Writing Ourselves Whole: How Writing Our Stories Can Restore Our Lives

Writing Ourselves Whole: How Writing Our Stories Can Restore Our Lives
A workshop specifically offered to Black LGBTQ folks

Workshop Facilitator: Dianah Smith
For inquiry, please contact: dianahsmith1@gmail.com

Saturday, October 22th, 2016
Six Degrees Health, 204 Spadina Avenue

Accessibility: There is one step into the building and eleven stairs leading to the Centre
Cost: Suggested donation $25 (Absolutely no one turned away for lack of funds)

How to Register:
Sign up
here directly with this form
Maximum Number of Participants: 15



Writing is a vulnerable act.

For those who are not members of the dominant society, it t is often a way to find and/or reclaim our voices, and bear witness to our experiences.

How do we write from the places of hurt, neglect or exclusion?

Is there strength to be found in these places and, therefore, in telling these stories?

How do we not let these experiences define who and what we are?

How do we speak and write about/from these places without (or with less) shame and fear?

Writing Ourselves Whole will co-create a workshop environment where participants may feel safe(r) writing about their experiences of hurt, neglect and exclusion (both personal and systemic). We begin with the premise that telling our stories is a vulnerable act. As the workshop progresses, participants may begin to see that allowing themselves to take risks and be vulnerable will strengthen their writing. The focus of this workshop will be to co-create a supportive (kind, compassionate, non-judgemental) environment where participants may explore, create and share difficult stories. Please note that the workshop is not a replacement for counselling or other forms of professional therapy.

This workshop is specifically offered to black lgbtq folks. Participation in this workshop is ideal for those who are:

  • Seeking a supportive environment to share difficult stories
  • Open to hearing the work of others
  • Open to sharing their work (please note sharing will always be optional).
  • Currently writing or interested in writing personal stories (whether in the form of fiction or non-fiction)

Please note you do not have to be a ‘writer’ to participate in this workshop.

About the Instructor:

Dianah Smith is Jamaican-born, Ottawa-raised writer, teacher and arts educator based in Toronto. Dianah is the Lead Artist and Coordinator of Wychwood Open Door weekly writing drop-in, and the former Writer-In-Residence with the Toronto Street Writers. She is the Founder and curator of ‘A’ is for Orange, a reading series featuring queer Caribbean emerging writers and the former curator of When the Rainbow Isn’t Enough, a monthly reading series sponsored by the Toronto Women’s Bookstore featuring queer and trans emerging writers of colour and two-spirited emerging writers.

Her writing has been published in anthologies, high school textbooks, online and print magazines and made into podcasts. She’s currently working on a novel based on her experience of immigrating to Canada as a child, for which she received the Ontario Arts Council’s works-in-progress grant. She believes writing is a way to grieve/retrieve the past, make sense of the present and leave a legacy for the future.