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Scarborough Seniors Write

The stories come out fast and furious at the Scarborough Seniors Write (SSW) program, a community-based workshop aimed at writers 55 and up. Participants have the opportunity to explore creative writing, storytelling, and digital media learning opportunities.

I’ve been fortunate enough to facilitate the first half of this program, and it has been my pleasure to watch a number of very strong pieces come to life. In addition to prompt-based writing exercises at the Kennedy/Eglinton library each week, we’ve had a number of great discussions, touching on the ethics of memoir writing, the value of contemporary poetry, and the challenges writers of all ages face when pitted against Microsoft Word.

The SSW gang is a larger (and more vocal!) group than I’m used to working with in a creative writing context: 15-20 writers show up each week, and we are often challenged by having too many stories to share in too short a time. Over the past two months I’ve grown quite fond of these weekly sessions. While I’m sorry they will be coming to an end soon, I am looking forward to an anthology the Scarborough Arts group will be publishing next year featuring a collection of memoir-based pieces created through the workshop.

Beginning in January, the writer & facilitator Sarah Sheard continues the workshop with a focus on ways to read and record the writers’ new works. In addition to numerous stakeholders and trustees, SSW is overseen by Jen Fabico, the program director for Scarborough Arts, and the program’s coordinator, Dania Ansari.

Here’s a few links for more info on the program:

Scarborough Seniors Write – The official program home at the Scarborough Arts website

Sarah Sheard – Sarah’s online home, with details on her work as a writer and therapist

Seniors Put It Into Words – Press coverage from our first workshop! A nice overview by The Toronto Observer. A terrible picture of me, but you can’t control the paparazzi.


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