The Writers’ Circle

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.

Summer 2014    OMQ-2014-Spring2OMQ-2014-WinterOpen Minds Quarterly: The poetry & literature of mental health rOpen Minds Quarterly: The poetry & literature of mental health rOpen Minds Quarterly: The poetry & literature of mental health r

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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.

Shine On  Book of Al  On Rock Bottom  Fly Away Free     Last Man from Earth2   Carosella


Workbook - cover image

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.

 We are always looking to expand our programming to meet the needs of the membership, so if there is an area of writing you would like to learn or if you have skill sets that you would like to share with fellow members, be sure to visit NISA and let us know!

The Sudbury Yogathon for Mental Health: A NISA Fundraiser

Register to our first NISA fundraiser of the year: The Sudbury Yogathon for Mental Health! The Yogathon is geared to be accessible to all yoga experience levels, and the registration is FREE for NISA members!

Our 8-week Narrative Painting series returns!

Register now for our popular 8-week Narrative Painting series, facilitated by Kim Mullin. The first class begins on Tuesday March 8 from 10am-12pm.

Mental Health in Action Campaign

This month, you may have noticed a few more familiar faces and voices around the city and on your local news. That's because, we've launched our Mental Health in Action Campaign, a culmination of a big arts project from 2015! Read on for all the details and to buy your copy of our 2016 Superhero calendar!

Defeat Depression Fun Walk/Run

Join our team, register, pledge a participant, or donate today to the 3rd Annual Sudbury Defeat Depression fun walk/run happening May 28! This year the funds raised from this important mental health initiative are going to NISA!

It’s Beat the Blues Month, and we’re having a party!

All month we have scheduled wellness-based workshops and programs to inspire us to think differently and take charge of our mental wellness during these colder and darker, bluer, months. On February 19th, we will also have our annual Beat the Blues Party.

5-week Quilting Workshop

Whether you are wanting to make a quilt for the first time, or learn advanced skills, this special 5-week quilting workshop is for you!

Deals in the Northern Computer Recyling Depot!

For the next few months in NCRD, we are offering sales in desktops, monitors, and other computer accessories. Check it out!

Visiting Community Agencies

Throughout the month we will be visiting various community and employment service agencies around the city. Looking for a job, or gaining further supports in the community? See where we will be heading and come along!

The Story of Us: A Narrative Painting Collective

Join us at the opening reception of our Narrative Painting Collective at Artists on Elgin, on Saturday, February 6th from 1-4pm.

New meeting place in February for Bereaved by Suicide Group

The location of our Februrary Bereaved by Suicide Group has been moved to attend Scott Chisholm's free talk "Changing the Colour of Suicide: Looking Differently at Grieving". Open to all!