The Writers’ Circle
The Writers’ Circle provides the opportunity for consumers to have a voice and means of self-expression. Locally, we provide space, training and resources for members interested in developing their writing talents for pleasure, publication, or both. Members are welcome to visit the site at their own convenience, where they will have access to computers, printing, and writing tools in a space that is comfortable and supportive. NISA is also proud to provide a wide range of information resources for members looking to learn or expand their knowledge in any form of writing. The Writers’ Circle strives to empower consumers to make a difference through the written word.
Members of The Writers’ Circle have the opportunity to learn from fellow members and community writers through the many learning opportunities at NISA. A wide variety of writing workshops have been organized each year to help develop confidence and technique. Workshops have included such topics as haiku, poems from the everyday, memoir-writing, character development, dialogue, inspiration from current events, writing outlines, rhyming poetry, writing for the news, play writing, screenwriting, social commentary and poetry, planning your novel, comic book creation, and writing for profit.
An on-site editor is available to assist individuals with the writing process, both locally and abroad, and accepts writing submissions for publication in Open Minds Quarterly, our internationally distributed literary journal. Our magazine solicits submissions from writers all over the world who have survived depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. We publish first-person accounts, essays, poetry, fiction, short stories, book reviews, and open letters. All of the stunning artwork on our front covers are from the talented artists in our Artists’ Loft.
Visit our website at www.openmindsquarterly.com
Members’ Writing Successes
Over the last two years, several members have flourished in their writing endeavors and with much perseverance, and support from fellow members and staff, have gone on to publish their memoirs! Copies of our members’ books are available for purchase from us here at NISA. Available at the Dandelion Café is Allan’s two books, “The Book of Al” and “On Rock Bottom and Know Where to Turn”, as is Renee’s book “Fly Away Free”. Allan’s books are also for sale in Sudbury at Bay Used Books and Chapters.
One of our Peer Support Workers, SueAnn Land, is also an accomplished writer, whose literary support has been very valuable to our members along their writing journies. SueAnn’s book “Carosella” is available for purchase from Amazon and Lulu.
With beginning writers in mind, we have also published a guidebook, Mental Pencil, that will lead you through the basics of writing your story. Have you ever secretly dreamed about writing your memoirs? Have you been stuck on where to start? Don’t wait. It’s time to put pencil to page. Follow the lessons and exercises inside and you’ll have your first story in hand in no time – and your readers won’t be able to put it down.
The book is authored by the local writer, Ken Lillie, who has been involved with NISA in the past, and has facilitated thoughtful writing workshops for our members. He also sat in for a time as the Stories & Essays Editor for Open Minds Quarterly, reviewing the stories and memoirs of individuals living with mental illness. To order a copy of Mental pencil you can come in to NISA, or order it online here.