The Writing Minds project grew out of a series of creative workshops delivered in 2019 for University of Kent School of English students across all year levels who experience barriers to participation linked to mental health. The workshops were designed to be inclusive of all levels of creative ability and to enable students to explore and articulate their identity in an empowering and non-prescriptive way.
The workshops ran across the Spring and Summer terms, and covered a range of activities, including zine-making, collage, scrap-booking, textual mandalas, creative embroidery, basic print-making, sound recording, and performance. As part of the project, we produced lots of creative material, including individual and collaborative zines.
Participants felt that the workshops and activities allowed them to "blow off creative steam," in a context where whatever they "chose to make was for fun." It gave them a "pocket to breathe," and "somewhere to be apart from the library," and it allowed them to realise how "relaxing and therapeutic" creative activities can be.
As a consequence of the success of the workshops of 2019, Writing Minds has now grown into a virtual space. The Writing Minds webzine is coming soon in June 2022.