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 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
Untitled

I remember when it was me and you friend and we was at a Park and we saw these girls and they was like what yall looking at do yall want to fight so you was like wassup We can throw these things all night.

Masonique
Spring 2021
Akiann

I remember when an opposition was talking down on you so I texted him and you to go to the park to hoop. You didn’t know what was happening, but I did and we whooped that boy. You were happy and was on they head so I did the same. Akiann you are funny and like to Be straight up. My mom never liked you but I told her if I wasn’t allowed to hang with you then I would breakdown, and now that she has met you, she claims You as her own son. If I never met you I prolly would have not been the same person.

Anthony
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

Kids in this day and age don’t know what they want to be. They try to be different people but it’s hard when so many things happen like pandemics and protests for equal rights. Sometimes kids turn down the wrong road and end up stuck in anger and sadness or in a cell but only life was easier for kids if only there was no pressure cause it’s hard to be yourself when everyone says you’re someone else

Rachel
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
Untitled

1. I am tired, upset, stressed, hungry 2. I am funny, sarcastic, humouros, excting 3. I am wonderful, happy, smiley couragous 4. I am selfish addictive, stubborn, manipulative 5. I am smart, artistic, creative, adventorous 6. I’ll be Everything I need to be

H
Spring 2021
Untitled

I come from the streets of Tiffin where There’s No good restaurants I come from the trap where there’s Blunts always Burning drug dealers always selling I come from a town with Rappers and Song artist But I’m going toward A label that is calling my name

Keaton
Spring 2021
Untitled

Life – Life is one of my strongest values Love – The love word is as strong as the hate word Food – My favorite type of food is seafood Advice – Just keep pushing. Never give. Questions – Who’s really there for me?

Mykala
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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What is the time commitment for mentoring?
What are the requirements to be a mentor?
Do I need to have writing experience to be a mentor?
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