Since 1982, Just Buffalo Literary Center has led the way for literary arts education in Western New York. The Just Buffalo Writing Center (JBWC) has long been a gathering place designed to aid young and emerging writers ages 12–18 in the cultivation of their writing skills, as well as adult writers of all ages and skill levels. But the JBWC is also a great resource for encouraging and supporting the teachers and schools in our community.
The Just Buffalo Writing Center provides access to writing workshops, literary events, and one-on-one assistance with all kinds of writing.
All youth writing workshops are FREE, aimed at young writers aged 12–18, currently virtual, and limited to 8 participants.
One of Just Buffalo’s greatest strengths is our ability to reach students of all ages and abilities—gifted and talented, at-risk, or special needs—and we’re proud to work with public, private, Catholic, and charter schools, as well as community centers throughout Western New York.
Check out the best works written by Just Buffalo Writing Center students from over the years in our annual anthology of student writing.
Order a poem on a topic of your choosing and support Buffalo’s next generation of literary voices. All poems are written by students of the Just Buffalo Writing Center.
“The JBWC provides a friendly atmosphere for young writers to express themselves freely, without judgment.”
"I can't imagine a better incubator for creativity."
"JBWC is honestly one of the greatest resources I've come across for young writers and I'm so glad I did."
"Before coming here I had never let anyone outside of my family read my writing. The JBWC gave me new ways to look at my stories and helped me develop new techniques."
"When I first came to a JBWC workshop, I was shy and anxious at the thought of sharing my writing. Spending time at the JBWC has encouraged me to perform my writing at events. The center has provided me with the resources, support, and opportunity to grow as a writer. I believe that my experiences at the JBWC will positively influence me for life."
"The JBWC has challenged my daughter intellectually, and helped her gain confidence and become a more expressive writer."
"There's always something fun for you to do, whether crafting poetic lines together, trying your hand at comics or filmmaking, or getting inspired to revisit an old writing piece from when you were 12."
"When I first heard about the Writing Center, I wasn’t sure it was for me. Since my first time stopping in, I’ve had a much stronger urge to write and have been attending the meetings now to be around people I can learn new things from. It’s been super welcoming as a new writer. After just a few months of attending, I’ve had 3 poems published. Someone called me a poet the other day and my first thought was, “I guess I am a poet now!”
"The JBWC is a lively, diverse, collaborative community of young people with amazing ideas and voices all their own."
"The first time I read one of my poems out loud I felt powerful. I felt like after years of sitting in solitude, I was finally free to voice my thoughts and dreams. JBWC gave me that power."
"Just Buffalo is an organization that wants to see youth succeed; they give us incredible opportunities, prepare us for college, help us find a place in the world once we have to leave the nest."
"For me, Just Buffalo’s Writing Center acts as a second home. It's a vibrant community of young writers and artists that has given me opportunities to grow and share my art in ways I never would have thought to be possible."
"Without Just Buffalo, I might never have laid the foundation necessary for me to start growing into the writer that I need to become. I might never have learned how communal the practice and art of writing is and the true impact that it has on others-- from the individual to massive social movements. I might never have been able to discover and find confidence in my own voice."
"The JBWC is an atmosphere filled with open minds and curiosity. Peers at the JBWC are always willing to listen. Each of us come from different backgrounds but we all come together to exchange stories. I am constantly inspired by the other young artists at the center and spending time with them pushes me to become more confident in my writer identity."
"Learning new forms of communication, getting into college, performing, publishing: Just Buffalo has assisted so many young people in finding success. Without Just Buffalo, I would have never thought this passionate hobby could be something more; they inspire and motivate."
"Just Buffalo encourages young writers to explore the arts and hone their craft, but more importantly it is an unconditionally welcoming community. The ages of 12-18 have always been a tumultuous time, but now more than ever teens need a place to make connections where they are accepted unreservedly. Just Buffalo does all that while keeping the culture of writing & reading alive and well in Buffalo."
"It's an amazing program with a kind of access to working writers of all stripes that exceeds what is available at many writing colleges. It's made her a better person and given her great relationships."
"Because of the JBWC, I am a global citizen. I can think and write outside my comfort zone, to speak about issues larger than myself."
"At a time when opportunities for young people to express themselves seem to grow slimmer, the JBWC is a place that offers hope because, whatever race, class, or identity, we come together and create—all inhibitions are gone."
"I come to JBWC because it is the only place for me to connect with other writers. Before coming here I had never gotten an opinion or even let anyone outside of my family read my writing. They gave me new ways to look at my stories and helped me develop new techniques while writing. At JBWC...I am encouraged to dig deeper and find the heart of the story."
“The JBWC introduced me to other people with similar interests. Now I actually have people who will listen to all my crazy ideas.”
Our programs are designed for any level of writer, from beginner to advanced. Taught by established writers, hone your craft in a relaxed, nonjudgmental atmosphere.
We believe that teachers are the most passionate, dedicated, and creative people on the planet, and we want to support their creativity. That’s why we created Teachers Are Writers: Writing Without The Curriculum—a happy hour-style writing workshop for teachers that meets monthly at the JBWC.
Are you interested in becoming a Just Buffalo teaching artist? Find out what it takes to get involved in our creative writing workshops.
Want to help guide young writers? Sign up to work with teens 12–18 on writing and more during open hours at the JBWC.
Virtual via Zoom
Just Buffalo Writing Center
468 Washington Street, 2nd Floor
Buffalo, NY 14203
(Look for the typewriter mural!)
Tuesdays & Thursdays | 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Youth Writing Workshops begin at 4:30 p.m.
All workshops are limited to 12 in-person participants. (See each workshop for more details.)
Train: Lafayette Square Station
Bus: 6, 14, 16, 24, 42, 74, 76