Imagine entering a subway car and being instructed to “ride it to the end,” followed by, “write anything you want.” Oh, and paper and pens will be provided if you forgot them.
So began a recent session of a writers’ workshop held in a New York City subway car, according to the New York Timesarticle, “Subway Car Is a Writers’ Workshop on the Way to Queens and Back,” by reporter Corey Kilgannon.
The workshop, led by Aaron Zimmerman, Executive Director of the “New York Writers Coalition,” was attended by two dozen writers, who wrote alongside a diverse collection of passengers going about business as usual–talking on cell phones and regularly jostling thewriters. According to Kilgannon, “none of it seemed to bother the writers, who scribbled away, seeming to employ the same cone of concentration that an average subway passenger uses to zone everyone else out.”
The mission of the “Coalition,” taken from their website, is to “create opportunities for formerly voiceless members of society to be heard through the art of writing.” The particular subway line was selected for its diverse passengers.
Did the experiment work? By the end of the line, the group had picked up another two dozen commuters, who tried their hand at writing. Bravo to the “Coalition” for its creative and brave ideas!
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