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Lapidus News

Words, wellness and writing!

Are you really a 'Multimedia Artist'?

Barbara Bloomfield, ex-Chair of Lapidus International, considers the changing landscape of creative practices.

The musician and artist, Laurie Anderson, suggests that all creatives should describe themselves as ‘multimedia artists’ because no-one knows what the hell it means.  She wrote: “It’s so vague. No one can say, ‘Hey, how come you’re a jazz person, and you’re making a pop opera?

“Genres are for bins. ‘What bin should we put you in, so we that we can sell what you do?’ Ignore the bins.”

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Sharing words, a shared future - our event on May 22nd

On May 22nd 2021, Lapidus ran a networking event which allowed attendees to meet up and talk about their experiences, both as a Lapidus member and as a member of the writing for wellbeing community. Out of this event came a lot of interesting points of discussion – for example, how can Lapidus support the move of writing for wellbeing so it is more mainstream, or how can Lapidus help its members move into this new ‘hybrid’ world of offline and online events?

These are just some of the points that the board will be thinking about as we move into the future (how will they shape the next 25 years of Lapidus International?).

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Celebrating 25 years of Lapidus

Lapidus celebrates our quarter century this year, as a leading organisation in the world of writing for wellbeing. We are very proud of what has been and is being achieved by the many writing for wellbeing practitioners working around the world in diverse settings and we want to find out more about ways you are working during these challenging times. Our zoom get-together on 22nd May was a chance to share knowledge and develop ourselves as practitioners as well as being an opportunity for Lapidus International to learn from its members about your needs and skills.

We know Lapidus is important because you’re telling us so: we want to collect your memories, your wisdom and your photos of writing for wellbeing events to celebrate our first 25 years. Please send them in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (making sure to gain written permission from those photographed first.) Here’s a selection of recent comments and photos our valued members to get the ball rolling!

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A New Magazine for Lapidus International

The Lapidus International Journal is being revived and revamped this year. It will be published online in a magazine format offering a platform for Lapidus members and others, working in, and curious about, the world of writing for wellbeing. It will be a place to share ideas, challenges and successes. There will be a Creative Space for original creative writing from our members and a Breathing Space for all things wellbeing. We’ll bring news to you from the regions and other Lapidus members around the world. A redesign will bring in more photographs and illustrations to create a fresh and visually appealing publication.

A first edition is planned for Autumn/Winter 2021.

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Call for Collaborative Voices - Developing Lapidus’ Ethics Guidance

Sue Spencer & Kate Mattacks are currently writing new ethics guidance to be approved by the Board soon.  We aim to create a more welcoming space for new and experienced practitioners to find guidance on a range of ethical issues relating to how to prepare for practice, working in settings, links to further advice and CPD training, issues arising from COVID-19 pandemic work and a FAQ section. Having worked in a variety of settings, from hospitals, prisons, universities, and other communities we’ve gained insight into the ethical queries and questions we might face as writing for wellbeing facilitators but would like to ask for members’ collective help. 

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Here's Why BAME is A No Go Term for Minority Ethnic (ME) Communities

Since the Black Lives Matter movement drew us closer to the reality of racism in the world today, the term ‘BAME’, meaning ‘Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic’ has been bandied about everywhere.

I don’t do ‘BAME’. I don’t like the term that is. I am BAME, according to someone who made up the acronym. But do I want to be? Why should I? Do you like being called ‘White’? Black? Asian? And having that pointed out on forms, in funding calls and in research?

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Celebrating 25 years of Lapidus International - Networking Event

Saturday May 22nd 2021 – 10am until 12pm.

Free Workshop – Donations welcome

To start our 25th Birthday celebrations, we are pleased to offer a Saturday morning networking event on the 22nd May 2021.

We are offering Lapidus members an opportunity to share their experiences of writing for well-being/ personal development/therapeutic purposes.   

Lapidus International is a leading organization in supporting this work and we would like to discover more about the diverse and distinct ways practitioners are working during these challenging times.

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Lapidus is Growing!

As you know, Lapidus is run by a small band of volunteers who give many hundreds of hours of our time because we believe in writing for wellbeing. We want to bring people and communities together, to bring hope, challenge and enjoyment and to offer opportunities for self-development and healing through writing and words.

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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 timezone GMT+1 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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Creative Writing for Wellbeing under lockdown: Zoom’s double-edged sword

Professor Tony Wall reports on a lockdown study of 100 therapeutic writers carried out by Lapidus International.

A new national study by the University of Chester and Lapidus examines how creative writing for therapeutic purposes provision changed under the first lockdown of 2020. The study focused on the top 1% most health deprived areas in England (clustered into 16 areas) and combines web analyses, virtual focus groups and interviews, to find out how provision changed, how these changes impacted people, who had been excluded, and what is needed at the local level.

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Lapidus International AGM 2020

 

Saturday 28 November - 11:00am to 2:30pm

Join us this November for our online AGM - free for all Lapidus members to attend. It's another chance to catch up and connect with your fellow members, as well as take part in a workshop run by Jeannie Wright, one of Lapidus's directors.

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Therapeutic Writing Groups Embrace Art Forms, says Research

 

A research project involving 100 writers for wellbeing has detailed the many creative forms that therapeutic writing is taking. Professor Tony Wall of the University of Chester explains.

This summer, our study investigated the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of therapeutic writing groups across the top 1% health-deprived areas in England. The initial findings shed light on the diversity of practice and practitioners and how adaptable the community has been to respond quickly to the pandemic using technology.

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LAPIDUS INTERNATIONAL SEEKS NEW CHAIR OF BOARD

 

Lapidus International is seeking a candidate to lead the organisation in the future. We are seeking someone with experience in the field of therapeutic writing – preferably someone who has a history with Lapidus International and is passionate about promoting its values and leading the company onward into the future. 

Lapidus International is an expressive arts company that believes in the power of words, both spoken and written, to provide benefits to wellbeing and professional development. The company supports its members internationally by giving them opportunities to connect, develop and share in the Lapidus community.
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Top tips for running a writing group

Thinking of running a writing group? Already organise workshops but want to enhance them? Here are a few top tips from our community.

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Therapeutic Writing with the Five Senses

Therapeutic Writing with the Five Senses

 Saturday, July 11th, 11.00am – 12.30pm

 

THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU'D LIKE TO BE PUT ON THE WAITING LIST.

Our awareness seems to have been heightened in recent months and a hyper-sensitivity to our encounter with our environment has been described by many. 

As we seek to hold a fragile balance in uncertain times, the use of our five senses may be significant and supportive. This online workshop is designed to for enjoyment, using verbal expression and writing as we focus on our interaction with the world and explore our emotions in relation to our sensory experiences.

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The Importance of Nature Time

 

*Look up*

A few years ago, on a trip to London, I met a woman named Clare. She runs a project called Urban Curiosity. We ordered lattes and deliciously buttery breakfast treats, and I asked her, “What’s this project all about?”

It’s pretty simple. Mainly, she leads people on walking tours throughout the city of London. People wander through different neighborhoods, and through beautiful green parks, noticing the trees, noticing the sky, the clouds, the pets, the people. The only rule is that you have to put away your phone. No photos. No videos. No texting. Just walk.

“I want to inspire people to look up, not down,” Clare told me.

I remember feeling a rush of energy in my body, almost like my skin was tingling, when Clare said those words. I remember thinking, Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.

I watched a short film about a man who set up a high-powered telescope on a random sidewalk in Los Angeles and invited strangers to peek inside and look at the moon. It’s incredible how each person—all ages, all kinds of people—react in the same way. “Oh my god. Wow. Just…oh my God.” The filmmaker concludes this tiny, 3-minute film by saying:

“We should look up more often.”

Imagine if we looked up into the sky, and into people’s eyes, as often as we look down at our phones. Imagine the difference it would make. We would all walk around shimmering, awestruck, grateful, just one big collective WOW.

At least once a week, I have one of those weary, frazzled moments when my to-do list feels never-ending…when my inbox feels frighteningly full…when the quarterly reports come in and the book sales aren’t as high as I thought they would be…when I feel very small and very insignificant. Those are the moments when I feel tempted to dive into a digital device to escape and numb out. Instead, next time, I will try to remind myself:

Look up.

The answer I’m seeking is not down on my laptop screen, or my phone. It’s up. It’s out there. It’s above and beyond. In the trees, the sky, and the stars.

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CALL OUT: CHAIR, DEPUTY EDITOR & SECRETARY, LIRIC BOARD

 

The Lapidus International Research and Innovation Community Journal is a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal.

Our aim is to foster debate that can support the growing acknowledgement of the written and spoken word in supporting mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We publish articles, essays and reviews by academics, writers and clinical and cultural practitioners from diverse perspectives who use writing in any number of different contexts to this effect.

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Lapidus International to announce change of name

 

With the start if this new month, we are happy to announce our plans to change Lapidus International's name to a new, improved name: Writey Alrighty.

"We think it's a really cool name," says the chair of Lapidus, Barbara Bloomfield. "It really says what we believe in: that if you write, you'll feel alright." 

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COVID19 : MESSAGE FROM LAPIDUS INTERNATIONAL

On behalf of the Lapidus Board, and all our colleagues, we would like to wish our members and their families a safe and healthy passage through the coming months. Though Covid19 is putting so many strains on our lives, it is now, more than ever, essential that we share and connect. 
 
Lapidus will be offering online opportunities to do just that over the spring and summer as we work up online courses to share with you. Any meetings planned in person have been postponed but we will continue to support our members by offering creative ideas for wellness via our Facebook pages (Lapidus Members and Lapidus International) and our website, www.lapidus.org.uk.
 
We encourage each of you to take the time to write a record of your experiences of this unique historical moment. 
 
With best wishes,
 
The Lapidus International Board
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Lapidus Australia has wings!

An inaugural meeting to gauge interest in Brisbane recently resulted in a commitment to form a group currently known as Lapidus Australia. It’s early days for us, with our next meeting to consolidate our plans to be held on 19 March 2020

 
What can be said so far is that all of us are inspired by our colleagues in the distant north - that would be you Lapidus International, with your spidery connectivity and peer support for practitioners of words for wellbeing in our myriad forms.
 
In Australia, writing for wellbeing practitioners have tended to be solo operators, with clusters forming friendship/support groups here and there. One such cluster is in Brisbane, the other in Perth. Bridging distances in our vast land will be a challenge for the group, so it is our intention to inspire more localised groups. One step at a time!
 
We look forward to engaging with our peers on the Lapidus Facebook group - stand by for a rush of antipodean interest.
 
Anyone interested in attending our next meeting is welcome to get in touch with Stephanie Dale from The Write Road - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

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