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

The Life Like the Wind

I am like the wind, you learn to deal with me but you can’t contain me. I’m always calm but wild inside. I’m free but feel trapped. You can’t see me but I’m always around. I cool you off when you feel hot. I help you travel from place to place but you can’t ever say thanks. When you go outside and you feel a breeze, just know I’m here. I am like the wind, you never know where I’m going to end up.

Sam
Spring 2021
Untitled

This is the kind of world we live in. The world we live in is divided in so many ways good and bad. My mom used to always say you want in one hand + sh*t in the other see which one files up faster.

Jenelle
Spring 2021
Oof Means to Me

Why are you saying that? You are so stupid and shut up Oof you lost your bf/gf Go off somewhere else Why in the world would you do that? Oof oof oof Oof that hurt ha ha ha

Julia
Spring 2021
Untitled

I feel so weightless in space and I seen Megan da Stallion doing the race She was clutching a brief case filled with heels she bought yesterday I love this chick so much because she has such a pretty face.

Masonique
Spring 2021
Untitled

I remember when we were at the group home and I ran, and you called me from your android phone crying telling me “Please come home” cuz you didn’t want me to get into trouble and I tried to call you back but I had no WIFI so it didn’t go through so I walked down Main Street back to the group home and from that point on I never wanted to hurt you again. Instead, I wanted to protect you from getting hurt cuz you mean the world to me & we have always had each other’s back through thick and thin. I love you Chenny forever. Love, Sam <3

Sam
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

1. Astronauts landing 2. on the ISS 3. Uzi and I 3. bumping on the way up together 4. we chewing on Mcdonald’s 5. bumping lil uzi song at the ISS

J
Spring 2021
Untitled

As kids we are forced to change... But regardless we ALL find A way

Alexus
Spring 2021
Untitled

a football game I have a goal to reach its to win if you get hit you got to get back up and try a different plan if i didnt work the first 4 downs. And sometimes you got to defend people from coming acrossed you. To get first downs is like something positive that happens when you are trying to reach your goal.

C
Spring 2021
Read MOre
Created by Paul Gehrig