January Online Course: Beginnings and Endings AND Christmas Raffle!

Below you’ll find details of the latest, brand new, online course starting 1st January AND an exciting Christmas raffle in which you can win one of several prizes. For each ticket sold, £1 will be donated to SANDS Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity. Scroll down to find out more.

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Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

 

Beginnings and Endings

In January I will be running a brand spanking new online course called Beginnings and Endings.

How it Works 

Starting on January 1st, this course will run until 31st of January. Each week you’ll receive course notes that explain the theme for the week, and every day you will receive a brand new prompt, delivered straight into your email box, aimed at getting you putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard to get a first draft of a poem, a piece of fiction or a piece of non fiction written. This is a no pressure course. You don’t have to produce anything if you don’t want to and we all know how life gets in the way sometimes so there is no need to post anything in the closed facebook group, which you will automatically be invited to.

The course is aimed at any level of writer, from beginners to more experienced writers. You’ll be able to join in discussions in the closed Facebook group, which will be moderated daily by myself. The group is friendly and welcoming and you’ll receive basic tips and advice from myself alongside lots of encouragement.

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Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com

What’s it About?

January is the start of the year, a time to refocus and look at what we want to achieve over the months to come. This course will encourage you to think about first lines, first paragraphs, first stanzas, last paragraphs endings and that crucial last line. It’s all about the hook at the beginning and the punch at the end. But we’ll also be reflecting on, and writing about, your own personal beginnings, your first times, the endings in your life that have meant something to you as well as looking outwards to the beginnings of civilisations, the ends of eras and the state of the world in general.

Sounds like something you’d be interested in?

How to Sign Up

I now have a simple payment method in my shop where you can make a payment to sign up. If the email address you want your course materials sent to is different to your PayPal address, let me know by emailing me at wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com. To make things fair, and to make sure that my courses are available to those on lower incomes, I have a tiered pricing system. Details below. And don’t forget, you can sponsor a place for a writer who doesn’t have the money to sign up. What a great Christmas gift that would be! I currently have three sponsored places, so drop me a line at wendyprattfreelancewriter.com for details. You’ll not be interrogated.

Payment Tiers

For this course, and all future courses, I am bringing in a method of tiered payment, a ‘pay what you can’  method which relies on the honesty of course attendees. There are three payment levels: £20, £40 and £60. There is also the option to sponsor another place at the price level of your choice so that I can support disadvantaged writers.

Why I have given the option to pay more

Lots of previous attendees have told me, during feedback sessions, that they would have paid much more for one of these courses, comparing it to other courses available to them. But at the same time, lots of people have told me they were grateful for the lower cost as it meant they could afford to develop their writing within their own means. I am from a working class background and still live in a working class town. There’s a grey area when it comes to WC folk, and it’s the place where almost everyone I know lives – the place where you are certainly not living in poverty, but you can’t justify retreats, courses or workshops because there is always something else (Christmas, birthdays etc).
It’s my opinion that everyone should have access to exploring their world through the arts, creative writing is my niche and in a world in which the arts are being slowly eroded, where funding is reduced and reduced, I feel I need to do something practical to help people like me, from my background. At the same time, as a working class writer and workshop facilitator, I need to be able to pay my bills and continue doing the things that I have trained for. Hence the option to pay more if you feel you can.
I know from experience how difficult it is to work out which level is right for you, so I have put some guidance together, below. I’ve based my reasoning mainly on the value of £20 in relation to  food and alcohol for some reason:

Sponsored Place – 

If you would need to make a choice between the course and essentials like food and electricity, then you are most likely entitled to a sponsored place.  Get in touch at wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com for a chat. I don’t interrogate, this is an honesty system and giving writers a leg up is important.

£20 

If £20 is what you might spend on a takeaway and a bottle of wine, this is probably the tier for you.

£40

If £20 is what you spend on a bottle of wine and a nice bar of chocolate, the forty pound tier sounds about right for you.

£60

If twenty pounds is the amount that you might put into a charity box, or a church collection, then this is probably the tier for you.

YOU CAN SPONSOR A PLACE

Even if you aren’t interested in doing the course, you can still sponsor a place and give a leg up to a writer who has hit hard times and can’t justify the disposable income for a creative writing course. If you ARE doing the course, you can also sponsor an extra place. You might choose to pay £40 for yourself and sponsor a £20 place, you might be an absolute angel and pay £60 and still sponsor a £20 place, you might be a virtual saint and sponsor two £60 places. It’s up to you. Mix and match.

 

Christmas Raffle

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

This year I am running a Christmas raffle with some brilliant prizes. Each ticket is £5 and   £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to SANDS the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity, who do fantastic work supporting people like me, who have experienced baby loss.

The best bit:

Prizes

  1. A gift voucher for one week’s mentoring to include critique and feedback on four poems, two writing prompts with feedback and a thirty minute one to one conducted via messenger. Worth £50
  2. Critique, guidance and feedback on three poems. Worth £24
  3. Two signed copies of my current collection with Valley Press. Worth £24 (including postage and packaging).

The draw will be on 17th December, and prizes will be posted on 18th December, the last UK Christmas postage date, so make sure you check your emails on the 17th so that I can get your details in time! You are quite welcome to buy a ticket if you don’t live in the UK, but please be aware that your prize won’t arrive until after Christmas.

How to buy a ticket

Simply head over to the shop where you’ll find a simple PayPal button for your purchase. Good luck, and thank you for helping me to make a donation to a charity that means so much to me.

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Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

 

mad bad

An Evening of Poetry and Music in Association with

Time to Change York

Featuring:

Wendy Pratt, Steve Nash, Oz Hardwick,

Rose Drew, Matt Nicholson and Cheryl Pearson

with special guest and TTC champion

Amber Graver.

The Basement, York

29th November

7.30pm – 10.30pm

This has been something of a crazy month with a crushing workload and lots of very difficult decisions to be made about the amount of unpaid work I am doing alongside my paid work. I’ve had to drop a big regular unpaid job as it just isn’t tenable with my increasing paid workload. I feel bad about that, but I remind myself that I am human, I have a right to use my free time as time to unwind and enjoy the life I have worked so hard to build for myself, and even though people may be angry or let down by me not being able to do all of the unpaid work I’d like to, that it is, after all, work that I have volunteered to do, not work that I am obliged to do by contract. I’m circling around to a point here, and my point is that I have not mentioned mental health issues/problems/illness/wellness at all, and yet everything I have just talked about is about protecting my mental health and well being.

Often we think of mental health in terms of polarisation: wellness and ill health. And it’s true that although one in four of us will experience poor mental health in our lives, many people use therapies available to ‘recover’ from their mental ill health and go on to live a ‘normal’ life. But many of us live with recurring mental health challenges; we work our life around them in the same way as someone with diabetes works their life around what could very well be a life limiting illness. We look for the signs of deteriorating health, we look for the triggers, we use the tools that we are given via healthcare – medication, therapy, practical techniques – and it is an ongoing situation. For many people working in the arts it becomes a part of our creative story, it becomes a part of our art, our art is informed by it, our practice is informed by it. We live with ongoing mental health challenges, our work is often informed by this but we are not defined by it. We are not our mental health. And that is a crucial thing to differentiate. Often when we think of stigmas around mental health it seems completely obvious that to not employ someone, or to sack someone or to imprison or not treat someone for injury purely because they are struggling with mental health issues is wrong, but actually, the stigmas around mental health can be sly, quiet, unnoticed, not obvious.

There are up sides and down sides to being open about mental health challenges. The upsides are generally meeting so many people who are able to connect to my work and to me, the statistic one in four means that you will experience, or definitely know someone who has experienced mental health issues. The down side is that people often weaponise this, especially in situations, normal human situations in which there is a falling out, or a disagreement, it is easy to reach for the mental health issue as a weapon, to use it target someone, the first thing they will reach for is the monster in the attic, the mental health cliché that says that we are not only valueless in society, but dangerous to society, something to be feared. This is everyday stigmatisation, it is something that happens everywhere – in the work place, in the health care system, within friendships and working relationships.

A few months ago, in the summer, Emma Williams at Time to Change York approached me to see if I would be interested in organising an event for them. Because this is something close to my heart, I said yes and the event Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (a phrase used by Lady Caroline Lamb to describe Lord Byron) is that event. I went in with a clear idea of what I wanted to do and that was to celebrate and acknowledge people in the arts living with, working with and having their practice and art informed by, mental health challenges.

We have an extraordinary line up: Oz Hardwick

 

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Oz Hardwick is a poet, writer, photographer, occasional musician, and academic, whose work has been published and performed internationally in and on diverse media. His chapbook Learning to Have Lost (Canberra: IPSI/Recent Work, 2018) was the winner in the poetry category of the 2019 Rubery International Book Awards, and his most recent collection The Lithium Codex (Clevedon: Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2019) won the Hedgehog Poetry Press Full Fat Collection prize. He has also edited and co-edited several anthologies, including (with Anne Caldwell) The Valley Press Anthology of Prose Poetry (Scarborough: Valley Press, 2019). Oz is Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University (UK), where he leads the Creative Writing programmes

Steve Nash

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Steve Nash is a writer, musician, and lecturer born in Yorkshire and raised on army barracks across the UK and Europe. A widely and internationally published poet, in 2014 Steve won the Saboteur Award for ‘Best Spoken Word Performer’ from a shortlist that included Kate Tempest and Hollie McNish. Steve strongly suspects he may be a superhero after escaping a near-fatal car accident in 2013 and a neurological malfunction that resulted in a coma in 2017. It is not clear yet what his special powers might be. Steve’s latest collection ‘Myth Gatherers’ is out now from Calder Valley Poetry, and he teaches at Leeds Beckett University.

Rose Drew

Rose author pic

Rose Drew, an immigrant from America, realizes love and only love can save the world. Although to clarify she means love for each other, not love of money and things. Rose is an anthropologist, co-hosts monthly open mic York Spoken Word and is editor and events manager for Stairwell Books. She is tall on the inside.

Matt Nicholson

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Matt Nicholson is a poet and performer from East Yorkshire. In the last year or so, he has toured the UK with Matt Abbott on his ‘2 Little Ducks tour’ and, as part of ‘Gob Almighty’ (a performance poetry group of Hull and East Yorkshire poets) was shortlisted for ‘Best Spoken Word Show’ at this summer’s Greater Manchester Fringe Festival. In addition to performing and compering a wide range of events and festivals across the North of England, Matt has been widely published in poetry journals and is currently writing his own 3rd poetry collection for release on Yaffle Press in March 2020.

And Myself.

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We were due to have the wonderful Cheryl Pearson but unfortunately, due to unforeseen personal stuff, Cheryl can’t be with us. You’ll have to put up with more from me I’m afraid.

We also have the wonderful Amber Graver 

Amber photo

Between being a social researcher co-ordinating regional programmes with a suicide prevention and social mobility focus and campaigning for young people’s mental health rights as a steering group member of national campaign ‘Our Minds Our Future,’ Amber enjoys attending, performing at and organising Spoken Word events. As a volunteer crisis counsellor, Time to Change Champion and Mental Health First Aider, Amber is open about her own experiences with mental ill-health and encourages others to reach out wherever possible. Poetry continues to be an excellent outlet for Amber as she processes difficult emotions, past experiences and thoughts and is highly supportive of her peers, and fellow artists who use poetry as a way to break down the key messages around mental health and mental illness.

Alongside Emma Williams, Amber is going to be our TTC talk point for the evening. At any point you can go and have a chat with her about what TTC are trying to achieve, your own experiences etc. You can also buy the books of the readers from her too.

It’s going to be a brilliant night. Steve is going to be doing poetry AND music, like the star he is and it’s going to be fun. So please come along and celebrate and support these brilliant artists who are volunteering their time, and the wonderful social change movement which is Time To Change.

 

This is a completely FREE event, but please, please book tickets from The Basement

It’s this Friday, there’s a bar at the venue, it’s in the fabulous city of York. Be there or be square.

 

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One Week, Online, Winter Poem Workshop Starting 1st December

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A one week prompt-a-day winter workshop. Open to all levels of writer from beginner to the more experienced poet. Every day you will receive a prompt directly to your email box, you’ll also have access to the online, closed, Facebook group where you can share your work and comment on the work of others. I’ll post brief editing advice on poems within the group. Perfect for writing personal poems for Christmas cards or for that round robin Christmas email. Please specify your choice of email for the workshop prompts in the PayPal comments box, or drop me an email at wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com

 

Once I receive payment you’ll receive a confirmatory welcome letter which will give you the link for access to the closed facebook page.

I now have a shop! You can pay for this course using the simple PayPal button in the shop, which you will find: here.

 

But if PayPal isn’t an option for you, drop me a line at wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com and we’ll sort something out. 

I look forward to having you onboard!

 

Taking the Baby Things to the Charity Shop; A Big Thing, Part Two

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This weekend I decided it was time to bring my guinea pigs in for the winter. They live outside all spring and summer, but as the weather changes I prefer to have them inside where it’s snug and warm and I can keep an eye on them. I have three more than I did last year, a trio of girls to add to my pair of boys and my single boy, Teddy, who I would love to pair up, but who seems to want to fight any other guinea pig. The guinea pigs winter in the conservatory, which is by now nice and cool, but not freezing. However this year I was about two weeks late moving them as the conservatory was full of half made patio furniture (it was a lot harder to put together than I’d envisaged and even with two of us on it, we can’t work it out), three big bookcases waiting for when my office is decorated and ready to move into, my office desk (also waiting) and a table which is my mum’s and which we have inexplicably been storing for her for thirteen years now. Oh, and two bikes and a Victorian preparation table, which serves as our dining table, but which is almost impossible to dine at as it is far too low (many, many spilled drinks due to knees colliding with table later, I think we probably need something more suitable) and four chairs and hay and animal food…you get the picture. Anyway, All the guinea pigs are in now but it does look a bit like when Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s tomb, with everything stacked and crammed. In the end we moved my office desk upstairs to the half paper stripped new office. It was no mean feat, the desk is, I think, oak, vintage 1950s, very nice but surprisingly heavy when lifting it over banisters and the clutter in the hallway which is waiting to go to the tip ‘when I have time’. As we carried it into the office one of the legs caught on the Moses basket stand, which was propped in there. I’d intended October to be the month when I let go of the Moses basket, but here we are in November and it hasn’t happened. As the stand fell it sustained a tiny mark. It had been perfect before now. I had a weird rush of emotions over the damage, but the most overwhelming one was of emotional tiredness at having this stuff here still. Even though the Moses basket feels like the epicentre of pain as far as the baby things go, the things we had prepared for Matilda, I think I have now reached a point where I want to say goodbye to it. But then, I keep saying that and keep not doing it. The truth is, it hurts too much, it feels dis-loyal, it feels like letting her down and it feels wrong. I feel like the killer whale that dragged the rotten corpse of its baby around for all that time, except it’s not seventeen days, it’s nine and a half years.

I looked around and saw that I’d become more of a hoarder than a clutter keeper and that I had essentially walled myself into my own house with stuff , not just baby stuff, but padding around that baby stuff that would protect and repel, and ensure that I didn’t have to deal with the utter pain that is around it. And it is so painful. Even after all this time, it is still so painful it makes me question how to live with it, how to actually get on with this life. It is not like this every day. But some days are just unbelievably hard. So I decided that I had to get on with the process of removing that part of my life, cutting it out of me and sewing myself up again ready to recover. I feel like all I do is sew myself up again and try and recover from things, though that isn’t even the whole truth, either. I have a good life, I’m making headway with my career, I’m doing what I want to do, but still. Anyway, today was the day. Today’s not the day to deal with the Moses basket, that is coming, but today’s the day for the two big boxes of maternity clothes and baby bedding, bibs and baby grows etc. You might remember it was December 2018 when I last had a go at taking stuff to the charity shop and was successful. This time I looked at all the bedding, which I’d hoped to make some sort of memory quilt with, but which I now realise was probably  just me procrastinating to avoid the pain. So I bought myself another small memory box and told myself that whatever I wanted to keep had to fit in this box. I had to choose the most important stuff. I ended up keeping the most memory rich Maternity clothes, but letting some of it go, and letting the bath, the bibs, the baby blankets and cot bedding, some toys, the baby carrier and my ovulation testing kit, go.

I kept a photographic record, which I’ll not bore you with, and everything went into bags and that was it. I kept smelling the clothes and how they smelt of the hospital and how close it all felt again, like opening a portal into another time, another me, when I was someone else. And then I put the bags in the boot of the car and I drove to the charity shop, like I had before, except I panicked at the last minute and drove straight past it, tried to do u turn in the road, stalled the car and ended up sitting like a stunned rabbit in the middle of the traffic. Then I really did  do it, I just picked the stuff up and walked in with my big smile pasted on. The charity shop people were delighted to have so much stuff and before they could ask, or make any sort of statement that would mean I’d have to say ‘actually, she died’ which is generally a bit of a conversation stopper, I flew out again and jumped in the car and drove home. Then I had a fall out with my husband because he’d put an empty carton of margarine back in the fridge and it felt like the last straw and then I had a big cry and now I am here typing this and feeling like a fragile, pathetic thing. This is all so hard. Though I am relieved it’s gone, it is still hard.

If you’re reading this, and you are years down the road and still not able to tackle the baby’s room, you know what, there’s no law against taking a long time, we do get there in the end.

Now there’s just one set of things to go, the Moses basket, the bouncy chair and the reusable nappies, the bottles and steriliser. I think that’s it, and I am determined to have those gone to a better home by the end of the year. It feels like being eviscerated, but what else is there to do.

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Brand New Online Creative Writing Course: Museum Pieces

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

 

And now for something completely different.

It’s time for a brand spanking new online course. Open to all levels of ability from those who have just started writing to more advanced writers, this course will have something for everyone. The course is designed to get you writing. Every week you will receive a set of course notes which set out the themes for the week. These notes will encourage you to think about how you might write towards that theme. You’ll receive examples of fiction, memoir, creative non fiction and poetry within the notes and each day of the month you will receive a brand new prompt, delivered directly to your in box. The course starts on 1st November and finishes on the 30th November. From the interest it has received so far, it looks like it is going to be popular so book early to avoid disappointment.

Museum Pieces

Each week we’ll be taking a virtual trip around a different museum and exploring artefacts within that museum. The prompts will be open to interpretation and you’ll be encouraged to explore your own internal museum, the items both metaphorical and physical that act as touchstones to life events, emotions and memories.

This is a no pressure course. Although there is a closed facebook group where members can share their work, comment and receive feedback, there is no pressure to join it and many attendees do not. The notes and prompts will be delivered in just the same way for you to work through at your own pace. There is also no pressure to compete work. We all have busy lives and often life will get in the way of writing. So you are free to write when you want. You might want to try and write something every day, but you might pick and choose your prompts, coming back to them at a time that is more convenient for you. Whatever works for you. The aim is to get you writing and get you enjoying your writing!

If you fancy it, why not have a look at the testimonials from other courses. Each of the online courses I have facilitated so far have been welcoming, supportive and inclusive places and an absolute pleasure to be involved with. it would be great to have you on board!

How the Course Works

The course will last the full month of November, with a daily prompt, weekly notes and poems, fiction extracts, creative non fiction extracts, videos, talks, links and other relevant material included as examples of the themes we’ll be covering, all of which is delivered directly to your email inbox. There’s also a closed facebook page where course attendees can share their work. The whole thing is moderated by myself and I interact with the group on a daily basis.

Who the Course is Aimed at

The course is aimed at beginners through to established writers, there’s something for everyone. We’ll be working in poetry, creative non fiction and fiction. Whilst you are encouraged to push out of your comfort zone, you don’t have to write in all forms if you don’t want to.

The No Pressure Style

This is a no pressure course in which you do not have to produce anything, nor do you have to comment or even join the FB page. It is much more important to me that you relax and enjoy the course, enjoy the prompts and enjoy engaging with the themes.

Sounds good doesn’t it! I’m really looking forward to having you on board.

 

Don’t forget, you can sponsor a place on the course for an underprivileged writer. It’s not going to change the world, but it will make a difference to someone’s month. Here’s what one of the previous sponsors had to say:

“I am not by any means well off however when I was out of work in 2016 it was the kindness of others who supported me and my passion of writing. By me now working full time again sponsoring anonymously someone else who is struggling financially made me feel like I was creating a room to grow for a writer which we all need. Wendy is also for me one of the bravest and talented writers active in the UK and as she has not lost sight of her working class roots how can anyone else look away if they can spend £20 on a sponsored place it makes so much difference to someone”

Payment Tiers

For this course, and all future courses, I am bringing in a method of tiered payment, a ‘pay what you can’  method which relies on the honesty of course attendees. There are three payment levels: £20, £40 and £60. There is also the option to sponsor another place at the price level of your choice so that I can support disadvantaged writers.

Why I have given the option to pay more

Lots of previous attendees have told me, during feedback sessions, that they would have paid much more for one of these courses, comparing it to other courses available to them. But at the same time, lots of people have told me they were grateful for the lower cost as it meant they could afford to develop their writing within their own means. I am from a working class background and still live in a working class town. There’s a grey area when it comes to WC folk, and it’s the place where almost everyone I know lives – the place where you are certainly not living in poverty, but you can’t justify retreats, courses or workshops because there is always something else (Christmas, birthdays etc).
It’s my opinion that everyone should have access to exploring their world through the arts, creative writing is my niche and in a world in which the arts are being slowly eroded, where funding is reduced and reduced, I feel I need to do something practical to help people like me, from my background. At the same time, as a working class writer and workshop facilitator, I need to be able to pay my bills and continue doing the things that I have trained for. Hence the option to pay more if you feel you can.
I know from experience how difficult it is to work out which level is right for you, so I have put some guidance together, below. I’ve based my reasoning mainly on the value of £20 in relation to  food and alcohol for some reason:

Sponsored Place – 

If you would need to make a choice between the course and essentials like food and electricity, then you are most likely entitled to a sponsored place. I have FIVE sponsored places so far for this course and there may be more. Get in touch wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com for a chat. I don’t interrogate, this is an honesty system and giving writers a leg up is important.

£20 

If £20 is what you might spend on a takeaway and a bottle of wine, this is probably the tier for you.

£40

If £20 is what you spend on a bottle of wine and a nice bar of chocolate, the forty pound tier sounds about right for you.

£60

If twenty pounds is the amount that you might put into a charity box, or a church collection, then this is probably the tier for you.

YOU CAN SPONSOR A PLACE

Even if you aren’t interested in doing the course, you can still sponsor a place and give a leg up to a writer who has hit hard times and can’t justify the disposable income for a creative writing course. If you ARE doing the course, you can also sponsor an extra place. You might choose to pay £40 for yourself and sponsor a £20 place, you might be an absolute angel and pay £60 and still sponsor a £20 place, you might be a virtual saint and sponsor two £60 places. It’s up to you. Mix and match.

To Sign Up

  1. Go to PayPal and make a payment according to the payment tier you have chosen to wendycatpratt@yahoo.co.uk Please add a note containing the email address you wish the course prompts to come to. Please also comment if you are sponsoring a place. Please do let me know if paypal isn’t an option for you and we’ll sort something out.
  2. I will send a brief welcome letter to that address to make sure the address works, this will also contain a link to the closed Facebook group, so don’t panic if you can’t find it on facebook.
  3. Request to join the Facebook group. If you can’t find it, or there are any problems, drop me a line at wendyprattfreelancewriter@gmail.com and we’ll get it all sorted out before September starts.
  4. That’s it. It should be quite straight forward, but again, let me know if you have any questions or are experiencing any problems and I’ll endeavour to get it all sorted.
  5. Everything will arrive via email.

Have fun!

Spaces are limited so please book as early as possible.

Wendy

 

How We Bury Our Children

I meant to post this yesterday, as the last day of Baby Loss Awareness Week, but didn’t get around to it.

 

So here it is today. An article that went ‘live’ last week. I’m so grateful to The Welcome Collection for commissioning this as it gave me a chance to explore the subject in more detail. You might remember a few months ago (a year ago?) that I’d had a battle with Scarborough Council over their plans to force parents to remove items from the babies and children’s graves. It was badly thought out protocol which didn’t take into account the complexities of bereavement for parents. I’d like to think this was ignorance, because I know that the councillors I have come across have all been very passionate about their work. And I genuinely hope that the article goes some way to explaining the news of parents, and the reasons behind behaviour which, unless you are a bereaved parent, might seem macabre or strange.

Anyway, here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

 

How We Bury Our Children

 

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Baby Loss Awareness Week, Day 6

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today I wanted to provide links to artists and writers exploring their experiences of baby loss, through their own creativity. For me, the creative impulse increased when I was dealing with grief, I think that’s quite common. The creative arts are certainly a way of making sense of experience, transforming it into something else, something manageable, and again, having that conversation with other big brained, social animals, as we are hard wired to do.

 

I don’t know much about Andrew Foster and this is quite an old article, but there seems to be precious little art and creativity by fathers experiencing baby loss. They are often over looked in the conversation with health professionals, bereavement midwives, GPs and counselling, so it’s good to see men, dads having this voice, speaking about it, remembering publicly.

 

Adında Van ‘t Klooster is an artist I know something about, having had the honour of writing a poem for the project, Still Born. I’ve always found her exploration of her own experience through art inspiring, alongside her straight talking, yet sensitive questioning of the societal implications of baby loss, and how the impact of it and work towards preventing placental issues, which account for a huge number of preventable baby loss, can be raised.

Like many, many people,  Frida Kahlo is an inspiration. She is iconic, a woman expressing her life through the medium of her own self portraits. her painting Henry Ford Hospital is a brutal depiction of miscarriage.

 

And finally an article by and about Claire Mackintosh who returned to her own grief via fiction.

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