A man stands at a podium wearing a face mask. There's a sign next to him that has the Write Around Portland logo and the words respect writing community in orange. The photograph has been taken at a low angle facing upward down a long aisle between two sections of chairs. Some people sit use wheelchairs while others sit in yellow plastic chairs. The floor below them gleams under fluorescent lighting.

Programs for Nonprofits and Other Organizations

Bring Creative Writing to your Organization!

Modern life is full of things you can’t say. Emotions you can’t express. Stories you wish you could tell. Creative writing can help.

Write Around Portland has been facilitating creative writing programs in underserved communities since 1999. And we’ve seen growth, transformations, and change in everyone from middle school students to senior citizens.

Writing truly has the ability to change lives, and we’d love to partner with you to bring creative writing to your agency!

A young man with a baseball hat stands at a podium in front of a microphone, holding a book in his hands. He smiles.

our Programs for Nonprofits

What’s a workshop?

The concept of a creative writing workshop comes from academia. Workshops are “hands-on” learning akin to a science lab or an art studio (rather than a lecture.)

At Write Around Portland, we have adapted this academic model to a context outside of the classroom. Our workshops are designed to show participants that they are already writers, to take ownership of the group, and to know that they are active and valued members of a community of writers. 

While our workshops are NOT academic and our facilitators do NOT teach writing, participants share that they learn a lot!

Why Creative Writing?

A study in the American Journal of Public Health observed in 2010 that people who regularly wrote exhibited “statistically significant improvements” in memory, stress levels, immune function, blood pressure, and social behavior.

Over the years, we’ve also found that participants in our workshops:

  • Develop new friendships and feel less lonely
  • Become more confident in their writing and interpersonal skills
  • Find positive ways to work in groups
  • Feel a sense of pride at seeing their name in print
  • Feel a sense of relief at telling their story

Learn more about the research behind creative writing and its healing effects.

Ready to Get Started?

Read more about Workshop Series, Single Workshops, or Workplace Roundtables to determine the right program for you.

“Before joining [the workshop], I was depressed and stayed home most of the time with no outlet or connection out in the real world and no outlet for my emotions, be they happiness or pain. This workshop has changed my life in so many ways. I’ve learned to trust people and write feelings, to laugh and have fun. My facilitator and fellow writers gave me great encouragement. I was even afraid to ride the MAX before this, and now I ride the MAX alone and look forward to every day of my life. I want to write forever. Here no one puts me down for my mistakes and poor reading skills because of my dyslexia.”

Leah, Former Participant

Our Curriculum


In our workshops, we work to dismantle the distinction between “facilitator” and “participant” and avoid the traditional dynamics between “teacher” and “student.” When participants feel that it is their group instead of the facilitator’s, they have more of a personal investment in making sure that the workshop goes well and they are often much more engaged in all facets of the program.

Inductive Learning

Inductive learning encourages looking at writing as a process in which each step might yield exciting discoveries. It also means that everyone in the room might come up with their own definition of what makes an effective image, for example. This is the sort of intellectual, creative and respectful atmosphere that Write Around Portland strives to create, in which everyone is an expert and everyone is a writer.

Three people sit at a table with journals in front of them. Two of them are writing. The third - a man closest to the camera - has taken off his glasses and smiles at the camera.

Feedback from patients has been wonderful. [Writing] is a way of processing what occurs emotionally during one’s cancer journey versus the more commonly offered support groups. I believe we need to offer our patients multiple ways of healing.”

– Diane, Providence Health & Services

Organizations We’ve Partnered With

Since 1999, Write Around Portland has partnered with hundreds of nonprofits, hospitals, prisons, schools, and other agencies to provide therapeutic creative writing workshops. Here is a sampling from the last five years:

Multnomah County HIV Health Services Center

Whitewood Gardens Residential Care Facility

Hillsboro Public Library

Odd Fellows Retirement Community

Ready to Get Started?

Read more about Workshop Series, Single Workshops, or Workplace Roundtables to determine the right program for your organization.

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