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About the Readings & Workshops Program

Since its inception in 1970, Poets & Writers has provided fees to writers who give readings or conduct writing workshops. Each year, our Readings & Workshops program supports hundreds of writers participating in events in large cities and small towns throughout New York and California, as well as in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Seattle, New Orleans, Tucson, and Washington D.C.

By Jabreel Morgan

At last it was the season I’d waited for.  I can remember counting the long hard days as well as the slow summer months that I felt would never end, by magic autumn was here full of color and cool breezes.  Back then I thought that autumn was the holiday season.  Schools, churches and businesses decorated their windows with witches, warlocks and Santas.  It seemed as if carved out pumpkins were on every porch or front yard.  It was easy to get into the holiday mood and everyone seemed to have more food than they could eat.  Gifts and warm greetings from people were everywhere.  I was happy, at peace with myself and for a time I felt safe.   The horrid, hot,deadly summer season was gone.  For a time I forgot the gunshots and police sirens, their lights flashing in the dark nights, the deadly stickups,drive-bys, and the dealers on the corner. For a time I lowered my guard enjoying the warm, safe time of Halloween and the holiday season.


Even though I couldn’t afford a costume,  I went on my way into the night with an oversized shopping bag ringing doorbells, waiting for the door to open.  Then I, a cowboy, repeated the magic words that every child knows “Trick or treat, trick or treat”, “Trick or treat,  Aunt Rosie” I said.  Aunt Rosie stood in her doorway staring at me.  She looked as if she had seen something shocking.

“Baby,” she said “What are you tonight? Honey, what are you?”

“Aunt Rosie,” I said, “I’m a rough and tough cowboy.  My name is Deadwood Dick and here is my horsey his name is Joey” I said, holding up my old mop and making horse sounds.

“Okay baby,” she replied while pouring candy into my oversize shopping bag.  “Baby, why you got paint all over your clothes and face?”

“Aunt Rosie, tonight I have to go into Indian territory and I’m wearing a disguise so they won’t know I’m a cowboy!”

“Oh,“ she said. “Is that why you’re wearing old rubber galoshes?”

“Well yeah “ I said. “You see if an Indian thinks I’m crazy they’ll leave me alone. Indians are scared of crazy people, Aunt Rosie, but I’m not crazy.  I just want to get me some candy ‘cause I’m a cowboy and cowboys love candy.”  I stepped down her porch stairs into the night, into the next doorway.  “Trick or treat, Trick or treat?” I would say when they opened the door.

I rang the bell a second time, maybe they hadn’t heard the bell the first time, maybe they were watching T.V., some vampire movie,  maybe they were talking on the phone or using the bathroom.  So I rang again.  My plan before I left my house was to have my oversized shopping bag full of candy when I got back home.  The way I figured, every apartment or house had to give me some candy, enough I thought to last me until the great supper, Thanksgiving, as all the grownups called it.  That was the only time of the year when we had turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, potatoes, candied yams, collard greens, muffins, cakes, pies, cornbread, nuts,chocolate and candies, so to me it was the great supper, that’s what I called it. The only time that I didn’t have to store food in my room, under the bed or hidden in a dresser drawer.  So I rang the bell one more time.

It was then that I noticed that the house was all dark and quiet and no one was home.  So I went on up the street, down some avenues, around some corners, up some blocks, doing what any good cowboy and his horse Joey would do.  My bag got kind of heavy and my horse was thirsty, so I figured I better go home before any of my brothers and sister got there.  My plan was to have all my candy already hidden in a safe place and then to help them eat all of theirs.  The way I figured it, I’d have candy to last until the spring and then Easter would arrive, and there would be a new type of candy, sponge rabbits and chocolate, and Easter eggs, the last holiday before the killing season would begin.


Welcome! As of May 2014, the Readings & Workshops application process moved from paper to the web. This is where you can:

  • Apply for a Readings & Workshops grant
  • View the status of a request
  • Complete your event report

LOG IN for Sponsor or Writer Account


Don’t know your password? REQUEST A NEW PASSWORD.

SPONSORS: If you are a brand new applicant, REGISTER YOUR ORGANIZATION to begin using our grants management system. If you’ve been funded by us in the past, but have yet to use our online system or cannot remember your password, click REQUEST A NEW PASSWORD, enter your e-mail, and a temporary password will be sent to you.

WRITERS: You will need to access our online system to fill out an event report after your event has occurred. All writers can request a new password, if necessary, to access their account. Click REQUEST A NEW PASSWORD, enter your e-mail, and a temporary password will be sent to you.

A sponsor must apply for a grant on behalf of a writer; writers should not apply for themselves. Before applying, please review the GUIDELINES to make sure your event qualifies for a Readings & Workshops grant.

Need help? CONTACT US.

Readings & Workshops grant recipients are required to credit Poets & Writers and our funders on publicity materials.

Details here

If you’re a writer or an organization interested in learning more about the Readings & Workshops program, please check out our Guidelines and FAQ.

Poets & Writers is committed to making literature available to the widest possible public, including audiences that rarely have access to literary events. Learn more about the special projects we support that bring readings and workshops to prisons, clinics, homeless shelters, settlement homes, and more.

Learn how to host a successful reading or event, step by step, by downloading our helpful Poets & Writers Guide to Presenting Readings and Workshops.

Download the Guide

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