Established as a non-profit corporation in 2012, the Toronto Writers Collective (TWC) has trained over 125 volunteer facilitators in the TWC method designed specifically to encourage expression in vulnerable communities, inspired by the Amherst Writers and Artist Method of transformational writing. In 2018, workshops, individual and on-going, were held at 26 locations, including 2 in Mississauga: public libraries, shelters, community centers and health care facilities reaching out to Indigenous people, the homeless and under- housed, people living with mental illness, abused women, immigrants and refugees, youth, elders, members of the 2SLGBTQIAP community, and those in conflict with the law. Since 2013, the TWC has facilitated over 1,900 workshops providing over 9,500 writing workshop experiences for over 1,675 writers from the communities we serve in the GTA.
TWC also publishes workshop participants’ stories and poetry in print (Front Lines – 2017) and on the TWC’s website and organize public readings of their work.
One of the TWC goals is to develop and establish our creative writing program in communities outside the GTA and across the country.
With support from the Hazel McCallion Fund for Arts, Culture and Heritage at the Community Foundation of Mississauga, the Write Around Mississauga Program will develop links to organizations who share our goals and train facilitators to provide equitable access to a resource that reflects the cultures and creativity that is hidden in the Mississauga’s diverse communities.
Write Around Mississauga, led by Susan Ksiezopolski, will train 8 new facilitators in the proprietorial TWC method during an intensive 20-hour weekend workshop. This will be followed by 10-week workshops held at 2-4 community-based organizations, to introduce members of the diverse populations of Mississauga to the benefits of expressive writing.
TWC inspires and empowers the unheard through writing; promotes an inclusive city, celebrates diversity and honours the lives of all of its citizens and support the transformational power of being heard.
The TWC provides creative writing workshops to those deprived of voice in our society. Writing with others in an atmosphere of dignity and acceptance, participants discover the value of their own stories. We believe:
- Everyone is a writer, regardless of prior writing experience and formal education;
- Through encouragement and support, people grow as writers;
- In the unique creative genius of every voice;
- Each person’s experience provides a wealth of inspiration as a writer and an artist;
- In creating a non-judgmental, open and respectful community where all writers support and deeply listen to each other and take risks and grow as writers;
- Each person, through writing, can shape and influence the lives of others; and
- We can achieve social change by offering opportunity and encouragement for all writers, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, age, gender, sexual orientation and physical ability.
To find out more about participating in Write Around Mississauga Program; becoming a TWC facilitator or a sponsoring organization contact Susan Ksiezopolski: SusanK@torontowriterscollective.ca