Writes of Passage Group started as a volunteer venture at juvenile detention in Dayton, Ohio, in January 2017. Early on, I understood the many concerns around publishing the work of the male detainees including but not limited to parental permission.

People warned me that the justice system was a hard industry to get anything done, with government bureaucracy being what it is. For every question I was asked by leadership, I had (or was willing to find) an answer or a remedy, but after many phone calls, being passed along from one leader to the next, after several emails and face-to-face conversations with staff that lead nowhere, I decided in September 2018, to pack up my journals and start again.

This time with girls on the outside. Free.

Thirteen2Nineteen LitMag is the result of being told “no” without being told “no.” It is the result of finding alternate ways to reach young people with the power of writing. It’s the result of being (essentially) ignored by a “system.” It is the result of my love of writing, my passion for sharing stories, and a dose or two of tenacity.

The first issue of Thirteen2Nineteen is scheduled out before the end of summer 2020, and I am looking forward to mailing juvenile detention a copy, and I hope you will enjoy it too.


Ms. Onita


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