The mission of the Writer’s Guild Initiative is to serve populations whose voices are not being heard. We do this through weekend workshops in which professional writers work with participants to provide them with the tools to tell their stories.
Ten years ago we started the Helen Deutsch Writing Workshops mentoring military veterans in Ohio, then, in conjunction with Wounded Warriors, we initiated workshops with wounded soldiers, caregivers for injured veterans, and doctors at the Landstuhl Hospital in Germany suffering from compassion fatigue. While we continue to work with veterans, we have expanded our focus to include exonerated death row prisoners, the Muslim Writers Collective, DACA (Dreamers), people displaced by Hurricane Sandy, inmates at the Pendleton Prison in Indiana, and a group of chronically ill people in Portland Oregon. In addition, we have started an online workshop of writers all over the country who have participated in our earlier workshops.
We also have two long-running programs which connect writers and performers with schoolchildren: The Nora Ephron Book Club and Pencil Pals.
Finally, the WGI (with the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation) annually awards the Michael Collyer Fellowship to a talented college student who plans to pursue a career in screenwriting.
We are a volunteer organization with the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to groups that would benefit from what we do. Our mentors comprise a range of top playwrights, screenwriters, and television writers.