Talking Back emerged from an ongoing conversation among the composition faculty at Colorado State University about providing publication opportunities for student writers. In summer 2001, as they developed a new syllabus for the University's first-year composition course, COCC150: College Composition, Ted Rollins and Donna LeCourt decided to create this journal. Ted Rollins and Kerri Eglin took the lead in creating the journal and, with Jamie Neufeld, edited the first issue.
The location of the journal within the Writing Gallery on Writing@CSU (https://writing.colostate.edu/gallery) reflects the desire of faculty in the composition program to provide a public forum for student writing. The initial design and coding of the journal was provided by Mike Palmquist, Ted Rollins, and Keri Eglin.