The SHAPE YOUR SHADOW Workshop Series

There’s so much talk about diversity and literature these days, a much needed conversation that has been rocking all the right boats. Moving into a new era of a more equitable book world will mean strategizing new ways to change the demographics of writing and publishing and lifting up voices that haven’t been heard enough.

Shadowshaper_coverSo I’m beyond thrilled to announce the CHAPTER IN MY LIFE: SHAPE YOUR SHADOW workshop series, which I’ll be conducting the week of June 22 at the Global Citizens school in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (one of the neighborhoods where SHADOWSHAPER takes place) in collaboration with the Department of Youth and Community Development. The young women will learn about narrative structure, character and plot development, worldbuilding and craft. They will also get first hand experience as they go through the editing and contract negotiating and getting paid process of publishing, and they’ll get to see their work posted at the soon-to-be unveiled SHADOWSHAPER website,

This, of course, is only the beginning.

Below is the official press release.

Press contacts:
Dayana Perez (DYCD), 646-343-6739 /
Saraciea Fennell (Daniel José Older), 212-343-6351 /


NEW YORK—The Department of Youth and Community Development’s (DYCD) “A Chapter in My Life” Literacy and Writing project will partner with activist, composer and critically acclaimed author Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper) for a three-day workshop, A Chapter in My Life: Shape Your Shadow. The event will focus on teaching young people in DYCD’s COMPASS NYC Transition to High School (THS) program about narrative structure, plot and character development, creating meaningful contexts, and tips on how to navigate the publishing industry.

The project brings together a group of young women from Brooklyn— the neighborhood in which Shadowshaper is set—to attend a series of advanced fiction writing workshops. The students will be required to write their own supernatural short stories based on places in their neighborhood. Older will edit and publish each of the short stories on the “Shadowshaper” site ( ), and participants will receive a stipend for their participation, and experience handling a contract through publication.

The A Chapter In My Life: Shape Your Shadow workshop will take place at the High School for Global Citizenship (883 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY):

Monday, June 22, 2015, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Thursday, June 25, 2015, 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Daniel José Older is the author of the ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna, and the adult books in the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series. His short stories and essays have appeared in, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Shadowshaper is his first YA novel. Visit him online at for his thoughts on writing, his decade-long career as a NYC paramedic, and to listen to his music. Follow him on Twitter @djolder.

The Comprehensive After School System of NYC (COMPASS NYC) comprises more than 800 programs serving young people enrolled in grades K-12. Through its network of providers, COMPASS NYC offers high quality programs with a strong balance of academics, recreation, enrichment and cultural activities to support and strengthen the overall development of young people. The Transition to High School Program (THS) is designed to help incoming high school ninth graders navigate their new surroundings with targeted academic and social and emotional supports, and advocacy within the school community. For more information, visit DYCD at or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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