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Lapidus News

From the words for wellbeing association

Join our Research Focus Group: COVID-19 recovery research

If you are a facilitator or attendee of a creative writing for wellbeing group - currently or pre-COVID- we would like to hear from you!

Lapidus International is working with Professor Tony Wall at the University of Chester on a new research project that looks at the changes in provision of creative writing for wellbeing groups in England during COVID-19.

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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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Summer Event Round Up: June- July

 

Summer 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 two months. We'll continue to update it every time someone sends in something new!

Are you running an event this summer? 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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How to market your words for wellbeing events

You’ve got a great idea for a workshop. You have lots of ideas to share. You have an event in the pipeline. Brilliant. But what’s the point if no one is there? To run a successful event you need to get people along – and to do that you need to do some marketing.

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Research Matters - A Lapidus Panel

 

Research Matters

A Lapidus Discussion Panel

 Saturday, June 27, 1.00pm – 2.00pm

We became aware at last year’s Creative Bridges conference that there were many Lapidus members who were interested to know about ways to research their practice and/or how to go about to publishing their research.

This event offers you an opportunity to ask the questions you may have about some of the panels’ experiences of practising and publishing research related to the field of writing as a therapeutic practice, which we hope will be a starting point for further learning and discussion.  

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Summer Solstice Writing Festival

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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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Troubleshooting your Therapeutic Writing Groups

9th May, 3pm to 5pm

 

EDIT: THIS EVENT HAS NOW SOLD OUT.

Please contact Richard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be notified first about the date of the next event.

Are you looking for support with aspects of your work? Lapidus wants to help creative practitioners to feel confident and upskill themselves. Therefore, we are running our first online coaching circle using the simple model of an Active Learning Set. Share wisdom with colleagues about all sorts of practice issues: you bring them, we help you to resolve them!

Led by Jeannie Wright and Barbara Bloomfield, Director and Chair of Lapidus International who have a lot of experience between them of running safe and interesting groups.
 
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Exploring Online Events - Workshop

16th May at 11:00am to 12:30pm

EDIT: THIS EVENT HAS NOW SOLD OUT.

Please contact Richard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be notified first about the date of the next event.

Are you thinking about taking your events online? Are you unsure about which system to use, or best practice when it comes to running a workshop? 

Lapidus Coordinator Richard Axtell is offering a one-and-a-half-hour workshop giving you the chance to explore your options when it comes to online events and to ask any questions you might have.

This workshop will cover:

  •    - The different kinds of online events you can run – webinar, workshop, live video, etc.
  •    - Setting up your online space – what control you have, and how to make the most of it.
  •    - Best practice – how long should a workshop be? How many people should attend?

 

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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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Creative Words for Wellbeing Mini-Festival

Join us online on April 3rd and 4th for our Creative Writing for Wellbeing Festival.

We're all cooped up indoors with nowhere to go, so let's get together online, connect, and share our love for words and wellbeing!

We'll be running this event through our Zoom account - it's open for anyone to attend (up to a certain amount, so don't forget to sign up to save your space!)

This event will be 'Pay What You Want'. Want to support Lapidus in what we do and help us run more events like this? Consider donating a small amount through the link below. Don't have the cash to spare? Not a problem. Join in anyway!

We've tried to keep this mini festival as short as possible. Each workshop will be no longer than 30 mins and the total event shouldn't run for more than two and a half hours. There will be an opportunity to share some of your own writing at the end of each session, should you want to.

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Lapidus London Meetup - March 28th 2020 (CANCELLED)

EDIT: THIS MEETING IS NOW CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS. ALL FUTURE LAPIDUS LONDON MEETINGS ARE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING.
 
 
The next London Lapidus meeting is on Saturday March 28th at 1pm to 3.30pm upstairs in the Poetry Cafe. Give yourself dedicated time to write in a group. Every one of us will be doing the same thing, writing.
 
This offers the opportunity to relax and explore what may be going on for us and maybe obtaining some clarity and positive thoughts to take home.
 

You may pick up some ideas for your own personal writing or if you run writing for well being groups yourself.

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Kent & Sussex Writing & Wellbeing Network: Clowning Around with Words & Playfulness Rebellion

St Leonards on Sea, Saturday 14th March

This will be a two-part session.

Part One, starting at 10am, will be Clowning Around with Words, led by Hazel Ettridge.
Hazel writes: There's a lovely quote from Winnie the Pooh, which hopefully sums up what we'll be doing in the first half of the next meeting. "When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."
Clowns and Bears of Very Little Brain have a lot in common!

Part Two, after the break, will be Playfulness Rebellion, led by Felicity Stephen and Nicky Torode. Felicity and Nicky write: “We’ll be inviting you to engage in active play through a mime/guessing game, to recall and reflect on a playful moment from your life and to work together to iinvent ways to bring more play into your lives through a Playfulness Rebellion…. And, of course, some writing! There’ll also be an opportunity for each of us to share something playful we may have incorporated in our own recent writing for wellbeing sessions.”

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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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A Words and Wellbeing Retreat – working with ‘the journey’ 2nd - 4th September 2020

Make self-care a priority in your practice. Come to Shropshire for a little magic over three days in a luxurious country house and have the chance to experience the delights of Deborah Alma’s new shop and centre, the Poetry Pharmacy.

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NEW FRAMEWORKS NEEDED FOR THERAPEUTIC WRITING, SAYS REPORT.

 

A two-year study into words for wellbeing has concluded that practitioners need new structures for training and supervision in order to work with vulnerable people. The study, commissioned by Lapidus International, suggests that training opportunities are needed in the areas of safety, safeguarding and supervision.

The report, written by Prof. Tony Wall of Chester University and Richard Axtell from Lapidus, argues that ‘transition spaces’ should be created to educate and raise awareness and reflection among practitioners. Prof. Wall said at the launch today (Saturday, 18th January): “There are gaps in knowledge that can be filled in a positive and gradual way. We can put structures in place such as CPD, supervision and recognition of skills and all this will build credibility among leaders of creative groups.”

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Lapidus Links: Pam Blamey

Every month we have a chat with a Lapidus member, and get them to share their words and wellness journey. First up, it’s Pam Blamey.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a British Colonial Empire girl by birth but not by political persuasion. My father was a New Zealander, my mother was born in Kenya to British parents. I migrated from Kenya to South Africa as a teen and then to Australia with my husband and children in 1981 to escape apartheid. We settled in Brisbane and when my children went to university I did too. I studied Social Science, where I was introduced to Joseph Campbell and Carl Gustav Jung, and later did a Masters in Art Therapy. Before that I had been a nurse and a teacher of English as a second language. At some point my childhood love of fairy tales was re-ignited into a full-blown passion when I read an anthology of tales with a Jungian commentary and I knew I had found my vocation. 

 

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The Kindergarten Teacher (2018) - A Film Review by A. Hurford

 written & directed: Sara Colangelo - based on a Screenplay by Nadav Lapid

Nadav Lapid, directed a 2014 original, Haganenet. A prizewinner at Cannes. I'd very much like to see that version now. I loved this. A film made with wonderful understanding, beautifully paced, shot, acted - a gem.

Middle aged kindergarten teacher, Mrs Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal), has a husband and two teenage children. She attends an adult education class on writing poetry. She seems good, practised, and caring at her job. Perhaps so good it's somewhat automatic, even when listening to care and not pushing children too far. She comes alive when playing with them, in a golden light.  In exploring poetry maybe she's reaching for something she needs. We see her write a poem as she goes to class.  But it's judged as dull. She feels snubbed. Though she doesn't work that through fully.  She may be more in tune with her class than this teacher his.

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