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

charity stuff

 

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

abstract ancient antique art
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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Baby Loss Awareness Week days Three, Four and Five

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Photo by Victor on Pexels.com

 

What a time for my computer to go mad on me. Apologies for the lack of posts, my computer had been running a bit slow and refusing to load some pages and websites for a few days and then suddenly wouldn’t let me on my own website or into my data files and internet today and yesterday, resulting in my brilliant, tech savvy husband having to be summoned to clean it all out for me (no idea what’s involved in that but there’s likely a more accurate term for it) and finally my lovely mac is back online, sprightly and bright as a new computer. Now I’m playing catch up.

Instead of posting three separate posts on here, I thought I would share three poems,  which I feel speak the truth about the difficulties of baby loss. Poetry, at its heart, like all creative arts, is a means of communication; a set of ideas and images and experiences passed from writer to reader in a conversation. To be able to capture the experience of baby loss in a way that is accessible to someone who hasn’t experienced it, to men and women alike, takes skill as well as a natural affinity for the emotional heartland where we reach out to each other, sharing experience. i love it when i recognise something of my own experience in someone else’s work.

First up, a poem and poet whom I have only just come across, whilst doing research for the Still Parents mini workshop I’ve been running for Baby Loss Awareness Week.

In his poem Miscarriage, Amit Mjmudar captures, through the intense and claustrophobic rushing style and lack of punctuation, the pressing-in on the post-miscarriage couple of a seething wave of babies and those, even in the natural world, who can multiply at will. Yes, I thought, as I read it, yes, this. You do not realise how geared to the family the world is until your family is lost, how alienating this loss is. This is how poetry works. Here’s the link: Miscarriage

 

Next up two poems on Karen Dennison’s website. I was lucky enough to be asked to write a little blurb for this book, it’s a wonderful collaboration between Karen Dennison and Valerie Morton. Whenever poets are working hard to raise awareness of baby loss, it touches my heart. Here are the poems Rosemary For Remembrance and Lost and you can buy the collection, Still Born here. 

All profits are going to SANDS

And finally, I want to share a Plath poem.  In this recording, Sylvia Plath reads her poem Parliament Hill Fields. I find it interesting that she is using the ‘you’ in the poem to speak directly to her unborn, lost baby, but also seems to feel the pressure to move on, to deal with it, to let go and be stoic and rational about the loss of a baby which was not quite yet a baby, but a ‘ghost of a leaf, ghost of a bird‘. It’s beautiful and though she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I find her water like spilling of words over each other, her deliberate click-click ending of words, with no fear of mistaking them, absolutely gorgeous. So here you go: Parliament Hill Fields

 

 

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Baby Loss Awareness Week Day Two: A Letter of Thanks

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

A Letter of Thanks to the Biochemist Who Said My Daughter’s Name

 

You probably don’t even remember this moment:

My first day back and the world a strange, naked place, like a room lit by a light without a shade; too bright, too sharp on the eyes. I almost didn’t, couldn’t come in, knowing that the world would have changed, or worse, that the world would have stayed the same, yet everything in my life had changed. I caught the eye of a colleague in the car park and half smiled, half lifted a hand to wave but they rushed on, almost running away, they couldn’t bear the thought of being that close to death, to acknowledging every parent’s nightmare, to speaking to the embodiment of fear that I had become. Then minutes later, in the corridor, another colleague sped away out the stairs. There were the reception staff: kind, smiling, jovial, Welcome back I think a hug. Then the cloak room, the bustle of thick coats and scarves with so little room to move and my old locker, just the same as when I’d left it, when I went off on maternity leave. Just the same! As if nothing had changed at all, as if I had just closed it; its key hanging like a sad signpost. I tried to hang my coat and put my bag away but my hands were shaking. Then some people came with tentative smiles: good to see you back. I was trying to build myself up, to armour myself for that first exposure:  to walk past the rest room where people would look at me – the lady whose baby had died, coming back like an apparition of herself – and knowing that some people would not know what to say, would feel awkward, would avoid me, and wondering about lunch and how to be with people and wanting to tear myself back in time to be with my daughter, to just fold back down into nothing, to die, to do anything except be the centre of attention, the gossip, the horror story in that place. And then there you were. You walked right in, right up to me, and said her name. You must have asked it from someone, remembered it: I’m so sorry that Matilda died, I can’t imagine what that must be like, can I hug you? and she did. Then she asked to see photos, and when she did this, when she said this, it was like a door had been unlocked and other people filed through, taking her lead, expressing their sorrow, saying my daughter’s name, looking at her pictures.

Thank you, I can’t remember your name, you weren’t from my department, but you changed that moment, that moment of many, many terrible ones, into something bearable, for me and for them. Thank you.

 

Baby Loss Awareness Week 2019

 

selective focus photography of candles
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

 

It’s the first day of Baby Loss Awareness Week. I’ll be posting something every day this week. For my first post, I would like to share a link to a guest blog post I did for the Wild Women Web, in which I talk a bit about the significance of the hare motif to myself and how it has found its way into my writing. There’s a bit about the new book, When I Think  of Myself as a Horse, which covers a lot of grounding terms of loss, infertility and body image, and it includes a few poems from the book.

Wild Women Web

 

 

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Success and the Smoke and Mirrors Effect

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Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

I’ve always been quite transparent about my journey to being ‘a writer’ or rather the journey to being a ‘successful’ or ‘professional’ writer. But lately I’ve been questioning whether being so open is the best way to be. On the one hand I think that it is good and right that people from, in particular, working class backgrounds say something about the challenges they face in the industry and in academia. In fact it’s essential that they do, otherwise how else does representation of those under represented people occur? But there’s also a downside to it, it makes you look less like a thriving, surviving, successful writer.

The arts is a strange place to work. It exists in a grey area between creativity and industry. It pushes people into becoming personas of themselves and means that less people are honest about rejections, about failures, about lacking confidence, about opportunities being difficult to find etc. I call this the smoke and mirrors effect because the success being presented isn’t a true representation, only the good bits are given the light of day. The bad bits (rejections, failures, tears and low confidence) are all there too, but behind the scenes and not pinned to social media for everyone to see. I have always  wanted to be someone who ‘walks the walk’ and makes sure that if I have managed to get through a career door, I hold it open for other people, and that includes pointing out when the playing field is not level for people like me. But I can see that being so open about the confidence crushing nature of working in the arts might actually be doing my career harm.

I don’t know. Is there a half way point? This week I made the decision, again, to cut right back on my social media time and to get on with writing more. I’m happy to say I am nearing completion of the third chapter of the novel/la I’ve been working on and thinking about getting it out to agents while I continue to write it. I’m also starting to work on a new pamphlet of poems. I am back in the saddle as Dream Catcher magazine editor, wading through submissions that have waited far too long to be read. I’ve been asked to run a teaching day in York, which I’m happily planning. It is doubly exciting, as it is at the university at which I am applying for a PhD full scholarship. I’m running the online courses, which continue to be popular (look out for news of an entirely brand spanking new course for November). I am pleased with the completed collection When I Think of My Body as a Horse, and continue putting the final touches to it, though I’ve been putting off having the author photos taken as my confidence in myself isn’t great right now. I’m still reeling from the year of big knock backs, but all of the things above are brilliant and exactly how I imagined my life as a writer – teaching, mentoring and most importantly, writing. I realised recently, quite suddenly, that much of social media made me anxious. It’s not a completely new experience, I’ve had the same realisation repeatedly over the years and never quite moved away from social media. But I realised I  had fallen into a cycle in which when I was at my computer working and had received a rejection or felt at sea and lacking in confidence (this happens when I’m filling in applications mainly and is generally due to my working class shoulder chip. The chip has a voice and tends to either be quite cross about stuff or is busy telling me that the arts are not for the likes of me) I would click open Facebook or twitter and scroll through, almost desperately, picking up in particular on other people’s successes as if I was looking for confirmation that this world was not for me. I’m feeling quite rational and not quite as batshit crazy as I often do so I was able to recognise that, hey, perhaps this isn’t doing me any good at all. So to counteract this I’ve started limiting myself to fifteen minutes (timed) of social media four times a day and well, I still feel quite anxious when I go on social media but I find that I am prioritising the things I like to see, rather than looking for things that will make me doubt myself. Outside of those fifteen minute bursts I am in the moment with my writing, I am involved in my work and my life and back to doing extra yoga at home and back to getting on my zafu for some mediation and back to enjoying my work. I also gave myself a bit of a kick because I realised I have been filling in any non ‘bread and butter work’ (ie not my own creative writing) with doing stuff for free for other people then feeling bereft because I don’t have time to write. I should be filling in those gaps with writing time if I want to be a writer. This is my lack of confidence procrastinator side who, rather than having me get on and BE A WRITER is frightened of me making a fool of myself, of being rubbish with no one telling me. So finds other, non Wendy writing things, to fill the gaps with so that i can be schrödinger’s writer, simultaneously moaning about not having time to write whilst making sure i never have time to write. That’s the thing that holds me back the most, I think. The idea that people would be sniggering and thinking ‘what’s she doing here’ or ‘who does she think she is’ and sorry to bang on about it, that’s another working class thing, though obviously non WC folk feel like that too, it’s just that it’s so hard to break away from the paths of your forefathers.

I went back to getting to my desk at 6am, and filling my break times with writing rather than social media and yes, I have almost got the first three chapters of this novel/la done and is it any good? I hope so, but I shall send it out and see. Which is a sort of nerve wracking thing in itself, because poets don’t have agents unless they are mad famous performers, but of course I’d like to be represented as a poet as well as a writer.  And I will probably carry on being transparent and moaning about stuff online, but I am also going to try and remember that I am self employed and therefore what I present to the world is my personal as well as my professional front. I need to work on tweaking that.

Congratulations if you got to the end of this ramble.

By the way, it’s the first day of Baby Loss Awareness Week tomorrow and I shall be posting something every day, it might be short it might be long, might be a poem, who knows. If you have experienced baby loss at whatever stage and however long ago it was, please know that I am running this online, week long creative writing workshop open to anyone, even people who have never done any creative writing whatsoever, it would be great if people could share the page with details, which is….here . Creative writing can be used for so many things, but it is an excellent tool for dealing with the trauma of loss. Come and join me for a safe, relaxed, supportive, no pressure week of writing.

 

 

x

 

 

Online Writing Workshop: Still Parents for Baby Loss Awareness Week 9-15th October

tealight candle on human palms
Photo by Dhivakaran S on Pexels.com

 

It’s baby Loss Awareness Week in October and this year I’d like to not only use the week to think about the loss of my little girl, Matilda, and the two miscarriages my husband and I went through, but to also reach out a friendly hand to those who have suffered the loss of their own babies, at whatever stage. My daughter, an IVF baby, died during an emergency c-section in 2010. There’s not a day goes by when I don’t think of her.

In my own experience I have found creative writing, in my case poetry and memoir, has helped enormously in dealing with my grief process and finding a way to remember my daughter, to mark her time with us. Creative writing can be therapeutic; it allows emotional experiences to be handled in a way that perhaps isn’t possible through other means. The act of creating something beautiful, of memorialising your lost baby, writing letters to them, celebrating your love for them and their short lives or simply exploring your loss through prose; getting it out of your head and onto the page, are all ways in which grief can be accepted and acknowledged.

This year I’d like to invite you to join me for a week long, no pressure, prompt based workshop exploring and remembering your lost babies. As well as having gentle prompts delivered to your inbox daily, the workshop will have a closed facebook group where people can share their work in a safe and supportive environment. Only the people within the group will see anything shared. Having said that, you might not want to join the facebook group at all, and that’s OK, you might want to keep the prompts and work on them in your own time, in your own way.

The workshop is open to anyone who has experienced baby loss, mums and dads as well as siblings and grandparents. It is suitable for people aged 18+ . It is open to non writers, writers, beginners and experienced writers alike and the focus will be on creativity. Please drop me a line if you have any concerns or questions.

There will be some guidance notes at the beginning and end of the week, and a daily prompt will be delivered directly to your inbox every day for that week. The closed Facebook page is moderated daily by myself.

The cost of the workshop is just £10. I do hope you will join me for this gentle, supportive workshop. Please find instructions below:

INSTRUCTIONS

Please follow carefully, especially the bit about giving me the correct email address!
  1. Go to PayPal and make a payment of £10 to wendycatpratt@yahoo.co.uk  Please add a note containing the email address you wish the prompts to come to.  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 Still Parents . 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 the week 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.