Newtown Literary Writing Classes

in partnership with

Newtown Literary Alliance, Inc. is proud to announce that, in partnership with Queens Library and with the support of NYC Council Members Daniel Dromm and Elizabeth Crowley, we are bringing free, two-hour writing classes to Queens Library branches in Jackson Heights, Maspeth, Ridgewood, and Elmhurst.

Reserve the first Saturday of every month between November and May to study and practice craft with some of the best writers from our area. These classes focus on a particular technique or element of poetry, memoir, or fiction writing and include reading, discussion, and lots of writing time. These classes are not critique groups and no one will tell you what you are doing wrong with your writing—these classes are a chance to be inspired, to meet your fellow writers, and to write, write, write. They are free and open to everyone, no matter your experience with writing or number of publications.

And, who knows, maybe you’ll polish the writing you start in the class and submit it for an issue of Newtown Literary.

No tickets to buy. No RSVP necessary. Just come and write with us!

For information about our classes for kids and teens, visit here.

Class schedule:



Saturday, March 4, 2017
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Queens Library at Ridgewood
20-12 Madison Street, (718) 821-4770

Robert Frost advises, “[l]ike a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting.” In his Vancouver Lectures, Jack Spicer suggests the act of writing poetry is akin to a medium taking dictation from ghosts.

In this class, we’ll engage these imperatives to access the supernatural way in which great poems take on a life of their own. Students will learn practical techniques to encourage this communion using hands-on exercises, prompts, and contemporary examples.


Roberto Montes is the author of I Don’t Know Do You, named one of the Best Books of 2014 by NPR.






Saturday, April 1, 2017
2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Queens Library at Elmhurst
86-07 Broadway, (718) 271-1020

How can our different ways of speaking shape poetry and the poetic self? Together we’ll examine how slang and dialect help shape and develop our range of voices. Through a series of writing exercises and examining the work of existing poets such as Tara Betts and Cornelius Eady, you’ll uncover how these identities can make your work more distinct and innovative.

screenshot-2017-02-26-11-15-28A recipient of the 2014 NYFA Fellowship in Poetry and a CantoMundo Poetry Fellow, Rosebud Ben-Oni is the author of SOLECISM (Virtual Artists Collective, 2013); her poems appear in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, and she writes weekly for The Kenyon Review.






Saturday, May 6, 2017
2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.

Queens Library at Elmhurst
86-07 Broadway, (718) 271-1020

Novelist Victor Lavalle says, “In the end, what’s any good reader really hoping for? That spark. That spell. That journey.” In order to create that journey in a way that truly transports the reader, the writer must pay as much attention to place as to the plot and the characters. Specificity is key. This session will show participants how to delve deep and make a story’s setting as complex and intriguing as its characters.

screenshot-2017-02-26-11-16-02Joe Okonkwo is a Pushcart Prize nominee. His novel Jazz Moon was published in 2016. His stories have appeared in Best Gay Stories and Storychord.