The Hero’s Journey is not an invention, but an observation. It is a recognition of a beautiful design, a set of principles that govern the conduct of life and the world of storytelling the way physics and chemistry govern the physical world…
(Chris Vogler, author of The Writer’s Journey)
The Hero’s Journey Prison Writing Project program aims to assist inmates in challenging the perceptions they have of themselves as victims/perpetrators and encourages and supports a paradigm shift in their thinking to that of the hero archetype—one of taking responsibility for the journey they find themselves on and how to make the most of it in terms of self-development and internal discovery. At its core, this program is about each person learning to transform negative beliefs about himself into a more positive self image, therefore taking responsibility for his own life and actions. The Hero’s Journey is a powerful metaphorical storytelling tool we use to facilitate this process. With an emphasis on the exploration of Joseph Campbell’s work addressing the structure of the hero’s journey and Chris Vogler’s adaptation of that structure in The Writer’s Journey, the Hero’s Journey Prison Writing Project introduces prisoners to an alternative structure for analyzing their personal story, prior to prison, while in prison and in thinking about their release.
Additionally, the project provides inmates opportunities to write, revise and receive feedback on their own creative work thus increasing their literacy skills as well as their creativity and storytelling abilities.
- The mythologist, Joseph Campbell, first wrote about The Hero’s Journey as a design for storytelling in 1949. It’s an age-old storycrafting tool still effectively used by modern writers, like George Lucas with Star Wars.
- Christopher Vogler, a former Hollywood story consultant, adapted these ideas in his bestseller, The Writer’s Journey, published in 1992. Vogler came to realize that The Hero’s Journey was not only a solid blueprint for telling stories, it was a useful set of guidelines for navigating almost any challenging experience.
- Now Gloria Kempton, Director of The Hero’s Journey Prison Writing Project, in The Outlaw’s Journey Correspondence Course, introduces this concept to writers behind bars. While helping them strengthen their writing skills, she compassionately guides them through a transformative process, giving them the opportunity to honestly look at their own life’s journey with its internal and external struggles, and become the Hero they were always meant to be.
- To read a sample chapter of The Outlaw’s Journey click Outlaw preview COMPLETE
The Outlaw’s Journey has taught me the steps to write a gripping story. I’m now reviewing my entire life in a whole different way, recalling actual events, what I was feeling at the time, and then examining the consequences of my decisions. I’ve learned that life really is a journey and that our choices determine the outcome. —MP
Transcending the fray, inside and out … one story at a time.
To learn more about this project contact Gloria via the form below or e-mail outlawsjourney AT gmail.com