TWC Goes Virtual

Video workshops launched within weeks  of the pandemic outbreak Contributed by Jesse Cohoon

 

As the world adapts to new ways of living during a global pandemic, the Toronto Writers Collective (TWC) has shifted its approach in how the arts-based charity delivers creative writing workshops.

 
All TWC workshops were put on hiatus at over 30 locations throughout the GTA, Ottawa, Montreal and Sudbury after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a pandemic in mid-March.

 
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the TWC had delivered in-person writing workshops ranging from groups of 4 to 20 writers.
“The irony was not lost on us as an organization,” TWC’s Doug Grundman, Co-Executive Director explains. “Our origin story is rooted in meeting the needs of the vulnerable and intellectually isolated.
When this new age of self-isolation, social distancing and lockdown emerged, we were forced to ask, ‘How can we continue to show that all stories and all voices have value?’”

 
Despite a steep learning curve affecting all levels of the TWC, video technology, promoted by social media, was quickly adopted as the most effective way to gather participants for workshops that adhered to quarantine regulations.

 
Today there are 16 regularly scheduled workshops available Monday to Friday using Zoom.

 
Every week a simple “first come, first served” online sign-up system is sent out to TWC’s database of over 600 writers, supporters and community partners.
While the delivery of the workshops has pivoted from onsite and in-person to interactive video conferencing, TWC remains unchanged in its dedication to empowering vulnerable communities by giving them a voice through transformational writing.

 
The two-hour creative writing workshops continue and are open to anyone over 19 years of age. The interactive video workshops, moderated by TWC facilitators, usually attract between 8 to 15 participants per session.

 
“No matter, online or in person, it is magnificent to share perspectives, more important now in this time of loneliness.” Susan Turk Mozer, Founder of the TWC, commented.  “Transforming lives through writing doesn’t change.  It is a constant, even in the time of Covid-19.”

 
Since the pandemic the TWC has also grown its social media presence, attracting new workshop participants from across Ontario as well as people wishing to train as volunteer workshop facilitators.

 
The Toronto Writers Collective (TWC) celebrated National Volunteer Week this April by hosting a virtual writing workshop for all new and experienced facilitators. Since 2012 the TWC has trained more than 180 volunteer facilitators to moderate the not-for-profit organization’s free creative writing workshops now available online because of the pandemic.

TwitterGoogle+FacebookLinkedInDiggStumbleUponBlogger PostDeliciousShare

Other News

St Jmaes Town

Flavours From Our Neighbours

Flavours From Our Neighbours is a full-flavoured catering collective that is deeply rooted within the St. James Town community. Not only does the initiative help to feed the neighbourhood and generate … [Read More...]

charlis-freewheels-1

Charlie’s FreeWheels

Contributed By: Reagan McSwain. “Today was epic! The sun was merciless and the winds wild and deranged. The pace I made was really fast with the heavy wind on my back. I endured the scorching sun and … [Read More...]

bostok-hathaway

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Cabbagetown is a neighbourhood of beauty, heritage, cultural diversity and inclusion. Anita and Noman are proud to contribute this regular feature where you get to know the people and businesses that … [Read More...]

MM_ParliamentNewsImage_web

“COVID-19: A Positive Return”

Contributed by Momentum Montessori. As many of us continue to work from home, there is a percentage of the population who have physically returned to work. Despite many uncertainties of how businesses … [Read More...]

yael1

Yael Gottesman

“ I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. Diaries and journals, and stories accumulated in my room for years. Among them, a lengthy letter to the editor of the “Chicken soup for the … [Read More...]

weenen-general-home-0ffice

Your Home Office!

Contributed by Kathy Flaxman. Working at home can be bliss: the freedom and flexibility to get the job done on your own terms at your own speed, without commuting and with access to a full … [Read More...]

DWF-Grave-stone-copy1

I have certain expectations

Contributed by Duncan Fremlin. I read the obituaries every day.  They’re the only part of the newspaper I can rely on to be truthful.  I even read the obituaries in my hometown newspaper in Sault Ste. … [Read More...]

OPEN-HOUSE-homelife1

Considering an Open House?

Contributed by Gerald Michaud, Broker - Manager, HomeLife/Realty One Ltd., Brokerage. As of August 12, for all regions in Ontario, the Province has lifted the prohibition of in-person open houses.  … [Read More...]

Create, Listen, and Experience

Jobim Novak is a 25-year-old writer and spoken word artist. He is also a mental health advocate and speaker who has been a friend of Bell Let’s Talk for the past three years. Trained as a Child and … [Read More...]

missionbonita-and-friends

“MISSION BONITA”

Children’s web series Premiers on youtube. Toronto, Ontario - “Mission Bonita” will make its YouTube debut at 11AM, Tuesday, August 18th.  The highly anticipated children’s web series comes from the … [Read More...]

Maples-on-Sumach

Maples on Sumach?

Contributed by Randy Brown. There is an exceptional feature in Cabbagetown which mostly goes unnoticed– the chestnut trees on Sumach. This line of chestnut trees runs beside the Necropolis north from … [Read More...]

dee=hope

METAPHORICALLY TRANSFORMED

Contributed by Erdine (Dee) Hope, Toronto Writers Collective - My name is Dee Hope. That is what I am called here in the downtown core, where I grew up and worked for the past fifty years but is now a … [Read More...]