Exchanging Rest for Labor

Student to help produce a book in a 72 hour marathon workshop

Amanda Maisto, student at Northampton Community College (NCC), has been selected to participate in this year’s Labor Day weekend Writing Wrongs project in Reading, PA. She will serve as a Staff Designer for the project.

During a 72-hour workshop held in Berks County, the students, working as staff writers, photographers, designers, and social media managers will conduct research and interviews, draft articles, and design pages for a printed book available for sale through national book sellers. The book highlights stories of members of the community.

Writing Wrongs, in its fifth year, is a community literary journalism project dedicated to generating awareness and promoting understanding of critical social issues. The project provides an opportunity for college students to explore these issues through the power of the pen and the lens. By telling the stories of those directly involved, Writing Wrongs offers a different and often-ignored perspective that challenges stereotypes and prejudices. Students from NCC have participated in Writing Wrongs for past topics such as, homelessness, addiction, domestic violence and sexual assault. This year’s topic focuses on the LGBTQ+ community.

Maisto says, “I am a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and am very excited to participate and have an amazing experience learning more about the community as a whole. I feel that this experience will not only teach me more about the LGBTQ+ community but teach me more leadership skills, new artistic skills, and help me open up even more as an individual.”

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading is partnering with Writing Wrongs this year, providing speakers and a space for interviews with members of the LGBT community whose stories will frame this year’s book. “We are incredibly grateful and honored to be partnered and working with Writing Wrongs to raise awareness and promote a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community,” LGBT Center Director, Michelle Dech, said. “We applaud and support those that will bravely tell of their journey as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Many stories will highlight discrimination in the form of verbal abuse, denial of services, physical abuse and bullying. Although these stories are difficult to share, participants know that it's an opportunity to potentially save someone's life that may be experiencing the same bigotry.”

Writings Wrongs holds 501(c)(3) nonprofit status through its fiscal sponsor, Humanitarian Social Innovations. This program is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and by local businesses and individuals.

You can learn more about Writing Wrongs at seekreporttruth.com. Applications for the Writing Wrongs 2020 program open in January 2020.