Dear Friends of Project Write Now:
We are EIGHT years old this month!
And we have all of YOU to thank! 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 and connection.
Recently, we were asked what makes Project Write Now different. What keeps people of all ages—from seven to 92—coming back class after class, many writing with us for years? What has helped PWN develop strong partnerships with numerous local schools and mission-based organizations, serving thousands of students?
Here’s the secret: it’s not just the writing.
It’s the community we’ve built by giving people supportive spaces where we come as we are, express our thoughts and feelings, write our stories, and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of self.
In sharing these stories, we realize we are not alone. We become part of something bigger. We feel and acknowledge and celebrate the full range of our humanity.
There is something magical about the number 8 and its endless loop of possibilities. Its endless loop of creativity and connection.
It’s a lot like the magic that happens in our writing community.
The Project Write Now Team
Lunch Break – Alliance for Success
We are excited to be back with Lunch Break‘s Alliance for Success program! This program just launched its second year of providing mentorship and college and career readiness workshops to 11th and 12th graders at Red Bank Regional. Project Write Now is providing a journaling component to help students reflect on their experiences and gain a deeper understanding of themselves. We also provide free college essay coaching. We are so grateful for our partnership and look forward to working with the students this year!
Lunch Break – SKY Program
This month, we wrote about self-acceptance with the women writers participating in Melia Bloom’s SKY program at Lunch Break—accepting ourselves exactly as we are while simultaneously working toward our goals to be the best versions of ourselves. We talked about how it is the moments within the work where the best morsels of life lay. We put together a tool kit to help us stay in the present moment with kindness and compassion to resort to when we feel ourselves slipping too far into the past or the future.
Every Friday, we host a one-hour writing workshop on Zoom during which we write in response to prompts on a designated theme. This month, we explored the themes: “Button,” “Fall,” and “Avoid.” 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 India (Adults)
We had so much success with our PWN India Writing Club for 5th and 6th graders that the adults wanted in on the creative writing action. This month, we launched a weekly journaling group for adult women in India. We spent the first session getting to know one another by selecting objects that mean something to us and writing stories about them. We’ve also been writing in response to poetry and learning more about ourselves and each other in the process.
Red Bank Middle School
We are thrilled to be back weekly at Red Bank Middle School for their 7th & 8th grade AVID program! We began the year by inviting students to write letters to us, letting us know anything they think we should know about them. We gave them some sentence starters such as: I am not me without, I feel the most like me when, One day I hope to, I’m stronger because, I dream of, I want to learn about … And then we let them use the period to fill a page with their truths. These letters are so touching and we are so grateful for their willingness to be vulnerable with us right on day one. We can already tell this is going to be an incredible year!
Red Bank Public Library
This week with the writers of the Red Bank Public Library, we wrote about awe in response to Mary Oliver’s essay “Staying Alive” from her book of essays Upstream. We read an essay by Brian Doyle, “Hawk Words,” in which he laments the passing of his brother and their lifelong love of hawks.
Shore House (Long Branch)
This month at Shore House, we explored all things “fall.” We read “Fall” by Mary Oliver and then wrote about what the word “fall” means to us. We discussed how one four-letter word has so many meanings—the season of autumn, the act of tumbling over, defeat, the beginning stages of love, a decrease in numbers. We also read “For the Chipmunk in My Yard” by Robert Gibb, and then we wrote letters—first to summer to say goodbye, then to welcome autumn. There were a lot of similarities—missing summer’s long days, awaiting fall’s cool breezes—and we didn’t all agree on which season was better. What we did agree on is every season is a great season for writing!
Teen Writing Group
We are off to a great start of Fall Session I Teen Writing Group with a group of inspiring teens Zooming in from the NJ & NY area! Already they are writing and sharing their work, encouraging each other by noting favorite lines and surprising turns. Our teen leaders started with the prompt “Why I Write,” which opened into a beautiful discussion about the power of writing. And from there the teens delved into the Halloween spirit, writing pieces that start with shocking headlines and scary pieces about monsters that live under the bed. Join our global teen writing community for Fall Session II of Teen Writing Group and see what stories you come up with!
Write In the Garden
This month our team had a BLAST road tripping for a weekend to the north country! We hosted a free writing workshop in the gorgeous gardens of Horsford Nursery in Vermont, where attendees wrote in response to prompts and were inspired by the vivid nature around us. We are so grateful to Horsford Nursery for providing a beautiful location for our Write In the Garden workshop, and to the attendees for joining us and sharing their writing with us. We hope to come back again next year!
Write Out Loud
We are so grateful to all who came to our Write Out Loud event at the Asbury Book Cooperative this month. We picked a book off the shelf and used words and phrases from within it to inspire our writing. It was a powerful, intimate group that wrote and shared together. Our next Write Out Loud on October 11 will be spoOoOoOoky themed for Halloween! Be sure to join us by registering today!
We had a lovely time walking, talking, and writing on our Writers Walk this month. We took to the trails of Huber Woods and then read “Walking Down Park” by Nikki Giovanni and “Walking Through A Spider Web” by Jeff Worley. Using these poems and the nature around us as inspiration, we wrote pieces that surprised us and made us feel alive and present in the moment. We look forward to more Writers Walks in the future, especially as the leaves begin to change!
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 the pandemic began, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the need for financial assistance and therefore have met that need by offering more scholarship seats. So far this year, we’ve awarded 66 seats totaling $13,940! For information about our scholarship program or to become a valuable donor providing these seats, please email Jennifer Chauhan at firstname.lastname@example.org.