SpeakTogether Summer

“I would definitely recommend this workshop because of the great feedback I got from KJ and the additional scaffolds.”

“I used to hate writing, but this class made me realize my full potential.”

“I can understand the beauty in reading someone else’s story and finding out about a person’s life.”

What an honor leading House Of SpeakEasy’s summer College Readiness: Personal Essay Writing Workshop in partnership with Union Settlement. Watching these rising seniors from Talent Unlimited High School gain a deeper understanding of their peers and themselves as they pushed each other to improve their writing filled me with such joy. As you can see here!

My fall is filling up fast. Contact kjfitzsimmons@gmail.com if you are interested in setting up workshops or private coaching for your school or student.

New Jersey Anthology Event

Along with our September No, YOU Tell It! show, we’ll also be out in Montclair on Saturday, 9/23 at the Montclair Book Center for an anthology event. Save the date and come hang, New Jersey!!

Switch up your story with the producers of No, YOU Tell It!

No, YOU Tell It! (noyoutellit.com) storytellers work together to develop true tales on the page, then swap stories to embody their partner’s culture, identity, and life experience on stage. In 2022, the series celebrated 10 years with the launch of a vibrant anthology detailing its development over the past decade.

Join producers Kelly Jean Fitzsimmons and Tim Lindner for behind-the-scenes insights on creating a new kind of nonfiction series. Hear anthology selections from contributors Heather Quinlan and Tazio Ruffilo. Followed by story trivia for fun literary prizes.

Plus, generate and trade your own tiny true tale!

Follow @noyoutellit for more.

Unforgettable “Here & Gone” Show!

Thank you, Thank YOU to everyone one who came out to our No, YOU Tell It! “Here & Gone” show. It was a lovely evening that I won’t soon forget.

Left to right: Olena Jennings, Rosalie Chandler, Ellie Dvorkin Dunn, Lakshmi Gandhi, Dan Jessup. Photo by Sachyn Mital

Check out the show program here and more photos on our Facebook page.


  • Our amazing storytellers for boldly sharing their words and embodying their partners’ stories.
  • Yelena Tylkina for her stunning Queens “Here & Gone” artwork.
  • Ellie Dvorkin Dunn for being the best host.
  • Grove 34 for the perfect venue.
  • The Greater Astoria Historical Society for partnering with us on this special theme.
  • Flushing Town Hall, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York Foundation for the Arts for your grants and support.
  • Sachyn Mital, for the photos!
  • The whole NYTI creative team for all your work behind the scenes.

I can’t think of a better way to have celebrated my birthday!!

Story coaches Pichchenda Bao, Tim Lindner, and me

Look! “Here & Gone” Program

Our Greater Astoria Historical Society team-up show hosted by Ellie Dvorkin Dunn is TONIGHT! In-person at Grove 34 ($10 tickets here!).

  • 7:00 – 7:30: *Reception featuring Queens “Here & Gone” artwork by Yelena Tylkina
  • 7:30 – 9:00: Switched-up Storytelling!

*Drinks and snacks available for purchase.

We’ll also be streaming the show LIVE from our Facebook page at 7:30 if you want to join virtually. 

TAKE A LOOK at tonight’s program to learn more.

Bonus Birthday Celebration for ME (and more)! With CAKE.

2023 Queens Community Arts Grant Recipient

MORE grant news: I’m a 2023 QUEENS COMMUNITY ARTS GRANT recipient.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate No, YOU Tell It!’s 11-year anniversary than with our FIRST GRANT from Flushing Town Hall!!

Check out the full list of 2023 Queens Community Arts Grant recipients HERE.

This 2023 Community Arts Grant
– supported by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, Statewide Community Regrants Program (formerly the Decentralization program) with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and administered by Flushing Town Hall provides support to Queens-based community organizations, groups, and collectives to hold arts and cultural projects or activities for the public in Queens

Sparked a No, YOU Tell It! FIRST: Our partnership with the Greater Astoria Historical Society

For our May 18th show ($10 tickets here!), we dove into the GAHS archives and, with storyteller Rosalie Chandler, created four Queens “Here & Gone” Highlights. 

Astoria-based artist, Yelena Tylkina, illustrated the highlights in the gorgeous artwork above. More about Yelena here.

I incorporated the artwork and highlights into a generative workshop where our storytellers engaged with Queens history to inspire their true tales. 

Get in on the Queens “Here & Gone” fun! Visit noyoutellit.com to learn about:

Share your favorite Queens “Here & Gone” Highlight with a friend (or your whole network).

See you at Grove 43 on May 18th for No, YOU Tell It! “Here & Gone”!

Corona Chronicle Available!

I’m honored to be part of the limited first edition of the first publication from Ellipsis Rare books, The Corona Chronicle: Essays For New York, a charitable anthology collecting the insights, observations, and reflections of New Yorkers living through the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.

On sale for the first time this weekend at the Manhattan Antique Book and Ephemera Fair, this anthology is the end result of the late 2020 essay contest, where my entry, “My Timeline Stops March 10, 2020” was awarded second place.

Limited to 150 copies, each first edition of The Corona Chronicle anthology is hand numbered by project editor and Ellipsis Rare Books proprietor, Andrew Lenoir, who also offers a short contextual forward. The book was also designed by and features original artwork from Charlotte Anderson.

50% of all proceeds benefit the Food Bank For New York City, provider of 121 million free meals per year to New Yorkers in need.

2023 Queens Art Fund Recipient

I’m excited to announce that I’m a 2023 Queens Arts Fund recipient!

This project-based grant will enable No, YOU Tell It! to bring two new switched-up storytelling shows in partnership with the Greater Astoria Historical Society to Grove 34 in Astoria, first up on May 18th (get your tickets here!) and then as a proposed Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event in the fall.

Thank you to New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs for helping to support this work!

Click here for the full 2023 Queens Arts Fund award announcement.

Be sure to follow #QAF2023 for details on when and where you can experience the arts in Queens this calendar year!