In 2003, Terry founded The Literary Arts Partnership at the University of Central Florida, which offers poetry and storytelling workshops in community settings to children, youth, and adults throughout Central Florida. LAP was founded on the belief that poetry and storytelling are powerful tools that enhance literacy, learning attitude, character, and self-awareness. Terry trains and supports university students to serve as teaching artists in the community.
The projects of LAP develop pride among community members and inspire UCF students to recognize their potential and bring about positive changes in their communities.
Terry has provided creative writing workshops in public schools, residential treatment facilities, prisons, shelters, assisted living facilities, foster homes, and community centers.
LAP also works together with the MFA Program and the Graduate Writers Association at UCF to run a fee-based summer camp for teens.
LAP is a member of the National Writers in the School Alliance.
Because of the work Terry has done in the community for more than 10 years, she has written and published Creative Writing in the Community: A Guide (Bloomsbury, 2014).
Connecting classroom experiences to community-based projects, this book prepares creative writing students for teaching in schools, homeless centers, youth clubs and care homes.
Each chapter is packed with easy-to-use resources including: specific lesson plans; case studies of students working with community groups; lists of suitable writing examples; "how to..." sections; examples and theoretical applications of creative writing pedagogy and techniques; reflection questions; writings by workshop participants.
Enhanced by contributions from directors, students and teachers at successful public programs, Creative Writing in the Community is more than an essential guide for students on creative writing courses and leaders of community-based learning programs; it is practical demonstration of the value of art in society.
Praise for Creative Writing in the Community
Terry Ann Thaxton's thorough and thoughtful guide to community-based creative writing programs mixes inspiring stories with concrete strategies to turn inspiration into action. The voices gathered in Creative Writing in the Community make the strongest possible case for the value of the literary arts and convey the joy of helping students find their voices as writers, whether those students are seven or seventy years old. – Amy Swauger, Director, Teachers & Writers Collaborative
Creative Writing in the Community is a unique, comprehensive guidebook - an indispensable, whole-hearted resource both for aspiring writing teachers and practicing writers who, like the author, believe that the union of creative writing and service based learning can build confidence and generate, in learners from all walks of life, a sense of hope, possibility, and purpose. -- Michael Steinberg, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, USA and co-author (with Robert Root Jr) of Those Who Do, Can; Teachers Writing, Writers Teaching (1996)