In 2018, the WGI conducted two writing workshops at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, a maximum security state prison in Pendleton, Indiana that houses 2,000 inmates. The first took place in April, when 3 teams of mentors worked with a total of 18 writers. The second workshop took place in September, 2018.
The workshops followed our model: 2 days of writing exercises and sharing, with a catered lunch each day. The only real difference was that the participants didn’t have laptops. At Pendleton, the sense of unity and determination was palpable, with many participants writing about their life experiences and choices and their dreams for the future. There were also genre pieces—from childhood memoir, to horror, to outright comedy. Between the two WGI anchor workshops, participants formed their own writing group, which met regularly.
“I have since started a weekly workshop for writers here at Pendleton and have been inspired to improve my skill set and write more in general. ”
– Nathan B. WGI workshop participant.