The focus of the writing workshops is on the writing and sharing of stories, creation of a strong community of writers, and publication of writings in a magazine.
However, sometimes a writing group will decide they want to do something about an issue they have written about and discussed. The group may continue to meet to develop a plan and take action steps.
For instance, several parent writers at one school serving residents of public housing units under siege by the city’s housing authority and local developers became active in local activist groups working to preserve the rights of people living in the public housing complex. They have used current issues of the magazine to introduce themselves to the activist organizations. Parent writers at a small school in a predominantly Mexican community have similarly used their published stories as the basis for confronting local officials around their demands for better sanitation services and improved park facilities for their children. In schools and other community settings, writing workshops have been a springboard for an inquiry-to-action process in response to a specific community issue. It is up to the teacher to confer with the writers and the partnering community group as to how they might support the group’s efforts to move from writing and publishing to other forms of action.