#WritersServe at the AWP Bookfair

The #WritersServe program is an initiative created by AWP in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations to connect writers with opportunities to give back to the literary community. Whether it be making an impact through spoken word, donating supplies to spaces and communities in need, or volunteering at a literary event, we can help build bridges between local, regional, national, and global literary communities. #WritersServe aims to uplift, equalize, and provide resources to groups and organizations in need of assistance. We hope that by partnering with nonprofit organizations local to our annual conference, we leave the surrounding community with a stronger bond to the literary arts.

On this page, find organizations we have partnered with during the annual AWP Conference & Bookfair.

#AWP24 in Kansas City, Missouri: Pride Haven

Pride Haven is SAVE, Inc.’s overnight shelter for transition-aged LGBTQIA+ youth (ages eighteen to twenty-four) who are facing homelessness. Created in 2020, it started as a drop-in site and expanded to provide overnight housing in 2021. Pride Haven is currently the most low-barrier program in the city and does not preclude anyone from their services due to substance use, psychosis, or identity. They look at the evidence of what has proved most effective in aiding youth and use a practice of restorative justice in their programs. You can support their mission by donating directly to Pride Haven or by purchasing an item from their Amazon wish list.

#AWP23 in Seattle, Washington: Pongo Poetry Project

Pongo Poetry Project is a Seattle-based nonprofit that uses personal poetry to facilitate healing among youth coping with devastating traumas. To aid them in their mission to “engage youth in writing poetry to inspire healing and growth,” #AWP23 attendees donated composition notebooks and wrote anonymous letters of encouragement. Learn more about how you can continue to serve Pongo Poetry Project.

#AWP20 in San Antonio, Texas: Fiesta Youth

Fiesta Youth serves LGBTQIA+ teens, young adults, and their allies. Their goal is to empower youth to build a future where ALL people are accepted, affirmed, and loved as they are. At #AWP20, attendees were asked to donate new or gently used books appropriate for LGBTQIA+ youth with the goal of making more LGBTQIA+ stories available throughout the San Antonio Library System. Donate to Fiesta Youth to support their mission, or learn how you can volunteer if you are in the San Antonio area.

#AWP19 in Portland, Oregon: Write Around Portland

Write Around Portland changes lives through the power of writing. They write with people in prisons, schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and other agencies to support creativity, facilitate listening, and celebrate people's unique stories. #AWP19 attendees donated journals to the organization and wrote words of encouragement on cards. Learn more about how to continue to serve Write Around Portland’s mission, including donating, holding a journal drive, and volunteering.

#AWP18 in Tampa, Florida: MacDonald Training Center

The MacDonald Training Center transforms the lives of people with all disabilities through innovations in vocational training, employment services, residential supports and life enrichment opportunities. Their programming includes fine arts events. The MTC booth at #AWP19 displayed several pieces of artwork, and attendees were encouraged to write short poems or prose pieces in response. View some of the artwork created through MTC programming and learn how to give back.

#AWP17 in Washington, DC: Free Minds Book Club

The first #WritersServe partner was the Free Minds Books Club, an organization that builds community to foster personal development and systems change for justice-involved youth and adults through the literary arts, workforce development, trauma healing, peace-building, and member-led advocacy. #AWP17 attendees were invited to provide feedback and encouragement on the short poems of incarcerated individuals, generated through a project called "On the Same Page.” Read more about their experience at the AWP Conference & Bookfair, and learn how you can continue to give back to Free Minds.