The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Penned In: A collection of literary creations from both sides of the fence

Writing can be a lifeline for those in prison. Whether it be poems, fiction, personal stories or essays the expression is often therapeutic.

The Creative Writing Program at Matsqui federal prison is one initiative that encourages this self-expression.

Every Friday morning, outside volunteers drive out to the prison in Abbotsford to work with the men inside to encourage their writing. Writer Andrea Winterbottom has been volunteering with the program for the past year.

Andrea recently published an anthology of writing from both the prisoners, and some outside writers who are connected to the Creative Writing Program at Matsqui. It is called Penned In: A collection of literary creations from both sides of the fence.

Andrea Winterbottom spoke with Stark Raven about this collection of stories and the writing program at Matsqui.

Find some of the authors work at

Thank you for reading this story...

More people are reading than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all. But media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our only supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help.

If everyone who visits rabble and likes it chipped in a couple of dollars per month, our future would be much more secure and we could do much more: like the things our readers tell us they want to see more of: more staff reporters and more work to complete the upgrade of our website.

We’re asking if you could make a donation, right now, to set rabble on solid footing.

Make a donation.Become a monthly supporter.


We welcome your comments! embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.