Nicole Shawan Junior

Lance Cleland

Nicole Shawan Junior (she/they) is a counter-storyteller bred in the bass-heavy beat and scratch of Brooklyn, where the cool of inner-city life barely survived crack cocaine’s burn. Their work appears in The Rumpus, ZORAGay MagThe Feminist WireSLICEKweli Journal, and elsewhere. They’ve received residencies and fellowships from Hedgebrook, PERIPLUS, New York Foundation for the Arts, Lambda Literary, RADAR Productions and the San Francisco Public Library’s James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, and more. Their work has been supported by Tin House Summer Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Hurston/Wright, V.O.N.A., Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, Brooklyn Arts Council, Carnegie Hall, and others. Nicole is the founder of Roots. Wounds. Words. (a literary arts revolution for BIPOC storytellers), editor in chief of Black Femme Collective, has guest-edited for The Rumpus, and has served on the editorial teams at Women’s Studies Quarterly of The Feminist Press, Sundress Publications, SLICE Magazine, and Raising Mothers: A Literary Magazine. Learn more about Nicole at and Roots. Wounds. Words. at

Project Description: Cracked Concrete: A Memoir of Crackheads, Cousins & Crime is a braided memoir chronicling Nicole’s journey traversing the criminal justice system from the vantage point of a child of both a crack addict and the crack epidemic to the positioning of a woman who prosecuted police and, ultimately, became a Felon.

Residency: 2022 Debut 40