Teachers & Writers Collaborative was founded in 1967 by a group of writers and educators who believed that professional writers could make a unique contribution to the teaching of writing and literature. Those responsible for shaping T&W’s program and philosophy in the organization’s early years included June Jordan, Rosellen Brown, Victor Hernández Cruz, Kenneth Koch, Herbert Kohl, Phillip Lopate, Grace Paley, Muriel Rukeyser, Anne Sexton, and Robert Silvers.

Since its founding, T&W has published more than 80 books about teaching writing. T&W writers have brought writing residencies and professional development workshops to 760,000 students and 26,000 teachers in New York City schools. This depth of experience led the National Endowment for the Arts to call T&W the arts education group that is “most familiar with creative writing/literature in primary and secondary schools.”

In the early 1980s the organization moved into a building on New York City’s Union Square, and in 1985 T&W opened the Center for Imaginative Writing, a resource library and meeting space for teachers, students, writers, and the general public. Teachers & Writers Collaborative moved its offices to Manhattan’s Garment District in 2006 and opened a new Center for Imaginative Writing where T&W hosts a variety of literary arts events, including readings, book parties, and workshops.