Newtown Literary Holds Writing Weekend

Staff Writer

It is time to put pen to paper.

The Newtown Literary Alliance is having its second annual Queens Writes Weekend from April 25 to 27. During this event, Queens authors are invited to sit down with like-minded individuals at locations across the Borough and just write.

Now in its second year, Queens Writes Weekend’s purpose is to raise funds for Newtown Literary. Published in electronic and paper formats, the semi-annual journal covers fiction, creative nonfiction, essays and poetry. Participants in the writing weekend can donate money to decrease the costs of publishing Newtown Literary’s fourth edition.

“I hoped that we could hold an annual fundraiser that engaged as much of the Borough as possible, rather than privilege one neighborhood over others,” Tim Fredrick, editor of the Newtown Literary Alliance, said. “Because Queens is such a large geographic area, having multiple sites allows as many people to participate as possible.”

Last year, the organization raised $500, a number they want to surpass this year. Given that the event has doubled in size, Fredrick said they hope to raise $1,000.

The weekend kicks off with a reading at the Astoria Bookshop, located at 31-29 31st St., on April 25 at 7 p.m. The open reading will feature contributors to the third issue of Newtown Literary.

On Saturday and Sunday, writing exercises will take place at several venues throughout the Borough. The first event will take place at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights at 10 a.m. Titled “Shut Up & Write (in the sunshine),” the event is co-sponsored by Social Uplift, Knowledge and Hope Initiatives. The next segment will start at 1 p.m. at Enigma Bookstore in Astoria, with a combination of “Shut Up & Write” and an open mic. Next up is Astor Bake Shop in Astoria at 3 p.m., for speed writing exercises.

Also at 3 p.m. is “Writing about the Past, Present and Future of the NYS Pavilion.” The writers will meet in front of the Queens Theatre and then make their way over to the Pavilion. For this stop, Newtown Literary is collaborating with People for the Pavilion, the group looking to preserve the World’s Fair attraction.

“It is the first partnership we’ve had with a non-literary group and we are excited to be making these connections with other community organizations,” Fredrick said.

The final Saturday writing event starts at 4:30 p.m. at Bean and Bean in Bayside. The theme is Surrealist-inspired prompts.

Sunday’s writing prompts begin at 10 a.m. at Odradeks Coffee House in Jamaica. From there, the writing moves to a private residence in Forest Hills at 1 p.m. To find out the address, email The last three writing exercises take place in Astoria, at Waltz Astoria at 2 p.m., the Astoria Bookshop at 2 p.m. and Love Café at 3:30 p.m. The Astoria Bookshop event is for children ages 7 and up.

To wrap up the weekend, there will be a free open mic at Terraza 7 at 6 p.m. The venue is located at 40-19 Gleane St., Elmhurst.

For more information, visit

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125,, or @Joey788.