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

Family is a gift you are given the seconed you are born Family is a hand always there to elevate you Family isn’t always blood but the people who accept you regardless Family is a book of memories that you can look back on and smile Family are the people who back you up when your cornered Family is a gift given the seconed your born.

M
Spring 2021
Untitled

I was trying to keep my concentration When I heard Everything complaining it was at that time i wished I was swimming Maybe hydroplaning all because my mind started straining moral is keep concentrating not contemplating

J
Spring 2021
Untitled

I feel as I am floating like clouds. my hair is bouncing up and down as I float in different directions. I looked up and my heart dropped. In front of me was my grandpa bob. How could this be true? He already died on december 27 2011. Now that he is back in my life Imma make the most out of it. We are both reunited and light as Air.

Angel
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 when me and my sisters was at p.o.c park and this little girl that look like the mom off rugrats threw a ball at my sister and pushed her off the swing and I dragged the girl to a mud puddle and me and my other sister threw her in the mud. the thing is she used to think she was a bully and I wasn’t goin her name was shariyah and she aint have no edges. Moral of the story, behind mines, we an go to war with all yours 100 and loose no sleep.

Imari
Spring 2021
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I come from a town with seed people But even better donuts I come from playing football on Friday nights Adrenaline pumping through my veins I come from swimming in pools and Granger lake Not even caring about sunburn I come from playing pickup basketball at the Marriott Inn Till the lights go out I come from home cooked meals on the grill And fast food from McDonalds I come from a family who loves me Even in jail But I’m going to create my own path And help others along the way

J
Spring 2021
Tiffin

I come from a small trashy town Where everyone talks too much. I come from a place where my mom made a life for us I come from a place where going to Mcdonalds or Walmart is exciting. I come from a place of chaos Where my room is the safe place. but I’m going to a place where It’s warm & free & Beautiful.

Miya
Spring 2021
Untitled

In the box sweat dripping waiting for the ball to come bat up and ready in my stance the pitcher eyeing me ready to through a strike I swing hard and watch the ball fly fly and fly over second & over the fence flying across the bases feeling free, I hit a home run.

Miya
Spring 2021
Untitled

What I like about space is that I go there when my mind’s in a race it’s calm, roomy and soothing and it makes me happy it really makes me feel joy.

Rachel
Spring 2021
Read MOre
Created by Paul Gehrig