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The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

Americorps workers needed for WV multimedia oral history project

The Federal Writers’ Project was a program, dreamed up by Eleanor Roosevelt, which put more than 10,000 aspiring writers to work in the years 1935-1940 as part of an unprecedented effort to document the richness and diversity of American life. The FWP produced guides to each of the 48 states which summarized the history, culture, folkways, geography and economy of each and also provided detailed itineraries of travel along the major highways. In addition, the FWP workers did over 100,000 life history interviews of ordinary Americans, essentially founding the discipline of oral history as we now know it. A recent Smithsonian Channel documentary, “SOUL OF A PEOPLE: The WPA Writers” Project Uncovers Depression America” gives a great glimpse into what it was like to be young, talented – and paid to write – back in the day.

Hard times have returned to America once again. And these are especially hard times for young people seeking work – most of all for young writers and journalists. But a select few of you will have the chance to relive the inspiring days of the Federal Writers’ Project for a year starting in September 2010 gathering oral histories through multimedia storytelling methods. With the help of the AmeriCorps program, Pocahontas County Free Libraries will have three positions in a new West Virginia Writers’ Project. This pilot program will operate in Pocahontas Greenbrier and Monroe Counties. Our dream is that it will be the beginning of a larger scale rebirth of the Writers’ Project in subsequent years. The concept has at least one friend in high places. Terrell McSweeny of Hillsboro WV, Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Biden, finds the idea intriguing.

If you think the West Virginia writers’ project might be the answer to your employment dilemma and your creative dreams, contact us ASAP: ,