Our purpose in this paper is to foreground contextual issues in studies of situated writing practices. During a year-long case study in a rural Kenyan secondary school, we applied a number of ethnographic techniques to document how 32 girls (aged 14-18 years) used local cultural and digital resources (i.e., donated digital cameras, voice recorders, and laptops with connectivity)within the context of their after-school journalism club. We take inspiration broadly from the concept of liminal spaces, which we bring together with notions of placed resources, New Literacy Studies (NLS), multiliteracies, multimodality, and identity work. We argue that the learning space of the journalism club, including its mediating digital tools, affords identities of empowerment to students’ writing and experimentation. On close examination of the transitional space of the journalism club, we see the foundational practices of situated rehearsal, appropriation, and performance of the roles and linguistic repertoires that the learners associated with competent journalists. We conclude that the club as a learning space, including its “props” and digital resources, fostered new degrees of freedom, community, equality, and creativity. We are left with questions about the characteristics of transitional learning spaces and how these might serve as fertile ground for growing competent writers in a range of educational contexts.