Writers in the Schools (WITS)

Writting is the Key to life

Operating as usual

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 05/01/2024

Welcome to May and another month of fantastic events!

🌟 Young Writer Menil Reading - Friday, May 3
🎉 BIPOC Book Festival - Saturday, May 4
📝 Free Verse Workshop - Saturday, May 11

🎉 Don't miss out on these incredible literary events! Mark your calendars and join us for a month filled with inspiration, creativity, and community. See you there! 📚✨

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 04/19/2024

Wow, what an incredible ride! We just wanted to take a moment to shout out each and every one of you for bringing your A-game to the Meta4 Grand Slam.

To all the poets who bravely stepped onto the stage and shared their stories, emotions, and dreams through spoken word poetry, thank you for your courage and vulnerability. Your voices are powerful beyond measure, and they resonate deeply with all who have had the privilege.

Meta4 Houston, you're up! We can't wait to see you take the stage at Brave New Voices in DC and defend our title as slam champions.

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 04/17/2024

🌸 Thank you for joining us at the Blooms Reading event and celebrating the creativity of our young talents. Let's continue nurturing these young writers as they bloom into confident artists. 🌷

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 04/16/2024

🎉Out of all the options in our adventure, we arrived at the best ending! And while we may think about our writing concluding with an ending, it’s not WITS’s last page. The encore is the result of your support, dedication, and enthusiasm for our cause. Over $140,000 was raised for WITS, and it's all thanks to our incredible community. We'll be toasting our successes amongst the host committee and event sponsors on May 3rd, and we look forward to continuing our journey with you!

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 04/08/2024

Do you want to be a part of the 2024 WITS Choose Your Adventure? Look no further.

With TWO days until the luncheon, get in the spirit by determining what WITS Adventurer you are and share your results below. Or better yet, join us on April 10th at the luncheon to share your results amongst other WITS supporters. Let's make a difference together. Invite your friends to join us and become a part of the WITS journey. Read more in the link in our bio!


WITS is excited to be participating in this year's Neighborhood Community Day with the . Join us at 1:00pm for a performance from the newly formed team, stop by our table and chat with our lovely writers or join us at 3:00pm for a workshop led by Wendolyn Lozano Tova and Gretchen Velarde.

Gretchen and Wendolyn will be helping students create ceramic tiles with words on them and then breaking the tiles to create new and fractured words. The project will culminate in a collaborative sculpture to be displayed at the WITS House. To register please visit the link in our bio.

Link to register: https://forms.gle/nUD1vzEU2iNHTKqQ8

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 04/02/2024

Happy April, everyone! 📚✨ Explore our exciting lineup of slams and readings this month!

🎤 Meta4 Grand Slam on April 4 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston from 6-8 pm--FREE ENTRY
📝 Menil Community Day on April 6 at the Menil from 12PM - 6PM
🚀Blooms Reading at the WITS office on April 13 from 2PM - 4PM
🎤Houston Public Library & WITS Slam at the McGovern-Stella Link Neighborhood Library on April 5 from 5PM - 7:30PM

And stay up to date on all things WITS by subscribing to our newsletter at witshouston.org/spotlight

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 03/29/2024

🎉 We are excited to announce that we have raised nearly $83,000 so far, but we still have a way to go to reach our $135,000 goal. Your contribution is making a significant impact, and we're confident that, with your continued support, we can surpass our target. Grab your friends, a backpack, and most importantly, your sense of adventure, and join the journey.

There are a handful of tickets and table sponsorships still available! But don't wait, we're 12 days away from the big journey. Support or attend today via the link in our bio.


As International Women's Month draws to a close, we're honored to feature Fariha, a talented writer of WITS. Her voice resonates with power, grace, and authenticity, embodying the essence of womanhood. Let's celebrate Fariha and the countless women who have inspired us throughout this month and beyond.

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 03/26/2024

✨Meet our Choose Your Adventure Featured Poets!🎤

On Wednesday, April 10th, Houston Youth Poet Laureate, Elizabeth Hsu, and Meta4 Houston 2023 team member, Adriana Winkelmayer, will inspire us with captivating poetry performances. Their words and passion remind us of the transformative power of poetry and the crucial role WITS plays in nurturing young writers! By attending WITS’s only annual benefit, you champion programs and partnerships and the empowerment of young voices, like Elizabeth’s and Adriana’s.

Ready to join us? Click the link in our bio to get your tickets or visit https://e.givesmart.com/events/v4K/page/order-form-luncheon/ !


In honor of International Women's Month, we're spotlighting Carliss Chatman, a former board member of WITS. Her words serve as a beacon of inspiration, empowerment, and upliftment. Let's raise a toast to Carliss and the remarkable women leaving their imprint on education and beyond.

Professor Carliss Chatman is an award-winning legal scholar and professor, lawyer, author, and speaker who has dedicated service and leadership to her goal of democratizing access to information that moves critique and understanding from the page to real life. She reimagines and reframes thinking on corporations and contract law considering the racialized and gendered impact of business decisions and the limits on the freedom to contract, with a focus on how both structure and culture combine with systemic legal norms to create inequalities and injustice. Chatman also connects understanding of how to identify and pursue viable solutions to address these inequalities through the open comprehension of legal personhood, corporate governance, and legal ethics. Carliss Chatman is an Associate Professor at SMU Dedman School of Law. She is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and received her bachelor's degree in 2001 from Duke University.

After experiencing the magic of WITS as a student in Houston, Carliss served on the board for several years, including a term as board chair. She builds on the skills and passion for literature she acquired as a WITS kid in all of her writing, including her children's book Companies Are People Too.


Registration is now open and spots are filling fast for WITS summer camps! We're excited to partner with for Creative Writing Camp and to work with our friends , , and to offer WITS summer programming to students across the city of Houston. Visit witshouston.org/summer-camps for more information and to register your students today.


Meet Madeleine Gaudin, the fantastic program coordinator at WITS. As we continue our commitment to celebrating the women who enrich Houston's dynamic artistic and literary scene, don't miss Madeleine at the upcoming Gulf Coast reading at the Lawndale Art Center. She'll be sharing the stage with fellow UHCSP student readers and Allegra Hyde! Here's a little more about Madeleine:

Madeleine Gaudin is a writer, editor, and educator originally from Austin, Texas. Madeleine comes to WITS with a background in elementary education, having served as a Teach for America Corps Member in Detroit Public Schools Community District. She has received training and specialization in English and literacy intervention. Through that work, she has developed a passion for the role of creative expression in equitable education. Madeleine has a BA in English and Film Studies from the University of Michigan and is a current MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Houston.


Introducing Carmen Jacobsen, a beloved WITS writer. As Women's History Month unfolds, WITS remains dedicated to honoring the women who contribute to the vibrant artistic and literary landscape of Houston.

Born in Kansas City, Mo. and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. Carmen Erna Jacobsen is a poet, a non-fiction writer, and a teacher. She has written education articles for The Rice Entrepreneurship Educational Program Blog, known as REEP, in 2012. She has published poems in magazines such as Harbinger Assylum, Houston and Nomadic Voices Magazine and Degenerates by Weasel Press. She has published two books of poems. Saudade in 2013, and Men of Fish, a collaborative work with an Alaskan photographer -David Little- in 2015. She published her first children’s book, “My First Trip on My Own”, in 2020, now available through Amazon. She believes in the power of storytelling for personal change, growth, and hope. She has been an active participant and supporter of Writing and the Arts (WATA) at Rice University, where teachers inspire each other to write. She has been an educator and creative writing teacher for WITS for 18 years.


Celebrating International Women's Month with a special feature on Valerie Sweeten, a talented writer with WITS. Her words inspire, empower, and uplift. Here's to Valerie and all the incredible women making their mark on the world of literature and beyond.

Valerie Sweeten has over 25 years as a published writer with major news publications, is the author of Shh, Listen: In the Rainforest, Shh, Listen: On a Safari, and The Donut Tree. She’s also the founder/editor of the online magazine, Hot in Houston Now and a creative writing teacher with Writers in the Schools. Valerie resides in Houston with her family and pack of dachshunds. In her free time, you can find her reading, cooking, or taking long walks on the beach.


March's newsletter shines a spotlight on the incredible Jax Neal! His talent and dedication to his wide-ranging craft are truly inspiring. Join us in celebrating Jax's creativity and accomplishments.

Jax Neal is a multidisciplinary performance artist, choreographer, and poet from Houston, Texas. Neal is an alumni of the Meta Four Houston Poetry Slam team and a former Houston Youth Poet Laureate. He currently serves as a choreographer in residence at Houston Metropolitan Dance Center and a California Arts Administrators Pipeline Fellow in Los Angeles, California. Neal attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a First Wave Scholar, the only full tuition scholarship for Hip Hop and Spoken Word Poetry in the world. He is the co-author of the poetry chapbook “Dear Azula” published by Button Poetry in 2021.

"I think my very demeanor, my curiosities and ambitions as an adult first took shape at poetry slam practice on West Main St. My dreams grew a little bigger, and now all these years later they’ve become my life. It’s difficult to describe that kind of magnitude, that my beingness was in-part shaped here. I speak like a poet, think like a poet, I think of my dances as their own poetry, I wash the dishes, make friends, and watch movies the way a poet would." - Jax Neal

Stay up-to-date with upcoming WITS events and our spotlight by subscribing to our monthly newsletter! Visit https://www.witshouston.org/ for more information.


Join us in celebrating the incredible Biz Rasich, the program associate and UH fellow of WITS! Not only does she dedicate herself to empowering writers and students, but we're also thrilled to highlight her recent achievement with Inprint, where she garnered well-deserved recognition for her exceptional short fiction.

Biz Rasich was born in Texas but grew up in Richmond, Virginia. She returned to Texas for her BA in Mathematical Economic Analysis at Rice University, and comes to the MFA program after working at the University of Chicago doing press strategy and research for a book about gun violence. Her fiction explores oddities of all kinds, including conspiracies, corporate culture, reality TV, and human-animal relationships.


✨ Meet Our Fabulous MC and Entertainment Extraordinaire, Jasminne Mendez! ✨🎤

Join us at the upcoming luncheon for an unforgettable experience with the incredible as our Master of Ceremony! Jasminne Mendez is a best-selling Dominican-American poet, translator, playwright, audiobook narrator and award-winning author of several books for children and adults.

Her authored works include the middle-grade novel in verse Aniana del Mar Jumps In (Dial) which received the 2024 Pura Belpre Honor Award. Her other books have received prizes from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Writer’s League of Texas, and the International Latino Book Awards! She is an MFA graduate of the creative writing program at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and a University of Houston alumni. She is the Program Director for the literary arts non-profit Tintero Projects and she lives and works in Houston, TX.

🎟️Tickets Are Available! The luncheon is just around the corner. We can't wait to come together and celebrate with our amazing community. Secure your tickets before they run out through the link in our bio!

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 03/08/2024

We wanted to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude for our sponsors' incredible support of Writers in the Schools and its mission. Their generosity is making a real difference in our community, empowering young minds and advocating for the literary arts in a way that truly matters.


Sending a huge shoutout to the fabulous WITS writer, Kim-Ling Sun, on International Women's Day! Her talent and energy light up our world. Let's raise a toast to her and all the incredible women out there rocking it every day.

Kim-Ling Sun is a passionate writer and educator whose work reflects a deep commitment to social justice and education. Her poetry was featured in Emmy Perez's Texas Poet Laureate Project with Poets Against Walls. For several years, Kim-Ling has been a contributing writer for BestColleges.com, where she explores important topics such as women's issues and diversity, sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring change. In 2018, Kim-Ling was recognized as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year by Humanities Texas. Through her writing and teaching, Kim-Ling continues to champion inclusivity, empowerment, and the power of education to transform lives.


Today we are spotlighting Kiara Carter, one of WITS's wonderful writers! Her creativity and spirit bring so much joy to our community. Here's to celebrating her and all the incredible women making a difference every day.

Kiara has been an artist and educator for over 5 years. She has taught workshops and classes throughout Houston and Galveston. Although originally from Waco, the food alone would make her want to call Houston her home. Wherever she is her greatest joy is to see her community grow and thrive. As an artist, she knows that creativity cannot happen without risk and that can be intimidating. But when we create from in a safe and play-filled environment, some of our greatest works emerge.


Join us in celebrating the remarkable women of WITS and the vibrant artistry of women within our Houston community. Meet Amy C. Evans, one of the brilliant writers of WITS!

In addition to her work for WITS, Amy C. Evans has been busy. She recently interviewed celebrated writers Bryan Washington and Kiese Laymon for Rice Magazine’s soon-to-be-released Spring 2024 issue. Last month, Amy served as the 2024 Artist in Residence at St. John’s School, exhibiting her artwork in the school’s gallery, and collaborating with students in grades 1 through 12 on “Grocery Stories,” an installation of student paintings, photographs, and sculptures inspired by her narrative still life paintings. A show of Amy’s latest work will open at Koelsch Gallery on May 2.


🌟 Exciting News! 🌟 The countdown is on for the Choose Your Adventure Luncheon, and we've got two “page-turning” updates for you.

📅 Print Deadline Alert: The final call is here! If you're looking to be featured as a host committee member in our event materials, the print deadline is approaching fast. Secure your spot and showcase your support! Pledge or support by March 3rd to be included on the 2024 WITS Choose Your Adventure Luncheon invitations.

🎟️ Tickets Are Now Open: Tickets are available for purchase starting today! Don't miss out on an unforgettable adventure! Get your tickets and join the adventure here: www.2024wits.givesmart.com!

Let's make this event a memorable celebration together! 🛶

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 03/01/2024

We're excited to enter the spring season with an exciting lineup of events! Don't forget to check out what we have in store for you this month!

🎤 Meta4 Preliminary Slam 4 on March 8 at Art League Houston from 7-9 pm
📝 Little BIPOC Book Festival on March 9th from 10AM - 2PM
🚀College Essay Writing via virtual meeting on March 16th
🎤Meta4 Preliminary Slam 5 on February 22nd at from 7PM - 9PM
📝Heights Kids Day of Music on March 23rd at Love Park from 10AM-2PM

To sign up for the Meta4 Slam Series events, visit witshouston.org/m4 or check out the link in our bio.

And stay up to date on all things WITS by subscribing to our newsletter at witshouston.org/spotlight


As we reach the end of Black History Month, we want to take a moment to celebrate the remarkable black artists within WITS and the vibrant literary community of Houston. Our diversity is the cornerstone of our collective identity, adding a depth and vibrancy that is truly unmatched. Let us continue to honor and celebrate the diverse community of artists of WITS and Houston!


We encourage our supporters to visit their nearest H-E-B store to continue uplifting the partnership between H-E-B and our community. H-E-B has been a supporter since 2021 and their ongoing dedication to making a difference in Texas and Mexico is truly inspiring, and WITS is grateful for the partnership. with

Photos from Writers in the Schools (WITS)'s post 02/22/2024

With the 2024 WITS Choose Your Adventure Luncheon drawing near, allow us to introduce you to our distinguished honoree and esteemed chairs! We deeply appreciate their support, and they play crucial roles in honoring the artistry of young people.

Visit https://www.witshouston.org/luncheon for more information about the 2024 WITS Choose Your Adventure Luncheon today!


Biz, our wonderful WITS representative, attended the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) conference—where creativity flows freely, connections are forged, and the power of storytelling unites us all. Proud to be part of this literary community! Here's a glimpse into one of the readings at the AWP Conference.


Save the date - February 22nd at Humble High School is where the action's at! Join us for our third Meta4 Slam, where Houston's most talented young poets will go head-to-head for a spot on the champion Meta4 team!


The application for writers with Writers in the Schools is still accepting submissions! Hurry, as the application deadline is just a few weeks away. Don't miss this opportunity to facilitate workshops, interact with students throughout Houston, and build meaningful connections within the local community. Apply TODAY!

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college in Houston?

Click here to claim your Sponsored Listing.

Videos (show all)

Sending a huge shoutout to the fabulous WITS writer, Kim-Ling Sun, on International Women's Day! Her talent and energy l...
Save the date - February 22nd at Humble High School is where the action's at! Join us for our third Meta4 Slam, where Ho...
TONIGHT!! February 9th, 6 PM, Alief Neighborhood Center—Meta4 Slam is where it's at. No admission fee, and we're pumped ...
Don't miss out—circle February 9th on your calendar! At 6 PM, the Meta4 Slam unfolds at Alief Neighborhood Center. It's ...
It's happening tonight! Join us at Aerosol Warfare from 7-9 PM for the Free Verse workshop event. Immerse yourself in an...
Get ready for the Meta4 Slam on February 9th at 7 PM, happening at the Alief Neighborhood Center—it's gonna be incredibl...
Experience the first Free Verse open mic night of 2024, featuring the creative poetry of Houston's youth poets on stage....
Attend the first Free Verse event of 2024, where talented young poets from Houston will be showcasing their art on stage...
Come and be part of the first Free Verse night of 2024, featuring young poets from Houston showcasing their artistic tal...
Houston youth poets, the Meta4 Slam Series of 2024 is on the horizon!Participate in the Meta4 Slam Series, a youth poetr...
Houston youth poets, the Meta4 Slam Series of 2024 is on the horizon!Participate in the Meta4 Slam Series, a youth poetr...
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