The Community Literacy Center Key Initiatives

SpeakOut! Writing Workshops:

SpeakOut! Writing Workshops take place at the Larimer County Detention Center and Turning Point. In 1.5 hour weekly workshop sessions, we seek to present a range of approaches and techniques for engaging writing. Each session involves a blend of lecture and discussion to examine literary texts, historical artifacts, and contemporary writing techniques and tools. In addition, each session gives participants opportunities to apply the concepts discussed to their own lives through guided writing exercises. Writers respond to prompts on issues central to their lives, including confinement, freedom, family, pain, anger, beauty, love, life, place, and home. Participants are then invited to read their work aloud and give/receive feedback.

The writing that results from the workshop is compiled in a bi-annual journal, which is circulated at no charge. The SpeakOut! Journal gives voice to issues prisoners and at-risk youth face, works to counter negative stereotypes regarding incarcerated people and individuals in treatment programs, and creates a society less hostile to prisoner re-entry.

The journal is celebrated each semester at a coffee-house style celebratory reading hosted on-site by the participants. Outside guests are invited to attend. These are held at the end of each semester.The SpeakOut! journal is published twice-yearly in December and May. Visit SpeakOut! 2.0 for electronic access.

The goals of this alternative literacy workshop are:

  1. To provide a safe and encouraging space for writers to experiment with language and communication as a tool for understanding their lives and their relationship to the larger world
  2. To complement skills-based literacy programming through a literary and humanities-based writing instruction that moves beyond traditional methods of evaluation
  3. To create opportunities for writers to recognize the value of their own experience
  4. To help participants evaluate past actions and envision life change
  5. To give incarcerated and at-risk populations a public voice and a sense of their importance and value in society through the circulation of the bi-annual SpeakOut! Journal
  6. To increase public awareness on issues of incarceration and social justice

SpeakOut! Publications

  1. From Inside Our Minds (Fall 2012) — LCDC Groups and Turning Point
  2. Larimer County Ink (Spring 2012) — LCDC Groups and Turning Point
  3. Sticks and Stones (Fall 2011) — LCDC Groups and Turning Point
  4. Imprisoned Passions (Spring 2011) — LCDC Groups and Turning Point
  5. Shattered Shackles (Fall 2010) — LCDC Groups and Turning Point
  6. Pen Scars from Behind the Bars (Spring 2010) — LCDC Groups and Turning Point
  7. Journey to Freedom (Fall 2009) — LCDC Women's Group
  8. Through the Eyes of These Inmates (Spring 2009) — LCDC Women's Group
  9. Listen to Us, Damn It! (Fall 2008) — LCDC Women's Group
  10. The Way We Live The Way We Think (Fall 2008) — Turning Point Girl's House
  11. Ruthless Rhythms (Fall 2008) — Turning Point Boy's house
  12. Can Anyone Hear Our Screams? (Spring 2008) — LCDC Women's Group
  13. Break Through the Bars (Spring 2008) — Turning Point Girl's House
  14. Broken Chains (Spring 2008) — Turning Point Boy's House
  15. A Breath of Truth: Bringing Out the Voices of Teenage Writers (Fall 2007) — Turning Point
  16. Inside (Spring 2007) — LCDC Women's Group
  17. Reflections of the Unlocked Soul (Fall 2007) — LCDC Women's Group
  18. On Wings of Words (Fall 2006) — LCDC Women's Group
  19. Releasing Locked Up Emotions (Fall 2005) — LDCD Women's Group
  20. Speak Out! Women's Writing Workshops (Fall 2005) — Turning Point Girl's House
  21. Feelings Unlimited (Summer 2005) — Community Corrections Halfway House
  22. Do Not Be Afraid, Speak Out (Summer 2005) — Turning Point