Our main purpose is to provide EJP students with opportunities to learn about and practice writing-related topics as they connect to academic, creative, and everyday purposes. Some of these workshops complement the upper-level courses students enroll in throughout the academic year, while some address theories of writing and language that expand ideas of what writing can be. Other workshops aid students in composing and workshopping pieces of fiction, memoir, or screenwriting that they’re already working on. Whether it’s a one-day or multiple-session event, it’s our goal that this programming will help students gain further confidence in the foundational skills of writing, be more familiar with diverse genres and disciplines of writing and have a better understanding of the work writing can do—in university settings and beyond.
Writing Workshops is accepting applications to offer workshops during the Spring 2024 semester. Please note that we continue to exercise precautions regarding COVID. Instructors are no longer required by the Department of Corrections or the University of Illinois to be vaccinated. Please be aware that programs may be suspended if public health circumstances change.
Minimum requirements for Writing Workshop members are:
● passing the background security check and IDOC (Illinois Dept of Corrections) security clearance requirements. Typically, applicants to EJP do not gain clearance to enter the prison until at least 4 months after they apply. This is due to IDOC’s clearance process and something EJP has no control over, unfortunately.
● a schedule that allows enough time to facilitate on-site writing workshops and engage with EJP—This includes attending orientations, critical conversation meetings, and DCC trainings. Optional but highly encouraged are the EJP Convocation and various community-wide events on the Urbana campus.
● a commitment to social justice.
Applicants should be aware that EJP approaches this work from a prison-abolitionist ethic, which informs the pedagogical and organizational values that structure EJP, as well as Writing Workshops. Regardless, we invite applicants who have varied perspectives on the prison system and the role of education and hope that this work will challenge and inspire you, and that your contributions will refine and develop EJP.
All applications are welcome. Because EJP aims to create a supportive learning environment for our incarcerated students, we especially encourage applications from individuals whose backgrounds align with those of our students. This includes members of racial minority groups, first-generation degree holders, and individuals from low socioeconomic status backgrounds. Please note that the educational offices are on the second floor of the prison and that there is no elevator.
According to Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) policy, if you are formerly incarcerated within Illinois or are actively visiting a friend or family who is incarcerated in IDOC, it is unlikely you will be able to receive IDOC clearance. Unfortunately, this is beyond our control.
To apply to the Writing Workshops program, please start by completing this application. The deadline for submitting your application is Oct 2 at 5:00. Please contact Kelli McQueen at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thank you for your interest!