Changemaker Authors Cohort

A Unique Writing Cohort for Activists, Organizers and Thought Leaders

Changemaker Authors Cohort is a new, yearlong intensive coaching program supporting full-time movement activists and social justice practitioners to complete books that create deep, durable narrative change, restructuring the way people feel, think, and respond to the world. Our goal is for our changemaker-authors to have a submittable package for publishers by the end of the program year.

Meet the writers of the 2023-2024 Cohort.

Narrative Initiative weaves the power of narrative into social justice movements to achieve long-term equity. We aim to nourish and grow long-term progress for social justice by equipping changemakers with the necessary tools, relationships, and resources to bond our communities and determine our destinies through the power of narrative.

To help create new networks of opportunity, Narrative Initiative is partnering with the Unicorn Authors Club to offer this unique writing cohort for changemaker-authors.

The Process

The Unicorn Authors Club is a powerful community of BIPOC authors (and allies who really mean it!) devoted to finishing their books in a supportive online environment. The core of the Unicorn approach is the Story/Skills/Sanctuary framework. We support authors, both individually and as a group, to clarify the content of their books (Story), level up their capacity as writers (Skills), and write consistently (Sanctuary).

The one-year program will follow a three-term structure, in which the Story/Skills/Sanctuary concepts are adjusted for the different stages of the writing process. Each term will have a clear focus, and each writer will develop outcome goals in terms of both process and craft. At the heart of the process are our mandatory monthly craft meetings designed both to strengthen your writing and improve your engagement with it. (Topics might include structure, voice, immediacy, audience, timelines, decolonization, writing the hard parts, and revision.)

We also aim for your book to get published, and we offer support toward that end, including:

  • Assessment, goal-setting
  • Peer circles for accountability and support
  • Mid-year intensive writing retreat (5 days)
  • Information on publishing process and preparing submission packet (depending on genre)
  • Pitch panels with editors/agents

The Program

By the end of the one-year cohort term, each participant will complete a rough draft of their book, be ready to submit a package to agents/publishers, and have a shortlist of planned submissions. Examples of submittable packages: For memoir and fiction, a complete synopsis and polished first 50 pages. For nonfiction, a book proposal and up to three polished sample chapters. For poetry, a complete full-length manuscript (48-100 pages).

We will pull back the curtain on the book publishing process, and make introductions to agents and other relevant publishing professionals.

The program is fully remote. Synchronous full-group events follow a monthly cadence, while a community platform offers a depth of resources for individual learning as well as asynchronous discussion. Each month’s theme is developed to meet the needs of members, bringing us deeper into our books.

The Changemaker Authors Cohort offers many different opportunities for support and community. Each writer discovers their own sustainable writing pace amid the collective momentum toward finishing their books. Apart from the mandatory monthly craft meetings and mid-year intensive writing retreat, authors are free to avail themselves of the program’s offerings in accordance with their own needs.

  • 24/7 discussion forum with coaches
  • 2x monthly Solve Your Story group coaching
  • Access to curriculum vault
  • 4x weekly co-writing sessions
  • Custom writing prompts by request
  • Bimonthly individual coaching
  • Peer circle chat space
  • Peer circle meetings
  • Guest speakers
  • Reading at the time of graduation