Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week 2004

Sunday, July 18 — Saturday, July 24, 2004
Howard University
Washington, DC

Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week is the nation’s only multi-genre summer writers workshop for writers of African descent. Since the first workshop in the summer of 1996, over 700 writers have attended the weeklong program of classes and presentations by publishers, agents and writers.

The Week brings together Black writers from around the United States, as well as Black writers from the Caribbean and Europe, who create a nurturing, safe space for each other to discuss their work, its meaning and unique aesthetics. Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week is distinguished by the diversity of the writers it attracts—published, unpublished, college students, high school students, seniors, retirees, professionals – all chosen to participate in the Week on the strength of their writing.

Perhaps the highest accolade given to the workshop is the number of participants who have returned to their communities and, inspired by Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week, have formed community workshops and support groups for Black writers.

Programs and Successes

In it’s first decade, the Hurston/Wright Foundation has:

Awarded $35,000 in cash prizes to thirty winners of the Hurston/Wright Award.

Granted $75,000 in financial aid to writers to attend Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week.

Inspired the creation of writer’s workshops and support groups by workshop participants in their home communities.

Become a predictor of future success for emerging Black writers.

Become a vehicle for the continued development of the story of people of African descent.

By example, encouraged MFA programs and traditional writer’s workshops to become more racially diverse and inclusive.

Six winners of the Hurston/Wright Award have published books, and since 1999 winners have signed contracts to be published by Warner Books and Houghton Miflin. Over 500 writers have attended Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week since 1996.

The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation was established in September 1990 by novelist Marita Golden. Their mission is to develop, nurture and sustain the world Richard Wright community of writers of African descent. The programs and services preserve the legacy and ensure the future of Black writing. The Foundation is named for two genuises of American and world literature. The Foundation presents monetary awards for writers of African descent—the Hurston/Wright LEGACY Award™ and the Hurston/Wright Award™—and a multi-genre summer writers’ workshop for Black writers, Hurston/Wright Writers’ Week™.