WRITERS IN THE COMMUNITY (WITC)

former Student Director Casey Patrick

Writers in the Community is a project that places MFA students as creative writing teachers in public schools, alternative schools, hospitals, corrections facilities, factories, halfway houses, nursing homes, and other locations throughout the Spokane area.

WITC also publishes InRoads, an annual anthology of work collected from all of our various placements throughout the year. MFA candidates have full editorial control of the anthology. WITC employs one Student Director (a second year MFA candidate who gets both tuition remission and a stipend) along with an assistant (a first year candidate who takes internship credits)who usually moves into the Student Director position the following year.

WITC and Willow Springs also partner up to offer a program called Triceratops. Triceratops places pairs of graduate students in third-grade classrooms around Spokane, where they teach poetry for one hour a week, for four consecutive weeks. At the end of the project there is a reading/party, and the third-graders go home with a bound book of their class poems. This is a popular internship opportunity, and one that is growing by the year.

WITC Featured in the Febrary 2014 Edition of Engage Magazine

Engage Magazine, the community engagement magazine of Eastern Washington University, 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 2016-17 Student Director, Daniel Mathewson

“I came into the MFA program with experience in teaching, and some in management, but through this GSA I feel like I will now have the resume, the supporters, and the experience to land me any job I desire within the realm of teaching. Through the guidance of faculty like Natalie Kusz and the hard work of interns at Eastern Washington, Writers in the Community has become a prominent and flourishing program at this university. I am more than pleased to have served as the director of this internship from 2016-2017.
The program trains students, like myself, to take the fear and nerves of standing in front of classrooms and focus it into productive lessons. It teaches how to utilize passions for writing and reading and implement them in valuable ways, providing tools of how to teach third graders, to seniors in high school, to middle-aged adults, to senior citizens. Not only is WITC a program dedicated to educating the surrounding Spokane and Spokane Valley areas on literature and the writing craft, but also, it’s a program bent on uniting these various communities. It’s my hope that my time here has served this program well, and I advise anyone and everyone to take part in it, any way they can.”
 
Daniel Mathewson
Student Director
WITC