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Notes from the Bank Street Writers Lab

January 6, 2016

The Writers Lab was created by Bank Street founder Lucy Sprague Mitchell in 1937 to provide a supportive workshop where published authors could critique each other’s works-in-progress and strive for excellence. Margaret Wise Brown of Goodnight Moon was an early member. Later Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are, and Mordicai Gerstein, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, became members too.

One of the display cases in the lobby of the College exhibits selected works of the current members of the BSWL. All of these titles are available for patrons to borrow from the College library.


The Lab members have had a very prolific year. Below are a selection of some of the books, articles and poems published this past year and scheduled for publication in 2016. A few members will also be panelists and moderators at different conferences around the country.

Amy Hest will publish one title with Candlewick, Are You There Mother Bear? and another with Abrams, My Old Pal, Oscar.


Arlene Mark published, “Do Not Open Until the Year 3000” in Highlights magazine in January 2015. She will also publish an article about a novice monk in Myanmar in July 2016 in Spider magazine.

Orel Protopopescu had two poems published this year in Oberon Poetry. In the coming year, she will publish “The Red-eyed Vireo” and “The Red-billed Oxpecker” in Light Poetry Magazine and “Stopping By a Darkening World” and “The Blue Book of Love” in a British publication entitled LightenUpOnline.

Selene Castrovilla’s YA novel Signs of Life, Book Two in the Rough Romance Trilogy, will be published on March 29, 2016. Revolutionary Rogues: Benedict Arnold and John André a companion book to her Revolutionary Friends will be published by Highlights Press in the fall.


Fran Manushkin will publish seven titles. Two from the Katie Woo series (Picture Window Books).

And four titles in a new series, Pedro (Capstone).

As well as Big Boy Underpants (Random House).


Emma Otheguy will publish Martí in the Catskills, a biography of poet and Cuban national hero José Martí in 2017, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal (Lee and Low Books). Recently, she presented at the Comadres and Compadres Latino Writers Conference.

Jackie Azúa Kramer will publish The Green Umbrella through North/South books in September 2016.


Arlene Hirschfelder and Yvonne Dennis have co-authored Native American Almanac. This will be available in May of 2016. They are also presenting at the UNM Indigenous Books and Authors Festival:  Beyond Stereotypes, Prejudice and Racism.


Cynthia Weill will publish the sixth book in her “First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art” series, Animal Talk (Cinco Puntos 2016).


– Cindy Weill





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