In the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8 where nearly all students know people who have been assaulted or murdered, DCCWW provides a place where trauma is channeled and energies are guided into creating works of startling power and clarity. Most start the year substantially below the national average in literacy, but as students read poetry, discuss what they’ve read, and write their own works of art, they fluidly practice literacy skills without even realizing it. And DCCWW creates a safe, stable environment, especially for those who are perceived as gay, intellectually disabled, or simply different. Museum trips, poetry readings, and plays allow young artists to experience and connect with the larger artistic community. Students win more writing awards than those in any other program in the city, including students in prestigious private schools. Award these kids your support.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 8

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 8; We specifically work in the Congress Heights area of Southeast, DC. However, students from all over DC attend our after school program, which is held at Charles Hart Middle School.

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students

Schools They Work In: Charles Hart Middle School, Ballou High School, Simon Elementary

Awards & Recognition

Each year our students win the Larry Neal Awards, Parkmont Poetry Prizes and other writing contests in the area. This year we had 17 out of the 40 winners of the Parkmont Poetry Prizes and we had winners in two categories at the Larry Neal Awards.


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Budget (FY2021)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for DC Creative Writing Workshop is: Less than $500k

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