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

1. I am tired of being in Jail 2. I am Resonable 3. I like Birthday cake 4. I like to get my way 5. I am outgoing 6. I will be the greatest African American male role model I posibley can.

Anthony
Spring 2021
What's Done is Done

This is my letter to you, my future self. You did your time now build back your bridges. Don’t put yourself in bad places you’ll end up back here. Don’t focus on others as much as yourself. Stay in your zone don’t mind others’ business. Bury your broken bonds f**k those who wronged you. They’re not there now so don’t worry about them. You did what you did you can’t take that back. That’s just some old sh*t so forget about that. Just try your best not to do it again. Try not to do wrong the way that you used to. Associate yourself with better people. Try to stay up, don’t let no one bring you down. Do what you need to do and not what you don’t. But make sure to have fun that’s what life is about. And remember what’s done is done don’t ever look back. —Cosmo

Cosmo
Spring 2021
Untitled

I come from a small town, where everyone Knew each other and everything that went on. Kids who would go to school and as soon As we all got home we would link at The park play football or catch things in The lodi creek. I come from the town where not everyone Got along and but most tried. Kids would fist fight and make up the day After like nothing happened. And every day the same old lodi kids Would do the same thing just different Day.

J
Spring 2021
Untitled

Something that is my light is the [?] my family, who help me get through this time in Jail. My family helps me by giving me positive thoughts and give me something to think about So I get through this time in Jail easier.

M
Spring 2021
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I think this picture is saying that the kids can be different and can live their best life. They can be whatever they want to be. They have to be someone they are not and they are wild and they have different faces but on the same face.

Johnae
Spring 2021
Untitled

I come from a place of powder Where everyone competes for power I come from a family you can’t see Cause we were masks that says we’re happy I come from a place of hate Where everyone bullies to stay safe I come from a place of homelessness Cause jobs are something people loss it here I come from a block of psychos Who beat people up cause they think there whackos I come from a poor place Where people rob each other to their face but I’m gonna be different for my children

Rachel
Spring 2021
Untitled

1. Remain humble while going hard. 2. loose your fake self, find your true self

Bryan
Spring 2021
Good Days

When my Photo was taken, we were about to Go trick or treating and I was a ninja. I remember Another Photo from When I Was in like first grade, it Was me and my brother and sister waiting on the bus. In the photo you can kind of tell that it’s our first day back at School cause we all look kind of nervous and after the other Photo was taken we all went trick or treating. I brought my bike With one of the only years that I for real remember trick or treating. Both of those Photos are on my mom’s old Facebook. My mom took both of those Photos. In the School Photo we were on the sidewalk at the end of our dead-end road there was a nice house on the corner and a corner store and some railroad tracks behind us. That’s back when life was good, and I didn’t have to worry about what would happen on my way to school. I think I had on a blue shirt and my first pair of Jordans. 34

Cosmo
Spring 2021
Untitled

This is the kind of world we live in a world where black men cant walk down the street without out being A menace. A world where little kids Grow up fast, a world where you get shot if you’re at the wrong place at the wrong time. A world where there is poverty and helplessness. A world where they take your 3rd grade test scores to build prisons but all in all if we keep our hope alive, Everything will work out for its good, but the good die young. Big facts.

Te’Nae
Spring 2021
Read MOre

Frequently Asked Questions

Is your mentoring program effective?
What if I have been incarcerated? Can I still be a mentor?
How long does it take for me to get matched with a mentee?
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Do I need to have writing experience to be a mentor?
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