Unlocking Creativity to Transform Lives

Writers in Residence teaches creative writing to youth who are incarcerated to empower their voices and assist in their re-entry into society.
our model

Creativity as Therapy

Address Unresolved Trauma
Oftentimes youth enter the juvenile justice system with unresolved emotional trauma.
Creative Writing Workshops
Sessions are facilitated by passionate university students who create a safe space for youth to express themselves and work through difficult emotions through engaging prompts.
Ongoing Relationship Building
The real journey begins with re-entry. Youth are often forced to return to unstable environments, and we serve as a support system for them as they embark on this chapter.
Youth Enters Juvenile Justice System
Oftentimes youth enter with unresolved emotional trauma.
Creative Writing Workshops
Facilitated by passionate university students who create a safe space for youth to express themselves and work through difficult emotions through engaging prompts.
Ongoing Relationship Building
The real journey begins with reentry. Youth are often forced to return to unstable environments. We serves as a support system that youth can always return to.
impact

What We've Accomplished

12
separate cohorts across the state of Ohio
1344
residents participated in creative writing workshops
826
pieces of creative writing supported
2146
chapbooks distributed
testimonials

What Residents Say

"I learned about Joy"
Resident at Medina JDC
"It was empowering and a safe space to express myself"
Resident at Seneca County YC
"I like this program because I get to get things off my chest"
Resident at Medina JDC
"I needed Writers in Residence, I got to put what was on my mind while no one saying nothing"
Resident at Seneca County YC
"I learned how to cope by using creative writing and there's multiple opportunities to go far with it"
Resident at Montgomery County CAS
"I know what I need to do to be successful mentally"
Resident at Medina JDC
New

Reentry Mentorship Initiative

Facilitate a smooth transition for youth back into their communities.

artifacts

Works of Creative Writing

Untitled

I remember when WE got in a fight (at your dad’s), you never Called me names, you never hit me, you told me I was being rude, you stuck up for me when your dad punched me in the face, you calmed me down by saying something hilarious to me I choked you and still you never laid a hand on me inspite of all of that you still love me and I still love you.

Keithlynn
Spring 2021
Bicycle

like a bike i go from place to place. it’s always a mystery where i’ll end up. if i start down a hill there really isn’t any way to stop me. All you can really do is jump off. you can give it a paint job or change some parts but it’ll still be the same bike. You can decide to use it or go your own way

Cosmo
Spring 2021
Untitled

Power on, power off Setting picked up and put down all day [no idea] on top of me, see right through me Let you know what’s going on by vibrating Crack my screen, it happens just don’t forget to put me on my charger.

J
Spring 2021
Untitled

I come from being a nobody I come from places where it’s not muddy From a single mom with no support To steppin in things I couldn’t afford A hustler, a go-getter, that’s who I am From hated to everyone being a fan

X
Spring 2021
Untitled

I love cats But some people don’t I hate Jail I am fu**ing sad I hate life so much Sorry I’m sad.

Rachel
Spring 2021
Untitled

Gushers, thank yu for bein there for me. You’ve been there since I was little. I always enjoy eating yu wit my lil brother. Me & my lil brother would always find yu in the cabinet when lookin for snacks. My mom would always get mad at us fer eating all of yu cuz you’re her favorit too. I love how when I bite down on yu the liquid fills my mouth. My favorite color of yu to eat is red. I usually always get yu when in at tha store. My lil cousins like yu too. I’ll be sure to eat some of yu when I get outta jail

Nevaeh
Spring 2021
Untitled

I come from a town that does drugs. I come from a place that has helpful people. I come from my home town that has good police. I came from a town where my friends grew up. I came a town that the high school band played in parades I came from a good high school that helps people too. I come from a place where we rap for fun to forget But I’m going to come from a town I love and help out.

Keithlynn
Spring 2021
Untitled

I remember that time when me and Tyler were at a football game and some body he had beef with was trying to jump him with his friends and I stood right by him the whole time making sure they wouldn’t touch him. My friend was going to get jumped and I basically stepped in and helped him and told them to go off and do they own thing or they aren’t gonna like what’s going to happen.

Dominic
Spring 2021
Untitled

I come from the cracked hands of a woman who wasn’t scared of nothing who has less money then everyone I come from a women who doesn’t hate but dislikes people I come from where blacks and whites would shoot I come from a place where dreams and hearts get broken I come from nothing where people kill and steal I come from people who used to work in fields I come from a place called Cleveland Im going Home 2021 feb. 22 Im going to become a track star. Im gonna be the best. Im gonna Turn my life around from the bottom up Im going to be on the top.

Spring 2021
Read MOre
Created by Paul Gehrig