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Workshops and Fellowships

The NYC Literary Action Coalition aims to create an activism network of NYC-based literary members to build the community’s capacity to mobilize on behalf of free expression and social justice issues.

The mission of the Literary Action Coalition is to bring forward the voice and views of the literary community through activism that defends free expression; underscores the power of literature; promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion; and advances social justice. The partners for the coalition include professional literary organizations, community and campus literary groups, independent bookstores and publishers, arts organizations with literary programs, performance spaces, and individual writers and literary professionals.


Inspired by PEN America’s Emerging Voices Fellowship for early career writers, our annual YOU ARE A WRITER sessions provide practical insights into the business of books. Join us for an upcoming session on the ins and outs of launching and sustaining a fulfilling writing life.

Children’s and Young Adult authors are on the frontlines of the educational censorship wave impacting classrooms, libraries, and communities across the country. This year’s series is dedicated to centering trailblazing writers who are expanding and navigating the many genres of literature for young readers. Whether you’re thinking about writing your first children’s book or a seasoned children’s author, these workshops will provide insights on the best practices and possibilities of the business of contemporary children’s and young adult literature.


DREAMing Out Loud, based in New York, was created by PEN America in an effort to counter the anti-immigrant sentiment on the rise in the United States and to amplify the voices of many living in this country who are marginalized because of their immigration status. It is also a potent and beautiful example of our dual mission to celebrate literature and love of writing in defense of free expression.

PEN America offers tuition-free writing workshops year-round to student DREAMers, in which participants develop original short stories, poetry, and/or personal essays—under the tutelage of writer Álvaro Enrigue—to be performed at public readings. The program helps to build a diverse talent pipeline for these industries, and empowers DREAMers to use their voices to counter misinformation about immigrants. 


The Emerging Voices Workshop in Los Angeles serves early-career writers from communities underrepresented in the publishing world. An outgrowth of the long running Emerging Voices Fellowship, this in-person craft intensive shares the goal of demystifying publishing, cultivating literary community, and diversifying the publishing and entertainment industries. 

The week-long workshop, coming in 2024, will be offered twice annually. The program provides 15 writers the opportunity to develop a manuscript-in-progress with peers and expert instructors. 


The Press Freedom Incentive Fund, part of the PEN Across America initiative, supports new initiatives to invigorate local communities with ideas, information, questions, and discourse around press freedom defense. Proposals may center on events, panel discussions, campaigns, outreach efforts, educational initiatives, workshops, media outlet partnerships, and other formats that can be effective in building local press freedom constituencies.

The Fund calls on Members and activists outside the major coastal metropolitan areas to join us in this effort, devising ways to engage and activate their communities.

Press Freedom Incentive Fund


Worker Writers Workshops

Based in New York, the Worker Writers Workshops cultivate the writing skills of domestic workers, taxi drivers, street vendors, and others. Worker Writers, an institute founded and directed by poet Mark Nowak, organizes and facilitates poetry workshops with global trade unions, workers’ centers, and other progressive labor organizations. These workshops create a space for participants to re-imagine their working lives, nurture new literary voices directly from the global working class, and produce new tactics and imagine new futures for working class social change. For the past seven years, Worker Writers has facilitated annual workshops for the PEN World Voices Festival.

Fellowship Opportunities

Illustration of diverse figures with writing/literary items around them (pens, papers, book, laptop)

Emerging Voices Fellowship

The Emerging Voices Fellowship is a mentorship program that provides early-career writers with the tools they need to launch a literary career. More

a composite image of all the Writing as Activism fellows’ headshots

2022 Writing as Activism Fellowship

The Writing as Activism Fellowship offers NYC writer-activists an immersive workshop experience to produce literary work that centers activism on community and social justice issues. More