Nicole Shawan Junior

Nicole Shawan Junior


Nicole Shawan Junior is a Black, queer, and justice-involved counter-storyteller. Her writing appears in Emerge, the Lambda Literary Fellows anthology, as well as Gay Mag, Zora, The Feminist Wire, Color Bloq, For Harriet, and more. A Bread Loaf School of English and Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation alum, Nicole has received literary residencies and fellowships from various arts organizations, including Hedgebrook, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Lambda Literary, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. Nicole is completing Cracked Concrete: A Memoir of Crackheads, Cousins, and Crime. In Brooklyn, she’s the creator of both the writing workshop Roots. Wounds. Words. and the reading series COUNTERpult, which centers QT/BIPoC storytellers. Find her online at

The live events of the 2020 World Voices Festival have been canceled due to concerns about the safety of participants and audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early May, we launched the 2020 digital World Voices Festival at This ongoing digital version of the Festival includes a suite of podcasts, videos, interviews, and musical playlists, with live events and other features to be rolled out over the coming weeks. We hope this digital content brings you joy during a time of uncertainty.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@PENWorldVoices) for updates about future PEN World Voices Festival programming.