GET INVOLVED

Introducing the Uptown Stories Small Job Squad.

As a young nonprofit, with a tiny (albeit mighty) staff, we genuinely need volunteer help.  However, we know how uncomfortable it is to commit to an open-ended, vague project.  So we’ve come up with a bunch of discrete, but essential ways you can volunteer to help.  Some of these jobs are completable, and others are on-going, but in either case we ask that you commit to your small job for at least three months.  Thanks to your support, we’ll be able to reach more young people uptown and help them discover their inner voices in a diverse community of writers.

Scroll through the current volunteer opportunities to see if there’s a job that’s right for you! Clicking any tile will redirect you to our sign-up form. We look forward to hearing from you!

AdWords Authority

Google gives us $10K in Google Ads each month. Help us use that opportunity to spread the good word about Uptown Stories.

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Anthologester

The Anthologester helps edit and layout the print anthology published at the conclusion of each semester.

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Anthology Advisor

Karina teaches us the wonders of Adobe InDesign so we can publish our incredible anthologies.

Karina Granda
Bio

Karina Granda is an Art Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers where she designs Young Adult and Middle Grade novels, as well as the occasional Picture Book. She has worked on numerous New York Times bestsellers including The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black, Internment by Samira Ahmed, The Magic Misfits series by Neil Patrick Harris, Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. When not making books, she likes to take walks around her Bushwick neighborhood, visit museums, watch reality TV, and read Yelp reviews for her next eating adventure. You can find her work at karinagranda.com.

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Bibliotrix

Do you secretly wish you were a librarian? Examine our current library and correctly categorize and organize our books. You would also solicit book donations from book publishers and literary agencies that represent middle grade and YA book authors.

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Biz Wiz

Do you live uptown and like talking to your local business owners? Help connect with folks who are interested in sponsoring a workshop or contributing to Uptown Stories.

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Data Detective

Katya helps analyze our registration tables, and communicates the trends in our program data in an accessible way.

Katya Johns
Bio

Katya Johns has always been enamored with communication of all types – be it written, visual or data. She graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in Government and English, which she combined in the pursuit of political journalism, before turning to the world of business and finance. A native New Yorker, uptown girl and wannabe writer, Katya found immediate resonance with Uptown Stories’ mission and model.

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DOE Diplomat

Help us communicate with your school’s administration, literacy teachers, PTA, and parent community.

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Exceptional Excerptor

Ellen selects excerpts from every student's published writing to share with online and with the wider Uptown Stories community.

Ellen Noonan
Bio

Ellen is a historian, educator, and media producer currently directing New York University’s master’s degree program in Archives and Public History. In her prior work at American Social History Project (based at the City University of New York), she designed and led professional development programs serving New York City public school social studies teachers, created and consulted on curriculum development projects, and developed digital projects for educators and the public. She served as supervising editor of the textbook Who Built America?: Working People and the Nation’s History, Volume One: To 1877 (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008) and is the author of The Strange Career of Porgy and Bess: Race, Culture, and America’s Most Famous Opera (University of North Carolina, 2012). Her daughter Susannah is an avid participant in Uptown Stories workshops.

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Granter of Wishes

Emily's grant game is strong!

Emily Renne
Bio

As a young girl, Emily started writing stories on the backs of old holiday cards and never put the pencil down. Her long-term goals are to work in education and teach writing at the college-level. She spends the 9-5 workday as a project manager in the brisk world of advertising and works with ESL students at LaGuardia Community College on the side. Emily graduated from Ithaca College in December 2016 and moved to Astoria, Queens soon after.

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Granter of Wishes

As the granter of wishes, you will help us by writing a single grant to keep US going strong.

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MailChimp Maestro

Help us create beautiful, stylish, and informative campaigns. We'd love to dive into the deeper features too, using tags and A/B campaigns, etc..

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Party Planner

Help organize special events like "Saturday Write Live," soliciting food and drink donations from local businesses and helping to run the party.

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Press Liaison

Communicate with local media and develop relationships, spreading the word about our pay-what-you-can program. Skills: excellent telephone and email etiquette, experience writing effective press releases

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Social Media Savant

Help find interesting content to share with our supporters on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, such as publishing opportunities, articles about writing, writing contests, book recommendations, and more.

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Sultan of Snacks

Help provide a balance of healthy and fun snacks for our hungry young writers. You'll solicit donations online from places like Costco and Fairway and help us get snacks from places we maybe haven't thought to ask.

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Webcrawler

As our resident webcrawler, Laura updates and maintains our WordPress site.

Laura Ho
Bio

Laura is a freelance web developer based in New York. Her website is lauraho.work

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Wednesday
Worker Bee

Sade is a regular at our Wednesday work parties, and handles anything we throw at her!

Sade Boyewa
Bio

Sade Boyewa is a multimedia artist who lives and works in Harlem with her two kids. A native of Sweden and Nigeria, her colorful and vibrant collages based in photographs pay homage to her transnational and multicultural upbringing from around the world. Sade started her career as an Internationally Renowned Makeup Artist in the Television, Film and Print. In November 2018, Sade founded The Harlem PoP-Up Collective & The Harlem Flea, a hub for local artisans, creatives, designers and vendors from Harlem to share their goods and link with the community. Sade says of her work, “My ultimate goal is to inspire people, most of all children to look carefully at the world around them, beyond the obvious, to uncover all the beauty that exist in the most unusual and unexpected places.”

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Wednesday
Worker Bee

Emily is an incredibly helpful and pleasant person, who's willing to do whatever to assist us at Uptown.

Emily Chase
Bio

Emily loves a good question. Questions are what brought her to medical school, a Masters in Bioethics, and New York City. And questions are what brings her to a good story. Emily like to create words out of thin air- it’s almost like magic! She can’t wait to work for Uptown Stories and looks forward to meeting all of you!

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Wednesday Workerbee

Come to Wednesday Work Party. Every Wednesday from 10-4, we meet at the Cornerstone Center and get work done! Show up and we will give you a task for the day.

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WORKSHOP WIZARD

Vivian sparks student's creative flow in our poetry class.

Vivian Holland
Bio

Vivian Holland is an undergraduate at New York University’s Gallatin School pursuing an interdisciplinary major in neurochemistry and music, with a creative writing minor through the College of Arts and Sciences. Vivian is passionate about nurturing young writers and loves being part of Uptown Stories’ dynamic creative space! When she isn’t scribbling poems in her notebook or testing compounds in her lab, Vivian can be found singing and playing jazz in the East Village, or occasionally performing standup comedy.

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Workshop Wizard

Sarah helps strengthen the voices of young writers in Girls Rising.

Sarah Yang
Bio

Sarah Yang is a senior at the Academies@Englewood in New Jersey. Originally born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Sarah utilizes the duality and diversity in her multicultural identity throughout her writing, specifically her poetry, as ways to relearn herself and the world in different ways than before. Looking to major in literature in college, Sarah is passionate and continuously optimistic about writing’s power to defy and redefine.

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Workshop Wizard

Layla inspires beautiful verse in the Art of Poetry

Layla Acito
Bio

Layla Acito is a poet, visual artist, and recent Trinity high school graduate on a gap year; she will be attending Eugene Lang College at the New School in Fall 2020. Much of the creative work she did in high school was in an effort to foster an artistic community, creating large-scale murals, starting the Communal Sketchbook Project, and leading the Visual Art Club. In her final semester, she received the opportunity to pursue an Independent Study with poet Andrew McCarron, the topic of which was the New York School of poets. Her poetry and creative writing were frequently published in Trinity’s literary magazine, Columbus. She has also been self-publishing an experimental literature and art zine, the Bear, for the past three years.

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Workshop Wizard

Workshop wizards provide extra support to instructors in our creative writing workshops. Duties can include setting up workshop space and supplies, taking attendance, assisting students one-on-one or in small groups with their writing.They also take photos and videos during workshop, and assist with the preparation of student writing for the reading and anthology produced at the end of the semester.

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Workshop Wizard

Ben helps keep the young artists in our comics class inspired!

Ben Agrella
Bio

Benjamin Hughes Agrella graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, with a BA in Fine Arts, majoring in Creative Writing. He has had years of experience crafting a versatile and expansive writing style; exploring fiction, articles, poetry, comics, surrealism and magical realism, as well as self-publishing. His main passion however is comic script writing, whether posting hand drawn work online, or collaborating with illustrators, Ben tries to keep his weeks busy with new ideas.

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Workshop Wizard

Gillian helps inspire diabolical plots in our Villains workshop.

Gillian Kalson
Bio

Gillian Kalson is a New York City native-creative with a passion for writing, and for teaching young people to become fearless storytellers. Gillian was a New York City Teaching Fellow and public high school ELA Teacher for two years. She finds helping students develop their talents as imaginative and creative writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry the most rewarding aspect of teaching. Gillian delights in seeing students’ confidence and self-esteem rise as they own the creative process and tap into their unique experiences, expressing their ideas freely and authentically. Gillian is a published writer of news articles, reviews, poetry, and essays and enjoys writing in the genres of science fiction, horror fiction, and fantasy fiction.  She earned her B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from SUNY New Paltz and attended Brooklyn College for her M.A. in Secondary Education, English Teaching.

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Workshop Wizard

Daniel volunteers as an assistant teacher in our It's Your Thing workshop.

Daniel Ortega-Venni
Bio

Daniel Ortega-Venni is a freshman at Columbia College majoring in applied mathematics and creative writing. When he’s not fretting about schoolwork, he’s listening to epic orchestral music, reading Alice in Wonderland, watching The Amazing Race or writing fantasy stories.

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TESTIMONIALS

See what parents, teachers and students have to say about Uptown Stories.