Our Mission

It is the mission of The Writers Block Project to provide creative writing workshops in SC correctional facilities and publish literary collections of that work.

“When you are sent to prison, they strip away
everything that makes you a man. They take
your money, your car, your kids, your job, your wife.
And from what’s left, you build a man. But it’s an
honest build.”

– Allen Myers, WBP charter member
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About

The Writers Block Project began in 2011 as advanced creative writing workshops in the Character Based Unit of Perry Correctional Facility, a level three maximum security men’s prison in Greenville SC. An inmate wrote a letter to Carol Young Gallagher, president of Emrys literary foundation requesting a recommendation for a teacher for an advanced creative writing workshop. The men had studied grammar and had an introductory creative writing class taught by a volunteer and were ready for a more advanced focus. Carol responded that she and Anna Katherine Freeland, a friend and fellow writer, were willing to teach the class. After meeting with the Warden (at the time), Michael McCall, and Associate Warden Stephen Claytor, they began their training to be approved volunteers in the prison.
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The Workshop

Carol Young Gallagher and Anna Katherine Freeland are co-executive directors and writers and facilitate the creative writing workshops. Workshops center around generating and editing poetry, fiction and nonfiction through craft lessons, prompts, readings and peer critique. Recent lessons have included writing sonnets, flash fiction, and villanelle, a 15th century form poetry. Each class session consists of 10-12 weeks of classes ending with an Open Mic where participants read their work for an audience.
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The Book

In 2014, Emrys press published “Didn’t See It Coming,” a literary collection featuring the work of the men from Perry. As nationally recognized poet Ella Lyon said, “Strength and suffering, heartbreak and hope find voice in this powerful collection of writers form the Writers Block. These writers claim their lineage and their diversity. They are from heaven, from slave ships, from music, mistakes, whippings and confusion. Though locked up, they will not be locked out. Their words free them to discover themselves, to speak to each other, and to reach through the bars to you and me. As one writer puts it, they ‘write to breathe.’ Don’t miss their courageous words.”

$15.00
plus $3 postage and handling fee

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The Writers Block Project Board of Directors:

Anna Katherine Freeland, writer, Executive Director and board president

MEET AK

Carol Young Gallagher, writer, Executive Director and treasurer

MEET CAROL

Susannah Ross, attorney, vice president

MEET SUSANNAH

Mark Moyer, attorney, Secretary

MEET MARK

Heather Marshall, writer, professor

MEET HEATHER

Philip Whitley, poet and sculptor, retired professor

MEET PHILIP

CONTACT INFORMATION

PHONE

864-313-1452

EMAIL

info@thewritersblockproject.org

MAILING ADDRESS

P.O. Box 8495
Greenville, SC 29604