September 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 Committee on the Arts and Humanities, 2014


Book Donations

September 17th, 2014

Donate your books to some Mighty kids this spring. We’re always in the market for new or lightly used books for kids, teens and adults. Some of the books are integrated into our programs for kids and teens. Others populate our street libraries, where they go home with readers of all ages.

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

Free Books Sign

MW South, 1501 Christian St.
Andrea Walls, awalls@mightywriters.org

MW West, 3861 Lancaster Ave.
Annette John-Hall, ajohnhall@mightywriters.org

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

Volunteer Jackie Li

September 16th, 2014


School: Penn GSE (M.Ed. candidate)
Hometown: Iselin, NJ
Volunteering with MW: Since Sept 2014.

What skills are necessary for a Mighty volunteer? Patience, an open mind and lots of love.

If you could put a second Mighty Writers anywhere, where would it be and why? I think an international MW would be super exciting. In many parts of the world, students are learning English as a second language. I think it might inspire our MW students to see how much those kids value writing in English, and inspire the international students to learn more about America. I see many possibilities for culture exchange.

>>>For more from Jackie, click here>>>

Girl Power Hits the Road

September 15th, 2014

MW Girl Power Cover Photo

Thanks to support from the Valentine Foundation, Mighty Writers will offer several one-time, girl themed workshops to local schools, afterschool programs and community organizations during spring 2015. Check our offerings below and email rloeper@mightywriters.org to bring a Girl Power workshop to your group. Availability is limited, so get in touch today!

Girl Power Theater
Suggested age group: 10 and up
Teaching Artist: Caroline Rhoads
Through improvisation and acting exercises, we celebrate the voices and opinions of the young ladies of Philadelphia. We’ll talk about girl empowerment and storytelling, and learn to celebrate one another’s strengths and stories. Together, we’ll create original characters that represent the girls of Philadelphia and develop a plot that tells all of our stories. Multi-session workshops end in a final performance.

Princess to Queen
Suggested age group: 11 and up
Teaching Artist: Robin Stewart
In this rites of passage workshop for girls, we’ll learn how to boost our self confidence by writing about it! We’ll learn basic etiquette, some do’s and don’ts for school, home and socializing. We’ll respond to inspirational stories of great women through poetry, persuasive and informational writing.

Girls Rule the World
Suggested age group: 12 and up
Teaching Artist: Mikala Jamison
This workshop seeks to give young girls a chance to develop their critical reading and writing skills while thinking about what it means to see the world through the eyes of a Philadelphia girl. We’ll study literature by other women and girls, and talk about the issues facing us today: body image, relationships, friendships, stereotypes, and more. In a safe and supportive community, we’ll find our girl power and write from a place of thoughtful kindness and acceptance. Girls rule: first Philadelphia, and then the world.

Grit for Girls
Suggested age group: 12 and up
Teaching Artist: Ann Atkins
Join author Ann Atkins, who has written several books on the theme of women who’ve got grit. Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals and it is an important trait for Philly girls. Many of us have it already. Atkins has written books on First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, teacher and politician Golda Meir and chemist and physicist Marie Curie. Together, we’ll learn about the grit that made these women successful and how to foster that same trait in ourselves. Join our community for a discussion of grit and goals, roadblocks and resolve.

Forging Identity at MW

September 14th, 2014


Click the link below for a PDF of “Fighting & Forging Identity,” a winter 2015 article in Compass, the magazine for alumni and friends of the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University.

At Mighty Writers, James Owk gives his students something he never had: a place to understand themselves and their community.

Click: Fighting & Forging Identity


September 14th, 2014

Come look at us.


And we’ll look at you.

Can You Put That In Writing?

September 13th, 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

Zadie Smith On Writing

April 5th, 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.


SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline