Dear Friends of Project Write Now:
Every. Story. Matters.
Project Write Now was honored to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community this month at both the Asbury Park Pride Parade and Red Bank’s Pride in the Park.
Both events were MAGICAL! Surrounded by an environment of acceptance and freedom, we were touched by an overwhelming sense of hope, light, and love. Participating in these powerful days filled us with pride!
And we were so excited to meet so many new faces. And hear so many stories!
That is what our mission is all about—giving people of all ages and backgrounds supportive spaces to write and share their stories, whether we’re marching through a sea of people joyfully celebrating love or manning a table full of buttons and pens and our Pride Writing Prompts flyers.
We are also excited to share our partnership this month between our young adult literary journal, Bridge Ink, and Let’s Say Gay for our upcoming Pride-themed issue, Rainbow Ink! This special Pride issue is open to queer artists (ages 13-18). Those chosen for this issue will be published in both Bridge Ink and Let’s Say Gay. Tomorrow, July 1, is the last day to submit! Learn more and submit here.
We would not be able to provide our life-changing programs without YOU! Whether you’ve taken a class, signed your child up for a class, participated in one of our events, or given a generous gift, YOU help us provide meaningful writing experiences that foster authenticity, connection, and empathy.
With love & gratitude,
A Happier Hour
We enjoyed A Happier Hour at Bell Works with an introduction to Happiness Studies and the 12 pillars of living a Whole Being Wellness. After reading an inspiring quote by the late Christopher Reeve about ordinary heroes, we wrote about our superpowers and gave ourselves superhero names and catchphrases. For a secondary prompt, we wrote, “What’s my story” or “The story I’m telling myself is …” It was great to connect with old and new friends and expand our happiness network. We can’t wait to do it again next month! Date coming soon!
We had the PURRfect Friday evening writing with cats in our Cat Tales workshop at Catsbury Park this month! We read “The Cat’s Fancy” by David Berman and a few pages from Lil Bub’s “Lil Book” as inspiration. Then we shaped our stories around the cats, writing their biographies and using them as characters in our own plots. We could tell the cats were listening with approval by their steady ear twitches. We can’t wait to come back again soon!
Finding The Words: A Meditative Writing Experience For Grievers
This month, we partnered with Stephy’s Place to create a special workshop for those living with loss. After a gentle guided meditation, we picked prompts that spoke to us off the table or used the framed photo of our loved ones to write stories honoring their memories. Then we took turns sharing and supporting one another. It was such a lovely experience and we are grateful to all of the attendees who opened their hearts to one another. We are already planning our next workshop, which will be held this fall.
On Fridays, we host a one-hour writing workshop on Zoom during which we write in response to themed writing prompts. This month, we explored the themes—“Pride,” “Flag,” “Juneteenth,” and “Different.” Though writers never have to share, we always enjoy hearing one another’s pieces and have formed an incredible, supportive community. Join us for our next Lunchtime Write-In to see what our upcoming themes will be!
PWN On Stage: Short Script Challenge
Our Short Script Challenge at the Basie Center Cinemas was a smashing success. Our writers exceeded our expectations with the writing prompt about a quarreling family at a beach club on the 4th of July. Each writer took the prompt in a unique and unexpected way, providing a complete story in under five pages. Our performers had a blast reading the scripts out loud on stage. We’ll return in September with a new prompt for the newly branded PWN Screen Academy presents Labyrinth Theatre: Live Radio Plays. The format remains the same but with an emphasis on audio elements, such as dialogue and sound effects.
Red Bank Public Library
This month with the Red Bank Public Library writers, we wrote about our feelings at the moment and then read from J. Ruth Gendler’s book of poetry, “The Book Of Qualities.” We also wrote about our impressions of the Canadian wildfires—“What I thought gazing up at the fiery orange sun cutting through a sky of gray was …” We concluded that class by reading a piece from Jason Mark, the editor in Chief of Sierra Magazine, called “Where There’s Fire There’s Smoke.” In another class, we wrote about a specific Fourth of July celebration after reading Jo Ann Beard’s story from The Boys of My Youth: Behind the Screen. We also read Terry Tempest Williams’s short essay, “Why I Write,” to encourage everyone to keep writing during the summer break from class.
Shore House (Long Branch)
We celebrated Pride month at Shore House this month with our incredible mentee Tina leading the class. We began by reading a poem written by a past writer at Shore House—”Won’t Lovers Revolt Now” by Taylor Droppa. And then we wrote about what pride means to us, what we are proud of, and what it looks like to live for ourselves. Some powerful conversations arose from the writing, about how we need to love ourselves before we can love others, about kindness and respect, and about trying your best not to judge others. It was certainly a day to be proud of!
Teacher Writing Collaborative
We wrapped up our 2022-2023 Teacher Writing Collaborative this month by cheering each other on for making it through another school year. Then we did a little joyful writing in response to January Gill Jones’ “Roller Palace.” For the summer we are excited to offer TWO programs just for teachers: Comics Writing for Educators, a four-week virtual class with graphic novel writer Mike Dawson, and The ART of Social Justice in collaboration with the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center and the Two River Theater, which will be held July 31 through August 3. This program is open to all teachers. We will be back with our 2023-2024 TWC in October.
Writing With My Bestie
To celebrate National Best Friends Day, we ran a Writing With My Bestie workshop this month, creating a safe space to hang out and write with good friends. The session explored what friendship means to us, reading and pulling lines from the poem “On Friendship” by Khalil Gibran, answering “Bestie Trivia” questions, sharing some of the most amazing moments with our friends, and writing letters to our besties, to ourselves, and to our future besties that are on the way. We closed the evening in a friendship circle sharing a special note to a writer in the room. Our hearts led our thoughts as we allowed ourselves to take a ride defining friendships new and old or what is no longer. Memories, finding closure, new beginnings, and preparing ourselves for our future friendships (making room to hold space) empowered us through writing. Who knew?!
Through our mission as a nonprofit organization, we remove barriers to participating in our fee-based classes by providing full and partial scholarship seats as well as payment plans. Since 2020, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the need for financial assistance and therefore have met that need by offering more scholarship seats. For 2023, we’ve already awarded 28 seats totaling $11,425. For information about our scholarship program or to become a valuable donor providing these seats, please email Jennifer Chauhan at email@example.com.