Writers in the Community

(WITC)

Writers in the Community (WITC) is a not-for-profit internship project that sends MFA students to volunteer as creative writing teachers in placements as varied as hospitals, correctional facilities, halfway houses, community non-profits, as well as public, private, or alternative schools, and other locations throughout the Spokane area.

WITC offers MFA candidates an invaluable opportunity to gain non-profit, community service, and instruction experience outside of the university environment. The internship prides itself on bringing art and creative writing to underserved or underrepresented communities. It thus allows MFA candidates to exercise that desire to act as global citizens and influencers of society which often goes hand-in-hand with being a writer.

WITC also publishes InRoads, an annual anthology of work collected throughout the year from all its placements, celebrating its students’ writing and creativity. WITC employs one Student Director (a second year MFA candidate who receives a Graduate Service Appointment including tuition remission and a stipend) along with an InRoads Managing Editor (a first year candidate working for internship credit) who often moves into the Student Director position the following year.

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WITC Featured in Engage Magazine

Engage Magazine, the community engagement magazine of EWU, produced a four-page feature on the Writers in the Community program titled “Creative Connection”.  A related piece was also posted  February 2014 on Eastern 24/7, the University’s daily online news source.  The story is beautifully presented, and concludes with three poems penned by third-grade WITC-participants.

A Message from 2017-18 Student Director, Jenny Catlin

“My path to graduate school wasn’t a traditional one. Over the years I have found myself in a number of less than ideal situations. I’ve always turned to writing as a way to make sense of my story, my situation, and myself. Having the chance to share the gift of writing with people in our community who might not otherwise have access to organized creative writing guidance has been a privilege. For me, the opportunity to work with the Writers in the Community program was one of EWU’s main draws, and the experience has exceeded my expectations.

During my time as the Student Director for WITC, I witnessed nervous interns grow into confident community teachers while building a stronger community of writers in Spokane. In our current cultural climate, assuring that all peoples’ voices are heard is more important than ever, and WITC is a program that teaches some of our most silenced community members how to tell their stories.”