Writers in Schools

About Writers in Schools

Dennis LehanePEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools is committed to developing the next generation of readers. Writers in Schools is a literary arts outreach program that brings free copies of contemporary works of literature into DC schools, and arranges for the authors of those works to visit classrooms and discuss literature and the writing life.

PEN/Faulkner provides resources to aid teachers in preparing students for author visits that will be enriching experiences for all involved.

  • Writers in Schools works with public and public charter middle and high schools in all eight wards of the District of Columbia.
  • During the 2013-2014 school year, Writers in Schools arranged 188 visits, working with 51 educators in 30 schools, donating 4,700 books, and reaching roughly 2,800 students.
  • Teachers and writers participate in the program year after year, in a testament to their belief in its impact.

WinS in Action

The following video was produced by Stone Soup Films for the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Many thanks to the filmmakers, participating authors, instructors, and students.


The WinS Blog

If you’re a teacher hoping to schedule a writer, a writer hoping to visit a classroom, or if you just want to see what we’re up to when we go into schools, head on over to the WinS (Writers in Schools) blog.

There we’re featuring weekly dispatches from visits to DC high schools, our Teen Parent Book Club, guest posts from teachers and writers, and resources for those interested in scheduling a visit.

What Teachers and Students Say About Writers in Schools

“PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools allows each student to carry the whole story around in his or her hands, folding its corners, marking it with thoughts and questions, escaping into its pages in class, at home, or wherever the opportunity arises. By the time the author arrives to share, discuss and sign the books, each student has already shared a deeply personal reading experience with both the author and the work.”

– Melanie Agnew, Teacher, Coolidge Senior High School

“You coming to visit us on Friday meant so much to me. I too am a person who wants to become a lawyer and a writer. I have been writing poetry since I could talk. Your story inspired me and made me think of how I could relate to people with my poetry. You also helped me realize that anyone can be more than one thing in life. I didn’t believe in myself until now. Thanks for being my inspiration.”

– A student to Yolanda Young, author of On Our Way to Beautiful

Working with Writers in Schools

If you’re a DC high school educator interested in working with Writers in Schools, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us at wins@penfaulkner.org.