Word Ward – A Therapeutic Writing Group

Word Ward - A Therapeutic Creative Writing GroupCreative Writing Groups can be as fascinating and varied as the people who attend them. I’ve been involved in several, and have recently started running one myself, so I thought it would be interesting to do a series of features on particular groups. To start us off, Rhian Elizabeth has written about her brand new group ‘Word Ward’….   

A Guest Post Written by Rhian Elizabeth

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis exactly this time last year. I had been ill for some time but to be told that what you’re going through has a name and that you will be going through it for the rest of your life was a bit of a nasty shock. I’ve been writing lots of poetry about MS and it’s going to be published by Parthian Books in the spring. This is very exciting, but it’s also very important for me, as writing about my illness has helped me a lot. I like to think that by writing about it, I’m defining it, instead of it defining me.

I’m also a Hay Festival Writer at Work and, whilst I was at the festival this year, I thought a lot about what I could do with my life. Lots of my friends were doing lots of productive and important things with their time, and their writing, and there was me- just writing about ME ME ME. I then had an idea, an idea that was always there, because I knew that writing had always been something that helped me get through difficult things in my life. The idea was to set up a creative writing group for people with long term health conditions.

Writing had been helping me deal with the challenges I was facing, and I wanted to see if I could help other people do the same. Writing is kind of like therapy, like all other kinds of art. Selfishly, I also wanted to meet other people who are going through the same things as me, and people who also like to write.

A good friend of mine, who is also a Hay Festival Writer at Work, Catrin Kean, messaged me and told me that she thought this idea of setting up a group seemed like a good one, and that she wanted to get on board. And she did. Fizzy Oppe, a psychotherapist and counsellor, also runs the group with us. We are a threesome and we are called ‘Word Ward’.

word ward people

Rhian Elizabeth, Fizzy Oppe and Catrin Kean will run the group together

We will meet every other Wednesday at 6pm in an accessible room at the Wales Millennium Centre, starting September 6th. It’s free and open to anyone with a health condition, whatever your style of writing and whatever your experience. See you there.

Find out more about the group by visiting the Word Ward Facebook page.

word ward writing groupAnd if you run (or belong to) a creative writing group, and would like to write a post about it, please do get in touch – rachel@createdtoread.com