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!

New workshops in Warm Hearts/Warm Bodies!

Join us every Tuesday in January for new workshops in the Warm Hearts/Warm Bodies studio! Click on for all the details.

Urban Poling

Teaming up with Trails4Life Rainbow Routes Association, we will be offering urban poling every Wednesday in January from 2-3pm! We've been having a blast so far -- join us!

From Good to Great: Poetry Techniques

NISA’s writer-in-residence, Natalie Morrill, is leading a 6-week poetry class on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:30 p.m. beginning January 6, 2016. Writers who have been writing for pleasure (or pain!) and who are ready to take their writing to a new level can join the class to learn more about poetic devices and how they are used to make poetry great. Missed a few classes but want to join this class? Join next Wednesday at 1pm!

NISA’s 2016 Superhero Calendar!

It's a Bird, it's a Plane, it's SuperNISAn's! This year we've brought back our calendar with The 2016 Superhero Calendar!! In it you'll find familiar faces taking on various heroic roles as we fight for social change around mental illness in our community. Limited copies available, and they're only $10 each - visit Corinne at NISA to buy your copy.

Holiday Hours & Resource Guide

Please note the following closures at NISA this month. Click through to get our holiday resource guide for activities and local supports available around the holidays.

Holiday Party!

Get your ticket after December 3rd for our Holiday Party on December 17th! Tickets are limited and are $8 each. Join us for an afternoon of a shared meal, games, dancing, prizes, and more!

Quilting & Mitt-Making Blitz!

Calling all Quilters! We need your help to make as many quilts as possible for our annual donation to a street outreach program in the winter. NISA will be holding a Quilting Blitz in our Warm Hearts / Warm Bodies program from December 7th to the 10th. Members are welcome to come any time from 8:30am-4pm to cut squares and assemble the quilts and help spread the warmth in our community. And, on the 11th, we'll have a special mitt-making blitz.

Dynamic Minds Programming

We've increased our active living programming, including YMCA groups, to help reduce the low energies that we sometimes feel associated with the colder weather and darker skies of the winter months. Remember, for all the dynamic minds classes you attend each month, your name will be entered into a draw to win some great prizes!

Creative Wellness Month Events

November is creative wellness month at NISA, and we have a great schedule of programs to get your imaginations flowing and to bring your artistic energies to life. Check it out!

Bereaved by Suicide Peer Support Group

Have you lost a loved one to suicide? Are you looking for support from peers who have experienced the same loss? Register now for a new peer support group at NISA for those bereaved by suicide.