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 a small place called the square where there’s not A lot of stuff to do but play b-ball I come from Ray Miller where we play baseball and see the Same people every day. I come from a place where it used to be violent To a peace and quiet neighborhood. I come from a place where a lot of people that was close to you are Gone, but I’m going to be the one who makes it out I come from a place where people don’t think of success and positive things I come from a place where is born at and Lived in the same house before.

A
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

It was hot. Everyone was leaving. The score was 14 to 36. I was happy My Nephew was in my left arm and my helmet was in my right. The gates were filled with people leaving. My girl was by my sister. My girl kept saying I looked good. I changed outta my cleats to my Jordans

Harris
Spring 2021
An Ode to Pineapples

You have always been my favorite even with your sometimes sour taste or hard to find during seasons you were always my go-to when I went into that huge kitchen full of wonderful options. It was you I chose and it will forever be you I cherish The sweet tropical smell on a warm summer evening with my ocean view I wouldn’t replace for a million

Katiya
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
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

I come from places that can be good and bad Places that can take your life over And places that can benefit. People that give you a lesson And people that make you hurt Places where you call fun and Others where it sucks Family that cares while the others Make you want to run forever. But I’m going to try to take the Good path and see where it leads me.

R
Spring 2021
Untitled

This is the kind of world we live in a big ball of fire. Where you can’t trust anybody not even your family. People Join a gang Just to be a part of something. The darkness is taking over

Angel
Spring 2021
Untitled

Nice Winter No snow Great time watching the wind blow Knippy spring season

J
Spring 2021
Read MOre
Created by Paul Gehrig