BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
Residents of Queens joined together to sit down and write on April 13-14 at locations in Long Island City, Sunnyside, Corona, Forest Hills and Flushing.
The Newtown Literary Alliance celebrated the growing literary scene in Queens. The non-profit publisher of Queens and literary journal held its first annual Queens Writes! Weekend.
“Everyone is invited—even those who haven’t written anything more than a to – do list recently,” said Tim Fredrick, editor of Newtown Literary. “This isn’t about creating a publishable piece of work; it’s about Queens flexing its literary muscle and celebrating what the residents of Queens have to say and write about.”
The suggested donation of $5 goes towards the journal’s second issue and low-cost writing workshops set to launch this summer, as well as a kids writing contest for the upcoming school year.
The organization’s goal was to bring the Borough together to write, which resonated through the typewriter that traveled the Borough. The residents added their own creativity to the poem being transcribed on the typewriter at different locations. The $1 donation to add a line of poetry will go towards publishing the large poem in the journal’s third issue this fall.
A group of residents also traveled on the 7 train to seek creative inspiration because the train runs elevated from the ground.
Even though some people were hesitant to write at first, they soon became comfortable knowing they would not be asked to share their thoughts. Professional writers shared with the writers that even they sometimes have trouble writing their thoughts on paper and are not always happy with their finished products.
Each location was set up differently. While some groups conversed, others diligently wrote. Either way, they were given free reign to think freely and write.
“At every event, I was asked, ‘When are we doing this again?’ Participants exchanged emails and were making plans on getting together in the future,” Fredrick said.
Turnout was low at most locations, as expected by the organization, since it was the first celebration of the written word. But Fredrick is pleased with the response and the opportunity it provides for people to meet and share ideas.
The organization has counted $425 in donations so far. It is thrilled to have made a mark in the burgeoning literary scene in Queens.
Reach Reporter Trisha Sakhuja at (718-357-4000), Ext. 128, or at email@example.com.