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!

Meet Your Candidates!

As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct 4-10), NISA has invited the local federal candidates to visit our space and take some questions from members. Join us from 10-4pm on October 6th to meet the candidates and find out where they stand on issues related to mental health care in our region.

Join us at our Fall Art Show Opening!

Join us, Wednesday October 7th from 7-9pm at the Sudbury Theatre Centre for the opening of our Fall Art Show! Featuring never before seen pieces from NISA members and community artists. Free admission and light refreshments will be provided.

Sexual Wellness programming in October

This month at NISA we are exploring issues, concerns, and opportunities for further care, in relation to sexual health and wellness. Read on to see all of the events scheduled this month.

Support NISA and Mental Illness Awareness!

Stop in at DiGusto this October and order their delicious Charity Bread. All of the proceeds will be going to NISA in support of mental health awareness this month!

Halloween Party

Join us Friday October 30th from 10-4pm for our annual Halloween party!

Arts Programming this September

Discover your inner superhero by diving into our programming this September! We've got a 6-week heroic short story fiction writing course, superhero costume-making, a Fall Art Show, and more! Read on for all the details.

NE LHIN Engagement Session

On Tuesday, September 22 at 11:30am, the Northeast Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) will host an engagement session to gather feedback on their 2016-2019 Strategic Plan. Come and have your say!

Annual General Meeting

If you are an active member of NISA (you have attended at least once in the past 2 years), you are eligible to attend our Annual General Meeting and dinner! RSVP required.

Camp Noronto Prize Winners

See who the lucky winners are of our Camp Noronto raffle! Thank you to all who participated and supported the raffle, enabling 28 individuals to attend our annual wellness retreat.

Register now for four new computer classes!

This September, NISA is offering four new computer classes geared to developing skills in computer care, occupational enhancement, and personal enjoyment. Register now!