Contributed by Shirin Tobie-Paul. I brought my children to their weekly chess game at the Evelyn Gregory Library where I found a page about a weekly writing workshop. How serendipitous! I was looking for an activity that allowed me to slow down.
I inquired about the workshop, signed up for the next week and my life has never been the same.
It was beautifully cathartic to get my words onto paper. I loved that all work was and is treated as fiction. I took the liberty of using the prompts to heal.
An additional opportunity to be a part of an upcoming anthology included a weeks-long workshop where I would have the opportunity to have my writing vetted by a published author. Enter Julie Hartley, poet, storyteller and all round world changer. It was an honour to work with Julie and I was thrilled to have her feedback on my pieces.
I knew early on that I wanted to add value to the organization that had assisted me in reclaiming my gift. I signed up for the facilitator training session and learnt so much more about the Toronto Writers’ Collective’s mandate and the team that makes it all possible.
The team’s desire to serve those who need a safe space for their stories spans communities, provinces, and indeed the world. I am honored to write with others, to be a guest facilitator on some workshops and to assist with training. I call myself the roaming facilitator as I am able to work on different projects and collaborations with a myriad of community groups.
The onset of the pandemic meant that we could expand our reach by going online We have held over 600 workshops online and are able to bring the world into one safe space to write and heal.