From The Diversity Writing Project, Fall 2015:
From 2013-2014 workshops:
Nancy created a safe space in which I could manage my blocks and fears more effectively and concentrate on writing. Her carefully written and incisive feedback was indispensable. In her “Jumpstart Your Writing” class, she went above and beyond to ensure that everyone has a voice and a stake in the direction of the class, and that our voices were heard. I have never encountered a better writing teacher than Nancy.
–Suda Miller, Jumpstart Your Writing
As an on-again, off-again amateur author I must give kudos to Professor Agabian’s Writer’s Workshop for inspiring me to become a better and more creative writer. I attended these workshop sessions in the fall of 2014 and as a group we read and critiqued each other’s work. As an author, I am grateful for the helpful suggestions, insights and constructive criticism of my opus; and I am certain that what I’ve learned in those sessions has made me a better writer. Professor Agabian is an accomplished author who puts her heart and soul into bringing out the best in each writer, she reads everybody’s work with interest, and her enthusiasm for the craft is contagious. Also, Professor Agabian seems to have a talent for assembling the perfect mix of writers that made each session memorable and productive. I would highly recommend Nancy Agabian’s Writing Workshops to any aspiring author who takes his or her work seriously.
— Patrick Mollin, Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction
If you are looking to ignite your writing practice, if you have a story that you have been longing to tell, if you are seeking a community who will help you make it to the finish line, if you live in Jackson Heights, I would highly recommend Heightening Stories.
Nancy is a gifted teacher who puts together provocative readings, thoughtful writing prompts, and substantial feedback. She knows exactly when to applaud a beautiful sentence or scene, and when to nudge one to go deeper.
Sharing writing around Nancy’s dining table on Wednesday nights with committed fellow writers was a highlight to my week; most of all, the class provided the structure and inspiration and tools to keep writing.
–Amy Paul, Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction
I have taken Nancy’s writing workshop for a year. The supportive and caring environment she has created in the workshops, and the small size, made me feel comfortable enough to share even deeply personal pieces. As a result of the workshops and the level of care Nancy gave to my writing and encouraged the participants to pay to other students’ writing, I have greatly improved my writing. Because of her workshop, I was able to fine tune a piece for submission to an MFA program and was admitted to two programs in the NYC metro area. I also was able to begin reading my work publicly, with her encouragement and support – something I never had the courage to do before. I cannot recommend Nancy or her workshop enough. It has truly been life changing for me.
— Jennifer Coon, Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction
I took Nancy’s writing workshop last spring (2014) – my first writing class in ten years – and was delighted by the experience. As a teacher, Nancy does an excellent job at creating an environment of joyful exploration, community, and commitment. She manages to guide class discussion so it is consistently constructive, specific, and supportive. An astute reader, Nancy always offers precise and useful feedback, yet her overall response is appreciation – she can be relied on to recognize the worth of each student’s piece, each student’s special gift and talents. I would highly recommend Nancy’s workshop both to novice and experienced writers alike.
–Victoria Adler, Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction
Nancy has managed to create a safe and nurturing community in her workshops. She offers both a calm and creative environment for writers, as well as an opportunity for critical feedback on your writing. I was new to Memoir and Creative Non-fiction, but Nancy, with her kind nature and always insightful feedback has been a irreplaceable guide for me into this genre.
–Jessie Lanoil, Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction
I received a great deal of support and encouragement from Nancy and the other workshop participants. I was new to the memoir format and this workshop gave me both the confidence and the skills to apply and get in to an MFA program [in Nonfiction]. The class pushed me to think in new ways about my writing, and to be more dedicated and disciplined. I was truly inspired by Nancy and the participants who were so committed to refining their craft.
–Becky Band Jain, Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction
I started with Nancy’s workshops when I was living in New York and was happy and impressed with the way the workshop was run. I went in completely shy and self-conscious about my writing. Through Nancy’s competent and caring instruction, my confidence has grown. I have since moved from New York but continue with the online workshops. I have learned so much through the weekly readings, critiques and instruction. During the workshops, I look forward to the meetings each week and when the workshop is not in session, I miss the sense of community I have from those weekly meetings.
– Jennifer Watkins, Jumpstart Your Writing and Creative Nonfiction/Autobiographical Fiction
…I appreciated very much Nancy Agabian’s guidance of the workshop. She created a supportive and yet critically honest writing environment that I never imagined possible.
-Antonius Wiriadjaja, Our Side, 2009
Nancy was able to make me feel comfortable enough to write and to share my writings with the group. She did an amazing job of fostering a supportive environment where we could share unfinished work and new ideas with each other. She is a good listener and very aware of letting the students bring their own ideas into the workshop. It was a workshop where we all felt very much a part of the process, not just passive participants.
-Deena Patel, Our Side, 2009
Participating in the Our Side workshop gave me the sense of community I needed to find my voice as a writer. Our weekly meetings and writing assignments provided the structure I needed to become a more disciplined and reflective writer, while being able to give fellow writers the gift of honest feedback. Writing about cultural identity, immigration and my connection to my homeland enabled me to process the many experiences that have brought me to the place I am now. I feel more confident in my ability to write and I hope more classes like this are offered for Queens-based writers.
-Beatriz Gil, Our Side, 2009