Memoir Writing Workshop

Red Umbrella Project offers free, peer-facilitated Memoir Writing Workshops in New York City for individuals with experience in the sex trades. In our workshops, participants generate new writing in class and at home, build their writing skills and confidence, share their stories and get feedback from peers, and ultimately publish a piece in our biannual literary journal Prose & Lore. We also offer a Page to Stage workshop for people who complete the workshop and want to read their work at one of our storytelling events.

We offer eight-week long intensive workshops in spring and fall, and drop-in workshops summer and winter. We are also available to bring the workshops to your community space – email us at workshops@redumbrellaproject.org to discuss.

Summer Drop-In Workshops

Summer-14---website-graphicWant to get some writing done in a peer space? Not sure if you want to commit to an eight week workshop? Want to meet other workshop members and try it on for size? Our free summer drop-in workshops meet on Monday nights from 7 to 9 pm, run from May through August, and meet at our office in Downtown Brooklyn. Here are the dates of the upcoming workshops:

  • May 12 – facilitated by Anna Saini
  • May 19 – facilitated by Dominick
  • June 9 – facilitated by Aimee Herman
  • June 23 – facilitated by Essence Revealed
  • July 14 – facilitated by Leigh Alanna
  • July 28 – facilitated by Aimee Herman
  • August 11 - facilitator TBA
  • August 25 - facilitator TBA

Eight-Week Memoir Workshop

Participants  have the opportunity to develop their writing, be published in an issue of our literary journal Prose & Lore, read at an event celebrating the journal, and be included in our podcast. Our Fall 2014 session will be led by Audacia Ray. It will run for 8 weeks, on Monday nights (6:30 to 9:30 pm) at the New School, September 8 – November 3 (no class October 13). Deadline to apply is Monday, August 18th at 11:59 PM EST. If you apply to the workshop you do not also need to pitch a story.

Writers Outside of NYC

We pair writers whose pitches are accepted to our literary journal Prose & Lore with mentor editors who will support you through the process of writing and revising your story for publication. We are especially interested in working with folks who have never been published before.

For the upcoming issue, we are especially interested in stories about health (including mental health), money/economic (in)security, and family/relationships.

You have two options:

  • Apply for distance writing support program – for people who want support developing their writing skills, haven’t published before, or aren’t sure what story they want to tell
  • Pitch a story – for people with some writing experience or publication credits who know what story they want to tell

We only publish previously unpublished work (blog posts are previously published). You maintain copyright, and we get first publication rights as well as the right to republish. You are welcome to sell the work to other publications once it had been published in Prose & Lore. We are unable to pay writers at this time, but writers get one free copy of the journal and can buy additional copies at 50% of the cover price (and you’re welcome to give them away, resell, etc).

Become a Mentor Editor

Become a mentor editor and support a fellow sex worker in developing a memoir story and getting published!

Apply here by Monday, August 11 at 11:59 pm EST.

Eligibility: If you have been published in Prose & Lore, have participated in the in person RedUP memoir workshops, or you are a sex worker with memoir writing experience, help us support sex workers who can’t participate in the in-person workshops in NYC to tell their stories! You can be a mentor while also participating in the workshops in NYC.

Commitment:

  • this is a volunteer commitment
  • from September to November, you will work closely with one or two writers as they develop a piece for publication. You must be able to be in consistent digital communication with them, including gently nudging and encouraging them if they doubt their abilities or miss deadlines
  • be in consistent communication with RedUP team about your progress and challenges
  • oversee/respond to 3-5 weekly writing exercises and then support writer in revising a piece for publication

Availability & Skills

  • if you’re in NYC you must be available for an in person, 2 hour training
  • if you’re outside of NYC you must be available for two, one-hour conference calls
  • you must be available via email, phone, and other agreed on forms of communication with your assigned writers
  • you must be able to be encouraging and supportive of people who are new writers, not be someone who is overly stringent about grammar
  • you must have a good command of memoir/non fiction writing that is driven by scenes, including description and action

Credit: you will be credited as Mentor Editor in the upcoming issue of Prose & Lore