WritersCell: Creative Writing Incubator

13 February 2016



After more than a year in the making, and a pilot phase that lasted for 5 months, Project Pen is now launching WritersCell – the Middle East’s first creative writing incubator. WritersCell is a series of genre-based writing workshops designed to propel the growth of high-potential, advanced writers in Jordan, and the region at large.

Founded by Jordanian spoken word artist, poet and writer, Aysha El-Shamayleh, the workshop’s model and curriculum have intently sought to address the local context and the specific needs of writers in Jordan.

Each workshop cycle, select writers will be trained on how to maneuver the fast-changing publishing industry, while experimenting and maturing their writing techniques in a specified genre and language.

The first cycle of workshops will run from Dec. 23rd 2013 to Jan 10th 2014. It will focus on Creative Nonfiction (in English), a genre of writing dedicated to factually accurate narratives; true stories expressed in a creative way.

Whether you write op-eds in a newspaper or magazine (or want to), or are working on a memoir (or want to), or are looking to take your blogging career to the next level, WritersCell may be a good h for your pen.

Essayists, memoirists, bloggers, journalists and even poets may be interested in this cycle.

Creative nonfiction is a young genre worldwide, and WritersCell is looking to give 7 to 10 emerging writers in Jordan the opportunity to experiment with the genre, localize it, and give it a Middle Eastern face.

The final body of work will be published either as an e-book, or in print after getting pitched to publishers in the region and abroad (depending on the quality of the work).

The instructor for the Creative Nonfiction cycle is published Palestinian-American writer and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, Zaina Arafat.

Arafat earned her MFA degree in Creative Writing with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction, from Iowa University’s renowned Writers’ Workshop, the top MFA program in creative nonfiction in the United States according to Poets & Writers Magazine. She is currently an instructor at Iowa University’s Center for Undergraduate Writing. She also holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a BA in philosophy from The University of Virginia. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Huffington Post.

Want to know more about WritersCell?

Watch video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKcgCa4BoxI
Or visit the website – www.writerscell.com

The deadline for all applications is December 17. You can access the online application here -http://writerscell.com/apply-online/online-application/

WritersCell is a 100% voluntary project, and writers attend the workshops for free. Please consider supporting it by making a donation.
Here’s a link to an e-book Project Pen published today, in collaboration with New-York-based publisher, The Atavist - http://writerscell.com/poemsfromatomanthology/

"Poems from atom" features the work of a new generation of poets and storytellers out of the Middle East. The poetry, audio and story in this ebook were submitted to Project Pen from writers in Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia. The spoken word and audio poetry were sourced from the Middle East's first advanced writers’ incubator: WritersCell.
The work in this anthology reflects a cultural and literary renaissance out of the Middle East - made possible by technology.

WritersCell is a Project Pen program.

About Project Pen:

Project Pen was created to discover and publish the work of emerging fiction writers out of the Middle East. We create new kinds of stories for a digital readership, in Arabic and English.