The Center for Fiction stands in fierce solidarity with all who seek systemic change in the pursuit of justice and equality. We continue our fervent commitment to diversity, reflected in our staffing, governance, programming, fellowships, public school programs, and partnerships throughout the New York City community and beyond.
We also remain committed to informing and participating in the national dialogue on social issues, pledging passionately to redouble our efforts to make change happen with ever more inclusive programming and community engagement. Through our work with stories and storytellers, we aim to illuminate and correct the persistent wrongs that are imperative for our country to address.
Recent Statements on Current Events:
- May 25, 2021
An Invitation to Join Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Central Park Five and Activist and Poet Ian Manuel
- April 21, 2021
A Statement on the Verdict of the Derek Chauvin Trial
- March 18, 2021
A Statement on This Country’s Anti-Asian Violence
- June 5, 2020
Black Lives Matter
On America: A Performance of James Baldwin's "The White Problem"
KidsRead & KidsWrite
The Center for Fiction annually serves 2,500 students from under-resourced New York City Public Schools in grades 3 through 12 with author-led reading and writing events, creating interest and excitement for children and young people of all backgrounds who want to tell their own stories and have their voices heard. They hunger to read stories that evoke our shared humanity by authors representing immigrants, people of color, ethnic minorities, and those with different sexual orientations and gender identities. Fiction and narrative nonfiction create empathy and reveal what is timeless and true, but to do so there must be programs like KidsRead and KidsWrite to spotlight authors and artists.
Youth Justice Network Book Drive
Powered by community-based donations and partnerships with local bookstores, Books to Jails brings books to young people in custody. Youth Justice Network members specifically request titles, or we tailor our selections to their interests and concerns, bringing access to the joy, comfort, knowledge, and escapism of books to those behind bars.
On America: The Carceral System and Racial Justice with Ian Manuel and Yusef Salaam
Chris Jackson Addresses Systemic Racism in the Publishing Industry
Watch and read along with Chris Jackson’s powerful remarks as he accepts The Center for Fiction Medal for Editorial Excellence from presenter Ta-Nehisi Coates at our 2020 Annual Awards Benefit, which took place virtually on December 3rd, 2020. The publisher and editor-in-chief of One World, an imprint of Random House, Jackson is the editor of a wide range of award-winning and bestselling authors, including Bryan Stevenson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jill Leovy, Trevor Noah, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Ibram X. Kendi, Valarie Kaur, and Eddie Huang.
On America: The Juvenile Injustice SystemIn the summer of 2020, the national conversation about police brutality shifted from talk of reform to talk of dismantling an inherently unjust and racist system
Trauma and Healing Through Magic in Speculative FictionK.M. Szpara (First, Become Ashes), Anita Kopacz (Shallow Waters), Kerstin Hall...
NEA Big Read: A Lesson Before Dying and Ernest Gaines's LegacyIn this final NEA Big Read event, winners of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence came together to discuss the lasting legacy of...
NEA Big Read: Story/Teller Invitation to Read A Lesson Before Dying
Inside and Out
Inside and Out was The Center for Fiction’s Pride Month 2020 series designed to offer solace and affirmation to the LGBTQ community during a time of isolation from trusted social groups and support networks. Featuring a phenomenal line-up of authors whose books center the unique experiences of queer characters, conversations explored how sexuality and gender identity intersect with race, class, religion, and nationality.