Lake Erie Ink celebrates 10 years

LEI founders Cynthia Larsen and Amy Rosenbluth at the 2020 Kids Comic Con. [photo courtesy Lake Erie Ink]

What is the value of a writing workshop for young people? Lake Erie Ink (LEI) believes it has the answer.

For 10 years, LEI has provided a writing space for young people across Northeast Ohio, to empower them and help them find their own voices. The initiative started more than 10 years ago, rooted in the many years that teachers Amy Rosenbluth and Cynthia Larsen had offered creative writing programs for youth in communities on Cleveland’s east side. After learning about work done by 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing center in San Francisco, the two decided to co-found their own organization focused on providing a safe space for youth to share their stories, and LEI was launched.    

“Having a supportive space gives kids the go-ahead to take creative risks,” Rosenbluth noted. “Youth need opportunities to express who they are and how they fit in their world.” 

LEI works to create these opportunities by collaborating with local teachers, students and parents across Northeast Ohio. From the annual Kids Comic Con, to published anthologies of teen work, LEI has found a variety of new ways to empower youth.

Most recently, LEI was able to provide a safe, virtual Comic Con experience in which more than 300 attendees explored writing and drawing stories.

After a decade of growth—from two teachers who believed in giving young people the opportunity to express themselves, to a sprawling network of artists, activists, playwrights and educators—LEI remains dedicated to the youth it serves.

So, what is the value of a writing workshop? As one LEI participant put it: “I write so people will read. And when people read, they feel. And when people feel, the world moves.”

Join LEI on May 8 as it celebrates its 10th anniversary with a storytelling event, Spilling Ink. Details about the event and tickets can be found at

Eli Millette

Eli Millette works as the communications and outreach director at Lake Erie Ink, and lives in Cleveland Heights. 

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 10:16 AM, 04.30.2021