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Creative writing program to engage community

creative writing
Upbeat Arts teacher Lucy Nelson will run the online creative writing workshop Word on the Street.

Creative writers in Bundaberg can put pen to paper and take part in Upbeat Arts online writing program Word on the Street.

It’s the first time the creative writing program has been offered to residents in the Bundaberg Region, and they are free.

It will be run by teacher of writing and cultural events, producer and published writer of fiction and non-fiction, Lucy Nelson and go for 90 minutes.

Upbeat Arts operations manager, and proudly Bundaberg born, Susan Gilmartin said they were excited to deliver the Word on the Street program, that is part of a series of online workshops that are offered to regional Queensland with funding from a special Queensland Health Mental Health grant, as a response to COVID-19.

“This pandemic has seen a great deal of movement to online delivery and we see it as a wonderful way to share the expertise of our teaching staff, and our tried and tested programs with the rest of Queensland,” Susan said.

“Our creative writing program Word on the Street is a welcoming and safe place where anyone interested in writing is encouraged to put pen to paper.

“Members build new skills through guided writing exercises delivered by a professional writer.

“There’s lots of help and support available and members of the class build on their skills each week.”

Susan said regardless of whether participants were writing stories, scenes or poetry, they would learn something new from Lucy, and from the others in the group, and the creative writing classes are suitable for beginners.

“Each class is a stand-alone workshop, so new members can get started any time,” she said.

“Getting started is most often the hardest part, and yet our members tell us they are constantly surprised by what comes out of their pen as they write. Putting themselves in a creative space with a professional and caring teacher is a wonderful place to start.”

The inclusive arts program is open to anyone aged 18 and over, with the aim to engage, empower and educate the participants. Referral is required to indicate the program would benefit your mental health.

“I can’t tell you how many shy and extremely anxious members I’ve seen, grow in confidence and self-esteem and go on to amazing things they once thought impossible for them,” she said.

“I recall one young lady and the first time she came along; she couldn’t look at anyone, she certainly didn’t speak to anyone and left within 10 minutes.

“A couple of years on and she’d attended her program weekly and had grown so much that she was leaving us to go and study at university as part of an overseas exchange program.

“The strength and courage came from within her, our program gave her the chance to see what she could do in a safe, kind and supportive place where the focus was on the program she attended.”

To take part in Upbeat Arts’ Word on the Street creative writing program or for more information click here or phone 0417 075 053.

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