brought to you in partnership with Queens Library and is made possible, in part, with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

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