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Lapidus News

Words, wellness and writing!

Lucy Windridge-Floris joins Mel Perry as new Co-Chair

We’re delighted to welcome Lucy Windridge-Floris and Mel Perry as the new Co-Chairs of the Lapidus Board. In this blog post, Lucy shares her intentions for her new role and a vision for how she and Mel will work to champion Lapidus and its members. 

I am enormously honoured to be on the Lapidus International Board and to have the opportunity to take on the role of Co-Chair alongside Mel Perry. With such an excellent body of new Directors and skilled administrators, the future feels really exciting! We’re standing on the shoulders of giants.

The world is undergoing gargantuan shifts in many respects. Words, stories, connections, healing and all the aspects of Lapidus feel ever more important. My commitment is to embrace change head-on and support the important place this organisation has internationally. I believe we must listen to the work of those across the globe as well as in the UK.

I have been interested in how creativity connects with our sense of vitality and authenticity since my mother gave me a candle, a box of matches and a cake tin and told me (aged 6) to write down all my angry thoughts and burn them! Despite the large hole in the carpet, I think this was good parenting! I later embarked on a Dramatherapy PG training, way back in 1990. As part of this it was obligatory to enter into the discipline as a participant. Since then, I have looked at the whole world through such a creative/therapeutic lens.

I am passionate about the power of words and in times of challenge, I always reach for a pencil and paper. I believe how we use narrative is essential to human existence and to work in this field is to be close to the essence of us all.

I am committed to ensuring that our practices at Lapidus International align with our values of inclusivity and ethical responsibility fostering a more inclusive and socially aware environment. Also, my personal commitment is to decolonising my mind, and I have a special interest in critical social issues. This informs my practice, research and teaching.

In addition to my role with Lapidus International, I am also Programme Director and Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have honed my leadership skills and hope I have always fostered a highly positive and supportive environment for students. I have worked in education, as a therapist for the NHS, Social Services and privately in mental health and secondary treatment for addiction.

My recent research focuses on how creative writing can be used to tackle social issues through storytelling. Unpicking Horrifying Moments of Uneasy Silence: Writing Responses to Gestures of Islamophobia in the UK explores my and my husband’s experiences.

We live together in Gloucestershire and between us have 4 children and 2 grandchildren.

So, now to crack on with my new responsibilities. I look forward to meeting more and more wonderful people in this role!

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A reflection from Val Watson

As Val Watson comes to the end of her term as Chair of Lapidus, she shares a reflection on her time in post, and looks ahead to the future.

I first heard about Lapidus in Summer 2019. It sounded like an interesting organisation and community, but not for me. I have always known that writing out and down my feelings and thoughts helps me. Clients I have worked with told me and showed me how writing and expressive arts helped them understand their feelings and experiences.

However, I had no plans to write for publication or join a group and did not assess my many jottings in journals, scratchy notes, occasional diary entries and random writing moments as worthy of exploring further.

Come 2020, Covid and Lockdown the world was changed. Invited to offer a workshop in February 2021, Lapidus community found me when we needed each other most. Before long and through happenstance we were on a turbulent journey together.

From being co-Chair in July 2021 I became sole Chair in January 2022. There followed many changes within the Lapidus Board of Directors. At times, it has been a very shaky ride. It is 2024, we have arrived safely and with renewed energy, capacity, and exciting ideas for the future of Lapidus. Without the support of the team of board directors especially Dr Kim Etherington, Richard Axtell, Sarah Jackson, and Rick Wilson it would have been impossible.

My term of office is up, I am delighted to be handing on the baton to the new Board of Directors. All of whom are highly skilled, enthusiastic, creative, and ready to take Lapidus to the next level, ably supported by a great administrative team.

With a smile and fond farewell, I am reminded of a Jamaican saying which has universal and international counterparts: ‘Bud kyaan fly pon one wing’ meaning, the wings of a bird need to work together to fly. Similarly, if people work together, they can achieve uplifting things. This is and always has been so true of Lapidus international community and its new Board of directors. Fly Lapidus fly.

Val Watson

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Mel Perry Joins The Lapidus Board of Directors




Welcome To Mel!


I am honoured to have joined the Board of Lapidus International as a Director, and I am taking up the brief of Research Director vacated by Kim Etherington. 

I was enrolled into Lapidus in 2016 when I began the MSc Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP) at the Metanoia Institute.  I attended Creative Bridges 2019 in Bristol and met many former MSc students and luminaries there. After I had completed my dissertation in 2019 the Lapidus community became a significant lifeline to the  widely dispersed and diverse range of people working in the field.  Having held significant roles with Lapidus through its online Creative Bridges conferences in 2021 and 2023, the LIRIC Journal and Lapidus Living Research Community (LLRC) it felt like a natural progression to become a Director.

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The Blue Dragonfly by Veronica Eley - Book Review

The Blue Dragonfly by Veronica Eley

Hidden Brook Press 2021

ISBN : 9781738095902



“inside out
outside in
the feelings have become
statues in the garden
monuments to a crime”

The Blue Dragonfly is a courageous collection of poetry charting the deep psychological waters of living with childhood trauma. Veronica Eley’s raw, direct voice challenges.

Emerging from the psychiatrist’s padded office; from sanctioned gangster hallways of a mental hospital and from daily disorderly documenting of family life, the poet’s words unravel tortured experience - obliquely exact and savagely beautiful. It’s a wild ride which may require a trigger warning. If you’re new to the idea that writing can be therapeutic, this collection will convince you of the power of storytelling to explore, excavate, catalogue and contain the patchwork nature of human life. In Foreward, editor Roger Langen, who is also Eley’s husband, explains how the layout of the book reflects the stages of healing trauma: “injury and illness in 1 Secret Monsters; intervention (experienced like a miracle) in 2 The Bodhisattva; forgiveness and transcendence in 3 Mother.” (p.xv)

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Join Lapidus International as a Support Administrator

Due to the high number of applications, we have decided to close this job advert. Thank you for your interest!

Location: Working from home
Date / time: January 2024 – open ended contract, 5- 8 hours a week (20 to 32 hours a month)
Role type: Freelance Part-time
Salary: £20 an hour

About this job opportunity

Writing can be a powerful tool for healing and personal growth. Lapidus exists to support people who work with words, written or spoken, to promote good wellbeing and mental health. Our members include writers, health workers, counsellors, therapists, teachers and more.

Lapidus International is seeking multiple organised and experienced administrators to support the company with a variety of administrative tasks. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals with previous experience in a communications, social media, community management and website database management.

Lapidus has no fixed office. The majority of this role will be home-based and delivered online, via email and video conferencing. Current staff and voluntary board members are based around the UK. We will accept international applications.

Lapidus is committed to equal opportunities and encourages equality, diversity and inclusion.

We welcome applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background as well as from the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Using poetry to promote talking and healing by Pooky Knightsmith - Book Review

Knightsmith, Pooky (2016). Using poetry to promote talking and healing. Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London and Philadelphia.

Despite the relative seriousness indicated by this book’s title, its cover hints at a sense of experimentation – even fun. This is all the more surprising, and some might say refreshing, once you read in Dr Knightsmith’s acknowledgements that this book was written at a time of “complete mental breakdown”, when she was in “the deepest depths of anorexia and suicidality”; for me, such an open disclosure in a published work by an author of esteem is hugely powerful in helping dispel some myths about mental ill health.

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Join the Board of Lapidus International

Location: Working from home

Date / time: November 2023 – November 2026

Role type: Voluntary

Places available: Five

About this volunteer opportunity

Writing can be a powerful tool for healing and personal growth. Lapidus exists to support people who work with words, written or spoken, to promote good wellbeing and mental health. Our members include writers, health workers, counsellors, therapists, teachers and more.

We are seeking five people to join our board as company directors and help drive the organisation’s plans forward.

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Wunderkammer by Helen Ivory - Book Review

Wunderkammer by Helen Ivory

Mad Hat Press 2023

ISBN: 978-1-952335-57-0

This remarkable collection documents the poetic development of Helen Ivory’s work from 2002 to 2019, with the addition of a selection of poems from How to Construct a Witch awaiting publication by Bloodaxe in 2024.

Why “Wunderkammer”? As a writer, I can attest that titles are significant and potent. Therefore, before diving into this collection, I undertook a little research. The Wunderkammer (literally translated as a room of wonder) has a long history stretching at least as far back as the 1600s, being a “a place where a collection of curiosities and rarities is exhibited”.  Contemporary artists like Louise Bourgeoise and Damien Hirst have a predilection for this kind of phenomena, with the curious and the weird. Nowadays we might call the wunderkammer a “Cabinet of Curiosities”, one we might peer into, to be both fascinated and repelled in turn, one where mystery, magic and the natural world collide.

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Creative Bridges 2023 - September Update

I can’t believe that it’s 12 months since the planning team for this year’s conference first met. Time is flying towards Creative Bridges 2023 now and we are enjoying it so much that we have scheduled a final final meeting the day before the conference begins. The tech team also have their meeting very soon to test all of the Zoom links to ensure that you can enter seemlessly.

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Creative Bridges 2023 - August Update

With less than eight weeks to go now preparations are well into the techncal production phase now and our planning team is getting excited to see you at the conference.  We are delighted that Helen iles has joined the planning group bringing a wealth of expertise as a film maker and writing practitioner.  Helen will help us bring you teasers of some of this year’s presentations.

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Creative Bridges 2023 - July Update

Thank you very much again to those of you who submitted proposals for presentations and workshops for this year’s conference.  The fantastic news is that we were over-blessed with submissions. Creative Bridges is recognised as the place to share research, practice and innovation in the field of therapeutic writing.  The review team had an inspiring time reading all of those proposals.  However, their decisions were  tinged with sadness that some people would have their paper turned down. We are offering those people the opportunity to present at future Lapidus events, particularly LLRC.

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Member Review of the Lapidus Code

Reviewing and revising the Lapidus code of ethics has been interesting and a challenge, reminding us about the power of words, their meanings, misunderstandings and how we make ourselves understood.

The sub-group delegated to do this work quickly realised that discussion on what is meant by ethics, the relevance and authority of an ethical code when applied to Lapidus was not straightforward or an exact fit for all members.  We believe that this revised ethical code is applicable to all Lapidus members. 

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Creative Bridges 2023 - June Update

June segues us into a new phase for our conference prepartions for Creative Bridges 2023.  Our early-bird ticket offers and calls for papers closed on 31st May.

We obviously still have tickets available but most of those will be at the full conference rates now.  Hop over to to book your place.  However, if you would like to get hold of one of our bursary-rate places at £35 then do email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. No hoops to jump through, no means testing, no questions asked, but bursaries will be allocated on a first come first serve basis, and those we have budgetted for may fly off the shelf. Do get in touch now.

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Letter to the Members from Lapidus Chair

Hello Lapidus Members,

I hope that you are getting chances, spaces and time to write and gain a sense of wellbeing and enjoyment from the process of writing or expressing yourself in other helpful ways. The changing seasons is often a great stimulus for me, offering the potential of a new start, a new page. I have also found attending my local writing for wellbeing group supportive and a good confidence boost.  

Your group of eager and mostly new international board of directors have been looking ahead to possibilities for Lapidus’ future. We hope you’ll want to get involved and dig in.

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Creative Bridges 2023 - May Update

Every year I wonder how did April emerge from February?  It’s thanks to March of course. And the year is certainly marching, flying even, towards Creative Bridges 2023, on 16th & 17th September. Our key note speakers are in place and both are very excited to be addressing the conference. Registrations are coming in and well done to those of you who took advantage of our early-bird offer.  Conference submissions are arriving and being reviewed.  CB2023’s foundations are in place and we look forward to you helping us complete that bridge to connect our worlds with words. If you have an interest in writing for wellbeing, or creative writing for therapeutic purposes, then this is the conference for you.

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Creative Bridges 2023 - April Update

The Creative Bridges 2023 planning group is delighted to announce that we have secured our keynote speakers and can now formally announce them.  It is our pleasure to welcome Connor Allen and Mohsin Mohi Uh Din as our keynote speakers for the conference in September.

A keynote fulfils a number of overlapping roles. They can set the tone and promote the values of the conference at its opening; they can inform us about their work and help us make connections into the core of our work.  They can move, inspire, challenge and entertain such that we embrace the days with enthusiam and energy.


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Creative Bridges 2023 - March Update

We have lift off.  

Flying to Bridge the World with Words

Since the conference planning group began meeting in August last year the months have flown past and on Friday 17th February we had a super boost of energy as one of our milestones was reached.  The call for papers and attendance registrations for Creative Bridges 2023 are open. A   key strength of Creative Bridges is that it truly is a collaborative effort by and for the membership of Lapidus International and those devoted to writing for wellbeing.  

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Creative Bridges 2023 - February update

Vibrant, connecting, exemplary brochure, epic open mic, soulful,  uplifting, warrior words.

Above are some of your comments about Creative Bridges 2021. In two days over three Zoom streams we packed in 40 CWTP researchers and practitioners to share their wisdom and experience for 160 delegates. We wrote, we listened, we shared, we connected online.

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Event Round Up

There are a lot of events going on at the moment, run both by ourselves and our members. We don't want you to miss out, so please find below a summary of the events happening over the next few months. We'll continue to update it every time someone sends in something new! (All times are in UK time unless otherwise specified)

Are you running an event? Let us know by emailing the details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Find Your Juicy - Start 2023 with this free event!

Sunday 12th February 2023 - 5pm to 6:15pm (UK time)

Facilitator: Barbara Bloomfield and Roger Livingston

Start your new year with a creative burst!

Come and find your juicy energy with short readings and poems and a bit of creative writing that will help to support and encourage you for the coming year.  Writers Barbara Bloomfield and Roger Livingston, plus the odd guest or two, will bring you inspiring words -  funny, romantic, warm and challenging   - and invite you to energise and focus your talents for 2023.

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