October 20th, 2014


“… your program’s selection as one of the 50 finalists distinguishes [Mighty Writers] as one of the top arts-and-humanities-based programs in the country.”

—President Obama’s 2014 Committee on the Arts and Humanities



Power for Peace Leadership Camp at MW North

September 21st, 2014

2015 ACCE Summer Camp Flyer Final

Kids and teens with a knack for leadership will be our first participants at Mighty Writers North, 1801 Diamond St. Session one is open to middle school students (students entering grades 6-8) and session two is for teens entering grades 9-12. Please see the application for further information.

In collaboration with ACCE, we’ve designed this camp to support young leaders through character education, social justice writing, dramatic arts and bonding with other young people throughout Philadelphia. Space is limited, so complete your application today!

Power for Peace Application

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.”

—Herman Melville

Mighty Writers Wins Edward R. Murrow Award

September 20th, 2014


Mighty Writers has won a prestigious 2015 Edward R, Murrow Award for an audio documentary titled GOING BLACK: THE LEGACY OF PHILLY SOUL RADIO.

GOING BLACK: THE LEGACY OF PHILLY SOUL RADIO, a two-hour audio documentary that aired on public radio stations around the country in 2014 and again in 2015, recaptured the glory days (1950—1979) of Black radio in Philadelphia.

>> Read more here >>

Smiley Girl.jpg

Children make you want to start life over.” 

—Muhammad Ali

Books to Donate to MW?

September 17th, 2014


Care to donate your books to some Mighty kids this spring?

We’re in the market for new or lightly used books for kids, teens and adults. Some donated books are integrated into our programs for kids and teens; others populate the street libraries we set outside our sites, where they fine a home with readers of all ages.

To donate books at one of our Mighty Writers locations, please contact the program director (below) via email to arrange a drop-off time.

MW South, 1501 Christian St.
Jenné Ayers, jayers@mightywriters.org

MW West, 3861 Lancaster Ave.
Khalia Robinson, krobinson@mightywriters.org

MW El Futuro, 1025 S. 9th St.
Laura Karabell, lkarabell@mightywriters.org


Zadie Smith On Writing

September 15th, 2014

1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3. Don’t romanticize your “vocation.” You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle.” All that matters is what you leave on the page.

4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.

5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.

7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the Internet.

8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9. Don’t confuse honors with achievement.

10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand, but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.


Mighty Volunteer

September 15th, 2014

MW Ned and Isaiah Mentorship 2015

Ned Scharff

Employer: Retired

Hometown: Center City (but born and raised in St. Louis, MO)

Activities at MW: Mentoring Ethan Israel, a rising 8th grader, and working to develop a college readiness program for MW middle- and highschoolers (with fellow volunteer Melissa Ash). I’ve been involved with MW for about 9 months.

Skills necessary for a MW volunteer: A little disposable time and a real joy in working with kids.

Favorite book as a kid: Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie — the original of “Peter Pan.”

What did I like to write as a kid: I didn’t like to write at all until grade six, when I discovered that good writing conveyed real power. After that, school newspaper editorials, essays, poetry.

>>>more from Ned, over here>>>

Can You Put That In Writing?

September 15th, 2014


We’re often asked how we chart writing progress. How we know if kids are becoming better writers.

We have a few answers.

We collect report cards, so we see how each Mighty kid is doing in English and language arts.

We also have a computer program that analyzes writing progress. The kids type their stories into a template, press submit and the program evaluates their writing. It may be they need to be more descriptive. Or maybe there’s too much description.

The kids revise, and resubmit. We track their scores over time.

There’s another way we judge how kids are progressing with writing. It has nothing to do with report cards or computer programs. It’s purely observational. It’s called confidence.

Early into our launch of Mighty Writers, one of our little Mighty guys stopped me as I was coming through the front door. He had a question.

“How do you get the money to run Mighty Writers?”

“Any way I can,” I told him, adhering to my vow to always speak truth to Mighty power.

He thought about that for a moment. I could see the self-esteem he’d earned at Mighty Writers grow right in front of me.

“Know what I’m going to do, Mr. Tim? I’m going to open up a sneaker store and give the money to Mighty Writers. And then when I grow up, I’m going to be a lawyer and buy you a whole lot of Mighty Writer houses.”

I didn’t doubt him. I had only one request.

“Can you put that in writing?”

—Tim Whitaker

September 14th, 2014

Come look at us.


And we’ll look at you.

Inside a Mighty Class

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