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July 3, 2020
Culture

Mindshare wants your mental health writing

Mindshare is currently accepting work by emerging and established SA writers for its annual poetry and creative writing award, celebrating literature by South Australians with lived experience of mental illness.

  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Main Image: A mindshare and Draw Your Swords event last year

Mindshare is an online platform supported by the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia promoting writing by South Australians with lived experience of mental illness.

It’s essentially a virtual reading room, where writers can find community in an often isolating artform.

Remarks

Mindshare wants poets and authors to submit their work for the mindshare Awards.

Deadline is 5pm on Monday, 17 August. Visit the mindshare website for more information.

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Mindshare is currently accepting submissions from established writers and unpublished emerging authors for its annual poetry and creative writing competition, the mindshare Awards.

Winners will be announced on 16 October as part of the mental health and wellbeing event the Festival of Now.

Prizes include a range of Writers SA goodies, development opportunities from mindshare, and media attention from disability-led arts organisation Access2Arts.

This is the first year Writers SA and Access2Arts have been invited to participate in the mindshare Awards, with Writers SA on board to judge the entered work.

Mindshare online editor Anna Jeavons, who has lived with bipolar disorder for over a decade, says authors are encouraged to write about their own mental health challenges and personal experiences, but this is not a hard rule.

“I’m expecting stories of people’s personal experiences, which are often quite raw, but also have a lot of hope,” Anna tells CityMag. 

“When people are speaking about their mental health challenges, they’re often talking about difficult times, but then there’s a lot of hope about recovery, and the value of expressive arts and storytelling, and how that’s been helpful for people.

“But then there are just stories.”

Anna says a great piece of writing is separated from a good piece of writing by originality – avoid clichés like the plague, she says – and a creative approach.

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If this story raised issues for you, call LifeLine on 13 11 14.

Beyond Blue and headspace are other national organisations offering comprehensive mental health care.

Writers SA director Jessica Alice says the organisation is “really proud” to support the mindshare Awards, as mental health issues are widespread throughout society and exploring these themes through art can offer respite.

“Writing can provide relief and catharsis, joy through artistic experimentation, and it provides connection and community through sharing our lived experiences,” Jessica says.

“We’re looking forward to reading some excellent writing.”


Mindshare Awards Categories:

Unpublished Emerging Poets
For poets who are in their first five years of writing and have had no poems published. Entered poems must be no more than 50 lines.

Unpublished Emerging Writers
Writers who are in their first five years of writing and have had no creative writing published. Entered prose must be no more than 750 words.

Published Established Poets
Poets who have been writing for more than five years and/or have had poems published. Entered poems must be no more than 50 lines.

Published Established Writers
Writers who have been writing for more than five years and/or have had creative writing published. Entered prose must be no more than 750 words.

See the mindshare Award’s 2020 Guidelines at the website.

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