Readers & Writers started out as a literary training program for alternative schools, transforming over time into a producer of programs that bring books and authors to students. Throughout the years Readers & Writers has used a variety of book-based programming to cultivate popular interest in literature among readers of all ages, including:

  • The in-school program, featuring book study, creative writing and author visits for students in traditional, alternative, and after-school programs 

  • The Book Groups Initiative, fostering book community-based discussion groups with an emphasis on exploring contemporary literary writing 

  • World Voices Festival programs for teens, including school visits, group writing workshops, author readings, and panel events focusing on literature and current events

  • The Bingham and Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Fellowships, bringing outstanding literary talents to American communities that lack strong literary culture or tradition

  • The PEN Teen Writing Institute, allowing creatively curious New York City teens ages 15–18 to learn firsthand about the art and profession of writing by work-shopping with professional writers

In all its forms, the program has been praised as a source of valuable experiences by students, teachers, and authors alike.