D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
Student Work
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Our Mission

The D.C. Creative Writing Workshop, based in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast D.C., unites parents, teachers and professional writers-in-residence to transform the lives of youth through self-expression and the power of the written word.

Our Staff

Nancy Schwalb is the founder and Executive Director/Artistic Director of the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop. She has an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and has been teaching creative writing at Hart Middle School since 1995. Her work has been published in the GW Review, the Washington City Paper, Vanity Fair, Barragua, Argus, and the English Journal. She has served as a teaching fellow for the Kennedy Center, is a six-time Larry Neal Award winner, won the 2002 “Shayne” NonProfit Leadership Award, and was honored as a "Local Hero" by the Bank of America Foundation in 2011. Schwalb also founded the Youth Poetry Slam League.

Derrick Weston Brown is a writer and the poet-in-residence at Busboys and Poets bookstore and restaurant. His work has appeared in the New Orleans Time-Picayune and the Washington Post as well as in such literary journals as DrumVoices, Ginsoko, Mythium, and Warpland. He lives in Washington, DC. His first collection of poetry, Wisdom Teeth, was published in May, 2011.

Abbey Chung started working for the Workshop in 2008 and can't imagine a more amazing place to be. She graduated from Oberlin College in 2011 with a B.A. in creative writing. While at Oberlin she worked as a writing tutor at the Oberlin Writing Center and taught poetry at Langston Middle School. She is also a graduate of the Clarion West Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Tor.com, and The Susquehanna Review, and she is the winner of the 2011 Diana Vreuls Fiction Prize. She likes science fiction, cooperation, and the judicious use of adverbs.

Alan King's fiction and poems have appeared in the Arabesques Review, Warpland, The Amistad, and Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS, among others. A Cave Canem fellow and Vona Alum, his work was also part of Anacostia Exposed, a collaborative exhibit with Irish photographer Mervyn Smyth that showcases the life and energy of Anacostia. Alan has written articles for NewAmericaMedia.org, Prince George's
County Gazette, East of the River, District Chronicles
, and Washingtonpost.com. He is the author of his chapbooks "Transfer" and "The Music We Are" – also the title of his manuscript.

Tom Mallan is the Movie Director who provided the energy and expertise to turn the students' plays "R Town" and "The Notorious P.Y.G." into full-scale motion pictures. He has directed and taught theater for 20 years both abroad (Ecuador, Costa Rica, Spain) and in his native Washington, D.C., including productions at the Washington Shakespeare Co., the In Series, the Hope Operas, and Educational Theatre Company. His work has included bilingual theater, Shakespeare, Mozart, and Zarzuela. This year, Tom became a playwright as the In Series sponsored his musical play "Swingtime: The Fabulous Forties" at the Atlas Performing Arts Center's Sprenger Theater.

Scott Sedar was our Play Director from 2005 through 2009 and he continues to assist the Drama Club. Scott directed our Hart after-school youth in five productions "Lysistrata 2K5: Sistas on Strike," "The Persians 2K6: Tragedy in the Hood," "Alcestis Revisited: Red Hot Death," "For Better And For Worse," and "Doctor Faustus: Soul for Sale." He is a painter, teaching artist, professional singer, playwright, and director. Scott has also worked locally with the Kennedy Center, the Signature Theater, and the Roundhouse Theater, among others, and has appeared in the New York City Opera.

Our Board of Directors

John Cotman, Chair
Susan Gerson
Helen Hooper
Bernie Horn
Brian Gilmore
Marilyn Lashley
William Newlin
Nancy Schwalb

Our Advisory Board

Toi Derricotte
Award-winning poet and professor at the University of Pittsburgh

Rita Dove
Former Poet Laureate of the United States and professor at the University of Virginia

Cornelius Eady
Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry and director of the Creative Writing program at the University of Notre Dame

Nikki Giovanni
Grammy-nominated poet and professor at Virginia Tech University

Kirsten Tollefson
CEO of Tollefson & Company Investment Management

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Contact us at info@dccww.org or call Executive Director Nancy Schwalb at