Voices from the Edge

A free writing program for essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic

Register Now

Since March of 2020, frontline workers have been putting their lives at risk to ensure our communities have access to food, deliveries, health care and other essential services. However, few have been given a chance to reflect on the past year of the pandemic or to share what it is like to live on the edge of history.

Literary Cleveland is launching Voices from the Edge, a trauma-informed creative writing program designed to give frontline workers the opportunity to process their experiences through writing and share their essential, transformative stories with the public.

Beginning in April, Literary Cleveland will offer a series of free online writing workshops for essential workers in Northeast Ohio. Participants will engage with writing, connect with other frontline workers, and learn to craft their individual stories that will allow them to reflect on the challenges they are facing during the pandemic and to gain agency over their own representation in the media. Workshops are offered at a variety of days and times to accommodate different work schedules. Participants will receive an honorarium, and all attendees will be informed about Northeast Ohio financial, mental health, food, and family support services and programs available to them as essential workers.

In the fall, participant writing will be collected and published in an online anthology, presented in a variety of public readings, and distributed in news stories amplified by Literary Cleveland’s media partners to re-engage the public with the individual stories of these workers and transform our understanding of the challenges they face.

Voices from the Edge is made possible through the generous support of the Andrews Foundation, the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, and Neighbor Up. Program partners include the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, Greater Cleveland Nurses Association, Cleveland Emergency Medical Services, Cleveland Division of Firefighters, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Agency, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

"I don’t know whose side you’re on,
But I am here for the people
Who work in grocery stores that glow in the morning
And close down for deep cleaning at night..."


– “Say Thank You Say I’m Sorry” by Jericho Brown

Tuesday Evening Workshop

April 6-May 25 from 7pm-9pm ET

Join instructor Vince Robinson on Tuesday evenings for this free eight-week workshop.

NOTE: This class is now full. Sorry! Add your name to the wait list by filling out this form. Thanks!

REGISTER HERE!

Wednesday Evening Workshop

April 7-May 26 from 7-9pm ET

Join instructor Logan Cutler Smith on Wednesday evenings for this free eight-week workshop.

NOTE: This class is now full. Sorry! Add your name to the wait list by filling out this form. Thanks!

REGISTER HERE!

Thursday Morning Workshop

April 8-May 27 from 10am-12pm ET

Join instructor Lisa Langford on Thursday mornings for this free eight-week workshop.

NOTE: This class is now full. Sorry! Add your name to the wait list by filling out this form. Thanks!

REGISTER HERE!

Saturday Morning Workshop

April 10-May 29 from 10am-12pm ET

Join instructor Christopher Johnston on Saturday mornings for this free eight-week workshop.

NOTE: This class is now full. Sorry! Add your name to the wait list by filling out this form. Thanks!

REGISTER HERE!

Call for Submissions

August 1, 2021

Literary Cleveland will accept writing from essential workers in Northeast Ohio to be collected and published in an online anthology and distributed in news stories amplified by Literary Cleveland’s media partners to re-engage the public with the individual stories of these workers and transform our understanding of the challenges they face.

Guidelines

– We are looking for poems, essays, or stories from essential workers in Northeast Ohio about their experiences related to the pandemic. You must be an essential worker in Northeast Ohio to submit, but you don't have to have participated in the Voices from the Edge workshops.

– We are primarily looking for true stories—nonfiction essays, memoirs, poetry based in real-life experience, etc.—not fiction.

– Submissions should be fewer than 3,000 words.

– Multiple submissions are allowed. If possible, please include all of your submissions in a single document.

– Simultaneous submissions are welcome.

– New and unpublished work is preferred, but previously published work is permitted. If previously published, please include information about where and when the work was published before (with links, if possible).

– We require non-exclusive world English rights, and all rights revert to the author on publication. We will get your permission before we publish or use your work in any way.

– In certain circumstances, we may need employer approval before publishing work.

Deadline to submit: August 1, 2021.


NOTE: We are now closed for submissions. Please contact info@litcleveland.org with any questions.

REGISTER HERE!

Since March of 2020, frontline workers have been putting their lives at risk to ensure our communities have access to food, deliveries, health care and other essential services. However, few have been given a chance to reflect on the past year of the pandemic or to share what it is like to live on the edge of history.

Literary Cleveland is launching Voices from the Edge, a trauma-informed creative writing program designed to give frontline workers the opportunity to process their experiences through writing and share their essential, transformative stories with the public.

Beginning in April, Literary Cleveland will offer a series of free online writing workshops for essential workers in Northeast Ohio. Participants will engage with writing, connect with other frontline workers, and learn to craft their individual stories that will allow them to reflect on the challenges they are facing during the pandemic and to gain agency over their own representation in the media. Workshops are offered at a variety of days and times to accommodate different work schedules. Participants will receive an honorarium, and all attendees will be informed about Northeast Ohio financial, mental health, food, and family support services and programs available to them as essential workers.

In the fall, participant writing will be collected and published in an online anthology, presented in a variety of public readings, and distributed in news stories amplified by Literary Cleveland’s media partners to re-engage the public with the individual stories of these workers and transform our understanding of the challenges they face.

Voices from the Edge is made possible through the generous support of the Andrews Foundation, the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, and Neighbor Up. Program partners include the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, Greater Cleveland Nurses Association, Cleveland Emergency Medical Services, Cleveland Division of Firefighters, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Agency, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, and Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.

"I don’t know whose side you’re on,
But I am here for the people
Who work in grocery stores that glow in the morning
And close down for deep cleaning at night..."


– “Say Thank You Say I’m Sorry” by Jericho Brown

Our Instructors

Vince Robinson

Vince Robinson is a multi-genre artist, having given time to evolving in music, the visual imagery of photography and the magic of words in poem and song. In addition to poetry, Vince has written for several publications beginning with The Spectrum at KSU to Eschelon Magazine and Crusader Arts and Entertainment. He is currently a writer for the East Side Daily News in Cleveland, Ohio and is a contributor to CAN Journal.

Logan Cutler Smith

Logan Cutler Smith is a Cleveland-based theatre artist, sculptor, and educator. Logan studied Theatre and Sculpture at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont (’12), before earning an MFA in Creative Writing from Cleveland State University (’16). Logan is a member of the Playwrights' GYM at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights. His plays have been performed at Convergence-Continuum, Cleveland Public Theatre, and Playwrights Local.

Lisa Langford

Lisa Langford is a Cleveland-based playwright and actor. She received her BA in History from Harvard University and her MFA in playwriting from Cleveland State University. Her play Rastus and Hattie was a 2019 Joyce Award winner (w/ Cleveland Public Theatre) and a 2019 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center National Playwrights Conference finalist. A recipient of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, Lisa is a member of the Dramatist Guild.

Christopher Johnston

Christopher Johnston has written several docudramas based on extensive, in-depth interviewing, including Sexually Explicit Material about people's sexual experiences and beliefs at Cleveland Public Theatre, Ghosts of War about Vietnam veterans at Dobama Theatre, My Body is Blue about a victim of domestic violence at Dobama and convergence-continuum, and Live Bodies for Sale about human trafficking in Northeast Ohio at Playwrights Local.


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