Our Impact

Our creative writing program is unique, award-winning, and proven to be effective over the short and long term.

We use a research-backed expressive writing model that encourages participants to write freely without editing or evaluating their work. Generative sessions utilize writing activities, reading, discussion, and other exercises to inspire creativity, build confidence, and promote exploration. Participants write together and are given the time and space to write whatever they like and choose what they would like to share. They listen to others’ work and offer each other positive, specific feedback.

By giving participants the time and space for creativity – along with positive feedback, opportunities for publication, and activities that cultivate joy and celebration – we support healing and help build stronger, more empathic communities.

Through guided creative exploration and the sharing of stories, we help people listen across difference to foster empathy and offer new narratives that resist polarization and stereotyping. We honor, uplift, and celebrate all voices, especially those that aren’t typically heard in our society.

Results from 2023

We wrote with 1,029 people

We hosted 54 creative writing workshops

We published two books

  • 95% of participants reported that our program improved their quality of life
  • 95% of participants said that our program improved their confidence or self-esteem
  • 100% of participants said that the program connected them with others or strengthened their sense of community
  • More than two-thirds shared they would use the skills they learned in other professional, personal, or community settings

2023 Testimonials

While it’s incredible to see what comes out of my head when I freewrite in response to a prompt, it’s even more astounding what happens inside me when I listen to what other people write.


Even though writing is hard, I can still do it


I am new to the building and this workshop helped me to get to know some of my neighbors. This is also the first time I had been in a group setting for years after isolating myself before and during the pandemic.


Each workshop I’ve become a better writer. Writing and listening to other peoples’ writing has helped me overcome shyness and a better understanding on how writing your thoughts helps you in your life.


I liked hearing of the diversity of others in the group. Got to know them, made friends and now can pass them in the building and feel I’ve shared a part of their lives and that I got to share a little bit of mine.


I feel like since I have been in this workshop, I have overcome my fear of reading my work and to actually write how I feel when I am mad, upset, or other emotions.


It really does help you to overcome depression and loneliness when you do participate in Write Around Portland.


It feels good to be listened to.

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