Riverside Writing Group

Fall 2023

The Riverside Writing Group is open to all who are interested in writing, whether for your private enjoyment or even publication. This year we continue our journey of “Writing Justice Stories.” Spend this time writing and reflecting upon your own encounters with in/justice in this world.

September 28, October 19, November 30 and December 7 | 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM | ZOOM

Click Below to Register for one or all!

September 28

“How-To See, Map, Write Health/Poverty/Gender Disparities in Your Own Community: Justice Tales from an Anthropologist”

Presenter: Dr. Vernay Mitchell-McKnight, Ph.D., Anthropology, Columbia University

October 19

“How to Write Justice Stories: Writing Girl Power. Part I” 

Presenter: Dr. Abosede George, Author of “Making Modern Girls: A History of Girlhood, Labor, and Social Development in 20th Century Colonial Lagos”

November 30

“How to Write Justice Stories: Writing Girl Power. Part II”

Presenter: Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, novelist, Powder Necklace: A Novel

December 7

“Talking to a Plant & Goat-Herding for One Year: A Herbalist on Writing Nature As Justice Teacher”

Presenter: Maitri Butcher, Certified Herbalist & a Co-Creator of Riverside Writing Group

Spring 2023

ICYMI: Click Here to Watch the kick-off event with Diana Butler Bass

Writing Spiritual Memoir and Justice kicks-off on Thursday, 3.23.23 @6:30pm via Zoom.

Click link, below, to REGISTER

Riverside Writing Group will kick off our 6th writing justice series with presentation by memoir theologian & historian Diana Butler Bass on “Writing Spiritual Memoir & Justice.”COME JOIN us as we write about our lives, with particular attention to the mysteries of life. To kick-off this series, Diana Butler Bass will guide us to focus on our past and present, asking: What is the source of my existence? What gives me hope in my life or what inspires my life? — and more.

Click Here to Register

Riverside Writing Group: Writing Spiritual Memoir and Justice with Diana Butler Bass March 23

March 23 — Kick-off presentation by Diana Butler Bass

March 30 — 1st of 4 weekly prompt-based writing sessions


April 13 — 2nd of 4 weekly prompt-based writing sessions

April 20 — 3rd of 4 weekly prompt-based writing sessions

April 27 — 4th & final of 4 weekly prompt-based writing sessions

May 4 — OPEN MIC Night/Call for Submissions

May 11-May 18 — Accepting Submissions to our 2023 Anthology/WRITING SPIRITUAL MEMOIR & JUSTICE

The Riverside Writing Group is pleased to share its 2022 Writing Poetry & Justice Anthology, featuring a foreword by award-winning poets-writers Rev. Lynn Casteel-Harper and Dr. Ryan Harper and edited by Riverside members Luvon Roberson, Maitri Butcher & Dr. Vernay Mitchell-McKnight

Click Here to Download the 2022 Writing Memoir & Justice Anthology (PDF)

Click Here to Download the 2022 Writing Environmental Justice Anthology (PDF)

Click Here to Download the 2022 Writing Poetry & Justice Anthology (PDF)

Click Here to Download the 2021 Social Justice Writing Anthology (PDF)

Anthology Release

December 2022 Anthology/WRITING MEMOIR & JUSTICE

For the 2022 Riverside Writing Group Anthology, writers engaged with artifacts, memories, and the Riverside Church archives (guided by archivist Diane Russo), to write about justice and call readers to action. Following the example set by Dr. Marcia Young Cantarella in Recognize and Give Thanks, her memoir chronicling the legacy of her father, civil rights icon and activist Whitney Young, Jr., they paid tribute to their own justice guides and mentors past, present, and even fictional.

**NEWS: Our 2022 Anthology/WRITING MEMOIR & JUSTICE** published on-line.** See how justice writers of Riverside Writing Group recognize and give thanks to their champions of justice — those globally recognized or little known or even fictional. And, let us know who you recognize in a photo from Riverside Church Archives of protestors against police brutality in 1999.Hint: It’s on the final page of our anthology!


About the Riverside Writing Group:

For over two years, the entire world has been held hostage by the COVID pandemic, which has thrown a black light on all manner of injustice, illuminating with glowing light for all of us to see centuries-old realities of inequity, brutality, disparities in health and wealth at the same time calling us as never before to see how – literally – we cannot live in this world without affecting (or infecting) each other. Planet Earth is the one home we all share. Humanness is our irrefutable bond.

So as to offer one pathway for Riverside Church and Friends to help build community in the pandemic and in a world of heightened awareness of generations of injustice and oppression, the Riverside Writing Group was created by Luvon Roberson, Debra Bracey, Dr. Vernay Mitchell-McKnight, and Maitri Butcher, with pastoral guidance from Rev. Charlene Wingate, Adult Education Committee. Rev. Bruce Lamb leads The Riverside Church Education Ministry.

Riverside Writing Group affirms our common human connection and invites all to join us in writing – in many different styles and genres – as a powerful tool for social justice: To write words that witness and speak truth to our shared humanness.

Each Riverside Writing Group series showcases a guest presenter — well-known published writer — who focuses on a writing genre in 40-minute presentation, followed by 20-minute Q&A from participants. Riverside Writing Group then invites participants to join in four weekly prompt-based writing sessions focused on the particular writing genre, after which they may choose to read their work at our OPEN MIC Night. When feasible, we publish an anthology of work submitted by writers who participated in any component of the writing series and we launch the anthology with a book party.

Our Mission:
The mission of Riverside Writing Group is aligned with particular aspects of the following:

The Riverside Church | Article II Mission (excerpt):
Members are called to an individual and collective quality of life that leads to personal, spiritual, and social transformation, witnessing to God’s saving purposes for all creation. Therefore, the Church pledges itself to education, reflection, and action for peace and justice and the realization of the vision of the heavenly banquet where all are loved and blessed.

Adult Education Committee of The Riverside Church | Mission Statement:
The Mission of the Riverside Church Adult Education Committee is to collaborate in the learning and planning of programs in an inclusive, interactive environment of sharing, that fosters spiritual growth, strengthens faith identity, and promotes social justice.

The key objective of Riverside Writing Group is to provide a welcoming, supportive forum for participants through specific genre-writing focus so as to express ideas, as well as voice, create, and share writings that bring to life and strengthen The Riverside Church mission and the Adult Christian Education mission.