Short essays wanted: literature, justice, social change and education

full name / name of organization: 
Changing Lives Through Literature
contact email: 

Changing Lives Through Literature is an alternative sentencing program founded in 1991 on the power of literature to transform lives.

In 2008 we launched a blog, Changing Lives, Changing Minds:

We have featured essays from professors, graduate students, judges, lawyers, and other scholars from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Topics range from literature and its impact on people to alternative sentencing and issues in our justice system.

We invite you to submit a 500-800 word piece to be featured on the site. Any topic that deals with literature or writing and the way in which they affect individuals (now or historically) is fair game. You might consider using one or more of the questions below as a jumping off point for an entry or bring ideas of your own to the blog.

* Is there a book that has profoundly impacted your life or way of thinking? Tell us about how you, yourself, have been transformed by a piece of literature.

* How does the act of "reading" change as our society grows more technologically advanced and dependent? Will there continue to be a place for the printed book or are we destined for a future where reading is limited to computer and Kindle screens? How does reading in an electronic medium differ from the experience of reading a book?

* How do individuals or groups of people create identity through reading and writing (either historically or currently)?

* How important is it for students to be able to see themselves in the texts they read in classes? What role should one's personal connections with the text play in classroom discussions?

* How have your writing experiences changed you? Is there a particular writing endeavor (such as a book, an essay, or a creative piece) that made you understand something about yourself or others?

These are just a few ideas. If your interests include criminal justice, politics, law, etc. we encourage you to bring those to the table as well.

If you are interested in submitting an essay, email us and we'll give you a list of available dates. No technical expertise required. Just send us your essay as an attachment to along with a 1-3 line bio.