Bishop’s University’s Lifelong Learning Academy (BULLA) has decided to take over the sponsorship of Write Here, Write Now (WHWN), formerly a Townshippers’ Association’s Project.
For the past two years WHWN has offered a number of activities to foster the local writing community. Receiving welcome support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, WHWN has encouraged the participants in the workshops to explore new techniques and subjects and to publish their work. One of the partners was Bishop’s Senior Academy for Lifelong Learning (SALL) so the sponsorship builds on a previous partnership.
The monthly workshops (in four locations) were designed for beginners as well as experienced writers and have focused on both poetry and prose, particularly the memoir. The project made links between writers and local media including The Townships Sun, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) and CJMQ which have published or broadcast their work.
Last summer the Our Stories 2.0 ebook published the writings of Townshippers as well as photos of their visual works. Later this summer a print version of the ebook will be available which will also include unpublished work by the students of North Hatley Elementary.
Some of the techniques of writing covered are “the flash memoir”, plot, setting, sound and rhythm, concrete poetry and imagery and the themes include The Gothic and Humour. One group writes only memoir. In every workshop there is an opportunity for participants to write and read their work. Participants have always been consulted on their interests and the workshops have been designed accordingly.
In June, the WHWN team will send a document to ask people what kind of workshops they would like to see added and which existing workshops should be renewed. An online event will follow.
A participant from the memoir group, Ann Louise George, wrote: “So why do I so enjoy being a member of the writing club? For one, there’s the conviviality of get-togethers with others who like the challenge of putting pen to paper. But there’s also the unique opportunity to have a window into the souls and minds of those around me, understanding who they are, what they are and why they are what they are—a great feeling of shared humanity, all under the skillful guidance of Melanie (Cutting).”
Rebecca Welton from the Knowlton group captured the reaction of the participants, “The Write Here, Write Now (WHWN) workshops have been incredibly inspiring; giving us the tools to take our writing forward; putting us in regular contact with other writers in the region; allowing us to forge new contacts and gain support from people as passionate about writing as each other.”
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