D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
D.C. Creative Writing Workshop
Student Work
You can help



Contact Us


Our Mission

The D.C. Creative Writing Workshop, based in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast D.C., unites parents, teachers and professional writers-in-residence to transform the lives of youth through self-expression and the power of the written word.

Our Staff

Nancy Schwalb is the founder and Executive Director/Artistic Director of the D.C. Creative Writing Workshop. She has an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and has been teaching creative writing at Hart Middle School since 1995. Her work has been published in the GW Review, the Washington City Paper, Vanity Fair, Barragua, Argus, and the English Journal. She has served as a teaching fellow for the Kennedy Center, is a six-time Larry Neal Award winner, won the 2002 “Shayne” NonProfit Leadership Award, and was honored as a "Local Hero" by the Bank of America Foundation in 2011. Schwalb also founded the Youth Poetry Slam League.

Abbey Chung, our Program Director, started working for the Workshop in 2008 and can't imagine a more amazing place. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a James A. Michener Fellow. She graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in creative writing. While there, she worked as a writing tutor at the Oberlin Writing Center and taught poetry at Langston Middle School. She is also a graduate of the Clarion West Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Tor.com, and The Susquehanna Review, and she is the winner of the 2011 Diana Vreuls Fiction Prize. She likes science fiction, cooperation, and the judicious use of adverbs.

Patrick Washington (aka Black Picasso) is regarded by many as one of the country’s premier performance poets. Patrick represents classic poetry for the hip-hop generation. Forged in Washington D.C.’s now-legendary U Street Poetry Scene, Patrick is a master of genre fusion. He has conducted interactive workshops for The American Poetry Museum and has been a teaching artist for Words Beats & Life. Patrick has also worked for: Young Audiences of Maryland, America Scores, Youthbuild, and the Gateway Community Development Corporation. He is half of the duo POEM-CEES, a musical group that has four full length albums and has been featured in dozens of compilations.

Brittani Taylor Brown is a filmmaker from Washington D.C. She is a graduate of University of Maryland Baltimore County with a BA in Political Science and Minor in Communications. She has her own production company, BarbaraJean Productions, LLC., and has also worked with local artist Raheem DeVaughn’s production team. Brittani currently films for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) program. Brittani works for Prince George’s Community College in Largo, MD with the Youth@Work Program.

Our Board of Directors

John Cotman, Chair
Susan Gerson
Helen Hooper
Bernie Horn
Brian Gilmore
William Newlin
Nancy Schwalb

Our Advisory Board

Toi Derricotte
Award-winning poet and professor at the University of Pittsburgh

Rita Dove
Former Poet Laureate of the United States and professor at the University of Virginia

Cornelius Eady
Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry and director of the Creative Writing program at the University of Notre Dame

Nikki Giovanni
Grammy-nominated poet and professor at Virginia Tech University

Kirsten Tollefson
CEO of Tollefson & Company Investment Management

Back to our home page



Contact us at info@dccww.org or call Executive Director Nancy Schwalb at