Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Community Engagement Projects

As part of our mission, as well as that of the College, the Writers House strives to partner with its Lancaster neighbors. From public school students, to domestic violence survivors, to casual pedestrians and others, we help create writing projects that benefit those in the larger community.


Nonprofit Publications

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With a team of students, the Philadelphia Alumni Writers House produces a booklet for a local nonprofit organization to tell the stories of the people it serves, to offer inspiration to those still seeking help and to highlight Lancaster's invaluable community resources.  With guidance from Writers House faculty and staff, students spend a semester interviewing, photographing, writing and editing -- all the challenging work of journalism -- to make these publications possible.

Domestic Violence Services 2006-2007

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It is estimated that a woman is beaten every twelve seconds and that one out of four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Thousands are killed.   Fortunately, many others escape and survive due to organizations like Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster (DVS). During 2006-2007, DVS provided services to over 1,900 victims of domestic violence and their dependent children. Yet, so many women continue to endure abuse, not knowing that help is out there, or that they are strong enough to take the first step towards freedom.   Twelve women spoke candidly about how they overcame this fear and rebuilt their lives with the help of DVS. Their stories are a ray of hope to those still suffering at the hands of a violent partner.

Student Writers: Attila Cidam '07, Marie Cleaves, Jessica Migliore '06, Sara Wolfson '09,  Christine Yerkes, and Hannah Zimmermann '08


Writers in the Schools

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Four years ago, in the fall of 2005, we initiated an ongoing program to share eminent authors from the Writers House with students in the Lancaster City public schools. Our "Writers in the Schools" program gives local students, who don't typically have access to such opportunities a chance to hear famous visiting writers read from their work; to ask them questions about their careers and the writing life; to engage in interactive writing exercises and workshops; and to discover first-hand that writers don't live far away, but that a writer is alive in each of them.