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Prison Writers Outreach

NOTICE: Prison Writers Outreach is on hiatus due to policy & structural changes at the NC Department of Public Safety. We hope to re-start PWO, in one form or another, as soon as possible.

Launched in 2017, NCWN’s Prison Writers Outreach program is an overwhelming success—almost literally.

As in, we have heard from far more incarcerated writers, who want to learn or hone their craft, than we have volunteer writers to correspond with them.

So if you have not already done so, please consider volunteering to be a part of Prison Writers Outreach.

We have a good-sized backlog of letters from inmates in the state prison system, each of them wanting to explore the possibilities offered by creative writing: memoir, short or long fiction, poetry, plays, and more.

Each one of them is waiting to hear back from an experienced writer who can critique their work, offer advice, and most importantly, share words of encouragement and support.

The purpose of the North Carolina Writers’ Network’s Prison Writers Outreach is to encourage creative writers currently incarcerated by the State of North Carolina. Outreach volunteers will do so by corresponding with interested inmates about the craft and business of writing.

All volunteers must be current members of the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and must sign and agree to abide by the program guidelines, developed in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Volunteers will be paired at random with one (or more, if the volunteer wishes) incarcerated writer, with whom the volunteer will exchange at least three correspondences.

If you would like to volunteer, please read the program guidelines, and return a signed copy (electronic signatures are fine) to NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern at ed@ncwriters.org. Please also contact Ed if you have questions about the program.

We hope you will want to be a part of this important outreach program of the Network’s, one that seeks to sustain North Carolina’s claim as the Writingest State, and help some of our most marginalized writers.