About us

Young people write the future at 826NYC. Our programs unleash imagination, build core skills, and uplift the voices of our young authors.

826NYC author and alumn Mekhi V. flashes the peace sign to the camera. He's wearing a covid mask and standing in front of shelf of brightly colored student supply bins.

Our Mission

Our mission is to encourage the exploration of endless possibilities through the power of writing. Undefined by circumstance, our students build the skills to boldly write their own paths forward. We support new and exciting approaches to writing and inspire student engagement. And we foster generations of creative writers and thinkers, who together will define a better future.

Core Values

yellow apple

We write a better tomorrow, today.

We write a path forward, committing to a future where diverse young people’s voices are heard, their stories are shared, and a culture of lifelong learning helps us all thrive. And we’re building it every day.

pencils in a circle

We celebrate diversity and respect differences.

Our work is rooted in our diverse community and centers on ideals of justice and liberation. Our lives and the world are better when we have representation and contributions from every corner of NYC.

beaker and pen

We believe that there’s no such thing as a final draft.

We strive to create the best versions of our writing, and the best versions of ourselves. We are comfortable with change, embrace the unknown, and adapt to new challenges.

fist with pencil

We are creative & curious, perpetual knowledge seekers.

We build the muscles of imagination to tell new and better stories every day. We believe it’s never too late to embrace new ideas and try on new forms of self-expression, and to bring joy to our work.

white notepad

We provide the page, youth provide the stories.

We build our programs around the understanding that our young people are brilliant, capable, and ambitious. We hold space for students to be their most authentic selves, from brainstorm to publication.

open book

We expand the bookshelf.

We are our students’ biggest fans, and we believe they deserve a spot on your bookshelf. We defy the literary gatekeepers, celebrate the diverse voices of NYC youth, and believe in the importance of their stories.

Why 826NYC?

Creative writing is under-represented in schools. Educators report that they do not receive enough training in teaching writing in general, let alone creative writing. At 826NYC we believe writing is the other side of the literacy coin. Creative writing doesn’t just spark imagination, self-growth, and empowerment. It also creates engagement in reading. 

We believe that writing is power. When young people can express themselves in writing, whether it is fantastical tales of talking turkeys or true stories of social injustice, they are writing the future.

Our Staff

Helping a new generation of young students become young Writers.

Naomi Solomon
Naomi Solomon

Director of Education

Mandy Seiner
Mandy Seiner

Volunteer and Programs Manager

Summer Medina

Volunteer and Programs Coordinator

Amani Nephew

Programs Coordinator

Joshua Mandelbaum

Executive Director

Janna Cisterino
Janna Cisterino

Development and Communications Manager

Chris Eckert

Store and Operations Manager

Enrico Denard
Enrico Denard

Store Associate

Brendan Jacotin
Brendan Jacotin

Store Associate

Stella Raffle-Wax
Stella Raffle-Wax

Store Associate

J'miah Baird, Teaching Artist
J’miah Baird

Teaching Artist

Maria Barrios, Teaching Artist
María Barrios

Teaching Artist

Photo of Amanda Dettman
Amanda Dettmann

Teaching Artist

Amy Dupcak, Teaching Artist
Amy Dupcak

Teaching Artist

Willie Filkowski, Teaching Artist
Willie Filkowski

Teaching Artist

Daniel Goulden, Teaching Artist
Daniel Goulden

Teaching Artist

Varud Gupta, Teaching Artist
Varud Gupta

Teaching Artist

Jaydra Johnson

Teaching Artist

Nicholas Martinez

Teaching Artist

Hua Xi

Teaching Artist

Join our Team

826 Founders
Dave Eggers
Nínive Calegari
826NYC Founders
Scott Seeley
Joan Kim

Board of Directors

President
Michelle McGovern
Vice President
Ted Wolff
Treasurer
Jen D’Ambrosie
Secretary
Kathryn Yontef
Members
Michael Colagiovanni
Liza Demby
Jamal Edwards
Simone Fraser
Richard Kando
Kwaku K. Owusu
Sheila Peluso
Danielle Sinay
Andrew Sparkler
Alyson Stone
David Tuffy
Thom Unterburger
Sam Valenti IV

Advisory Board

Members
Wyatt Cenac
Marcel Dzama
Shelley Dick
Daniel Ehrenhaft
John Oliver
Eric Gilliland
Ira Glass
John Hodgman
Maureen Johnson
Geoff Kloske
Lisa Leingang
Matt Singer
Eugene Mirman
Sarah Vowell
Katherine Porterfield
Jonathan Marc Sherman
Lawrence Weschler