Monday, March 24, 2014

BW 5th Edition Book Release and Live Readings

Barrio Writers 5th Edition is here! 

Go get your hands on our BW books!


2014 BW Book Release & Live Reading Events:

BW 5th Edition Book Release | Santa Ana, CA | The Frida Cinema
2-5pm Saturday, March 29th, 2014 Click here: OC BW FB Event Page

BW 5th Editon Book Release | Austin, TX | Resistencia Bookstore
1-4pm Saturday, April 26th, 2014 Click here: ATX BW FB Event Page


Check out our new look! 

Gracias to Raspa Magazine for the amazing work and support! BIG Thank you to all our indiegogo supporters who helped us raise $1,725 towards our book publication & Summer 2014 programs.

Latest Headline: Watch out Arizona!
BW is launching a new chapter in Phoenix - Summer 2014!
Save the Date: June 9-14, 2014
Thank You to AZ BW Director Tracey Flores & ASU!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

OC Coordinator Kore Sierra Reflections on Decolonizing Knowledge Presentation at Cal Sate Fullerton

Rapping the truth of our society along with presenting the future research on education and other topics was the emphasis at the CASA Symposium at Cal State Fullerton. During the symposium we were able to listen to the fantastic works of many inspiring artists. Through their words, painting, beadwork and writing to their community.

In all honesty, I was very nervous about the presentation of Barrio Writers, though this is not my first time in front of people, the fact that the Barrio Writers name was on the line made it feel more nerve wrecking. While listening to the first presenters I was overwhelmed with their empowering words all their life said in one epic poem. I found it quite fascinating that these poets (and many others that are famous poet writers) are able to reach their audience hearts.  The whole time I heard their words my skin was prickling like hearing a singer’s voice hit a high octave with so much emotion that it hits you that “WOW” moment. This was the impression that the poem jam gave me.

During the next presentation by Leticia Rojas from Cal State Long Beach, which was a very inspiring presentation to me for the reasons that I want to go into teaching, who presented on the matter that why are there not many Latino’s going into the teaching field, along with the question on why Latino’s go into teaching. The one question that was brought up was the fact that why do we have the help that we need, if we had any, to get into college why do we not have the same help going into college to receive the encouragement to continue towards a masters or doctorates degree. The presentation on the research being conducted by Leticia Rojas is incomplete but shows much potential on being a key point on finding the answers towards bettering our education system beginning with the establishment of teachers who help their own ethnicity.

After the wonderful presentation by Leticia Rojas, Barrio Writers was up to bat. Marilynn Montano and I both presented ourselves, I gave my point of view of the first editions obstacles and how every year Barrio Writers has jumped each every single one with great splendor. We started from a hallway, classroom, bookstore, library, and finally a classroom at Cal State Fullerton. After I presented my work, Marilynn gave the audience her point of view of Barrio Writers. When Marilynn presented her thoughts we had such a surprising response from the audience that I knew we got more than a few perked ears hearing the both of us. At the end we received questions which one really got me interested, the question was:

“What will be our next step in getting not only Santa Ana youth together to give their stories to be added into our next Barrio Writers anthology but getting the whole state of California, Texas or even (our new chapter) Arizona to get more youth to present their work?” 

I actually got home and really thought about this question on how we can expand; I honestly can’t answer this question yet. I think about the use of the internet or even newspapers, a special site specifically for writing entries I honestly don’t know maybe in a few years we will be able to get an answer to this question. Barrio Writers is slowly but strongly expanding into other states and the stories of youth from these states and counties will be heard and written to inspire many generations.

In the end I sadly had to leave in the middle of the presentation but I was very happy to be able to present Barrio Writers to a community where everyone was speaking about the betterment of Latino (a)’s everywhere. Thank You to Marilynn Montano for helping get by my jitters (even though I really wanted to cry but held my tears back a little bit).

Thank You to Sarah Garcia our founder, friend and mentor who has given us the opportunity to present at the CASA Symposium. Especially Thank You to the CASA Symposium directors for approving us to present at their Symposium. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

BW Coordinators To Present At The 3rd Annual C@SA -The Chican@ Studies Alliance Symposium!

Barrio Writers has been accepted to present at the 3rd Annual C@SA -The Chican@ Studies Alliance Symposium taking place March 1st, 2014 from 8:30am to 5:00pm at Cal State Fullerton. 

Congrats to our BW Program Coordinators Marilynn Montano & Kore Sierra who will be presenting the BarrioWriters program and it's impact on the youth, community and literature! They will present on behalf of BarrioWriters and also share their own BW experience and writing! Que Exciting! 

Save The Date!  See You All There!  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Kore Sierra Joining Our Barrio Writers Coordinating Team!

Check out Kore Sierra from Barrio Writers 1st Edition and whose joining our Barrio Writers Coordinating Team! We are proud of all of our Barrio Writers who make a difference in the community everyday. It takes a lot of responsibility to keep grounded to one's goal and that's the beauty of life: La Lucha Sigue and Alive!

A few weeks ago I was asked to write a blog. In my own mind I thought, “yeah I can do it easily in one week”. It has been two weeks in a half and still I had not written anything (I guess my muse decided to go on vacation or after six months or so have passed I may have gotten rusty). Even after four years of writing you would think that I would have gotten better but I guess not. After so much time has passed …yup…I’m rusty.

Before, I continue let me introduce myself my name is Kore Sierra. I became a member of Barrio Writers in 2009. I was a high school graduate who had accepted to go to UC Riverside for my undergraduate. Now, four years later I return as a UC Riverside Graduate with a B.A in English. I was part of two organizations Mujeres Unidas for three years and the American Red Cross for one year. Being more involved in Mujeres Unidas, I became the telecommunications chair my last year. Though I’ve had many triumphs and fails in college I enjoyed every minute.

More than six months have passed since I graduated; I am currently working on the process that every student dreads…paying back student loans. One would think paying back would be painful but looking at my balance going down feels good yet at the same time, years down the road, I may not think the same.
I continue to write with humor. 

For those who know me well know that I will try to write messages with humor. I like to cheer people up. Since I first joined Barrio Writers, the story I submitted was a sad memory but a story that I wanted others to read. Now I write about my surroundings mostly funny things that I happen to see. Why not write about funny situations they are always fun to write especially when you are simply sitting down or even waiting for the bus. Through everything I have done these past four years, I am happy to be back in Santa Ana and I am super excited about seeing everyone in the summer!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celebrate 2014 with Barrio Writers!

Dear Fans, Supporters & Barrio Writers,

If you would've asked me in 2009 about the future of Barrio Writers, I would've said, "I just hope the youth show up." Today, I know the youth always come through. We have served over 100 youth in Orange County, California and Austin, Texas.

Since our beginning at El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana 5 summers ago, we have evolved into 1-week intensive programs on actual university campuses and published 4 summers of writing in our Barrio Writers anthologies (1st, 2nd-3rd & 4th Editions).

What do we desire to accomplish in 2014? Barrio Writers is striving to raise substantial financial support in order to publish more youth, keep growing our programs through community partnerships and writing advisors. Most recently we have been providing free workshops at the Travis County Juvenile Probation Department in Austin, Texas. Youth have the option to attend a BW workshop once a week in exchange for community service hours and a pipeline to higher education. For the last 9 weeks we have served 11 youth. One youth in particular has attended all the workshops consistently even though he has completed his community service hours. He, along with another participant, are submitting their creative writing for publication in the next collection. Their enthusiasm has inspired us, along with the Probation Officers who have witnessed their motivation. We hope you get to read their words too.

What's in the near future? We plan to release the Barrio Writers Book 5th Edition Spring 2014. The publishing process has been an overwhelming experience. But every time I witness a Barrio Writer stand behind a mic, share their own words while holding their own book, the struggle seems small in comparison to the pride they express. We will continue to offer the free workshops at the probation department, our 1-week sessions over the summer and grow our community partnership with Resistencia Bookstore in Austin to make sure our BW books are available to the public.

What do we need to make it all happen? We really need financial support to make the publishing process easier and successful. My personal goal is to get the BW books in the classrooms. But first, I need to establish a process for publication that will represent the youth works in the professional presentation they deserve. Additionally, we need to have resources available for bus passes, supplies and snacks during the workshops. By providing access to such resources, our writing advisors stay focused on engaging our youth and developing mentoring opportunities. With consistent financial support through donations and book sales, the BW workshops will continue to grow and build writers, leaders and scholars through youth empowerment without the worries of other necessities.

So, please help us raise $6000 in the next 60 days, the funds earned through our indiegogo campaign will help publish our next edition without any limitations while growing our distribution and Barrio Writers workshops in 2014. Something to remember, our book sales help us become a sustainable organization, but first we need the books and youth writings.

If you can't support Barrio Writers by making a financial contribution, please share the campaign with your friends, colleagues and business owners. Also 'like', share and tweet about us through our indiegogo page! That alone helps us too!

Wishing you the best in 2014!

Sarah Rafael GarcĂ­a  
Barrio Writers Founder

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Community Guest Artist: Zuleica Zepeda

As we run around happily to the start of 2013 OC Barrio Writers..

We are happy to announce that we will be having a community guest artist from Santa Ana teach a workshop--'Art & Hip-Hop'

Zuleica Zepeda, is a local award-winning Xicana Indigenous artist and photographer, estudiante graphic designer, jaranera poet, vegan cultura-nary and community organizer. 

Her artwork has been on exhibition throughout Santa Ana, L.A. and San Diego. She is co-founder of Seeds of Resistance, an autonomus, grassroots wombyn of color art collective in Santa Ana. Her artwork and poetry have been published in the 2012 and 2013 Mujeres de Maiz annual zine.

*Follow us instagram! @barriowriters 

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's That Time Again!

We are super excited for --2013 OC Barrio Writers Writing Workshops @ Cal State Fullerton!  

The Department of Chicana & Chicano Studies has partnered with Barrio Writers to host a free 1-week summer writing program at California State University, Fullerton! We invite all youth between 13-21 years old to participate in a week long college-level creative writing program taught by local artist & program coordinator Marilynn Montano and author Sarah Rafael Garcia, which will provide youth with an opportunity to learn different forms of writing (poetry, spoken word, hip-hop, short stories, essay), a path to college and free cultural arts field trips, along with a 1-week bus pass!

Attn. Youth: Due to great participant attendance, we recommend you RSVP (reserve your seat in the workshops)! Visit our website for more or call (714) 989-6884, email

Monday, Aug. 12, 2013 1-4pm
at CSUF Langsdorf Hall Room #404

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 1-4pm
at CSUF Langsdorf Hall Room #404
Field Trip 4-6pm (to be determined)

Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 1-4pm
at CSUF Langsdorf Hall Room #404

Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013 1-4pm
at CSUF Langsdorf Hall Room #404

Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 1-4pm
at CSUF Langsdorf Hall Room #404
Field Trip (to be determined)

Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 3-6pm - Live Reading
at CSUF Langsdorf Hall Room #404