Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Online creative writing workshop for veterinarians, nurses, technicians and veterinary team members in March


Delegates at the Mental Wellbeing for Veterinary Teams symposium in 2019.

What has creative writing got to do with veterinary teams? Creative writing can be a vehicle for self expression. It can be a pleasure indulged in privately, or an opportunity to paint word pictures for an audience. It can be a therapeutic brain-dump or a chance to experience flow.

As readers of this blog may be aware, I was one of four co-editors of the Vet Cookbook, an initiative to promote mental wellbeing in vets, nurses, technicians, kennel hands, groomers, practice managers, laboratory scientists, teachers, technical services vets – i.e. anyone who has anything to do with veterinary teams.

The Vet Cookbook generated some proceeds, most of which we used to subsidise the Mental Wellbeing for Veterinary Teams conference in 2019 (remember then? Back before COVID-19?). For those of you who missed it, videos of the talks given on that day are now available on the Centre for Veterinary Education’s Mental WellbeingHub

There are many things we can do to improve mental wellbeing, including promote engagement and flow. To this end, we’ve been working with some wonderful writers who have agreed to run writing workshops for veterinary team members.

The workshops are offered via Zoom, so totally COVID-safe (unless you happen to be Zooming from a nightclub, but then, what is a nightclub again?).

The first is a two-part workshop run by Tracy Sorensen, award winning author of The LuckyGalah (long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award) and Charles Perkins Centre Writer in Residence. The workshops will be held across two weekday evenings in March.

I had the pleasure of meeting Tracy Sorensen after she gave a webinar on her upcoming book - a cancer biography told from the perspective of her organs. I read The Lucky Galah which was one of the most unexpectedly joyful books about luck and life. I was fortunate enough to attend a brilliant writing workshop she ran at the University of Sydney. 

Tracy oozes creativity and warmth, and has a fascination for animals and an appreciation of the people who work with them. If you have not yet read The Lucky Galah, I recommend it. Set in a remote coastal town in Western Australia in the late 1960s, the time of the Moon landing, it is the tale of two Australian families, told from the perspective of the Galah that lives in a cage between the back of the house and the outside dunny. This book was so evocative...I felt like I was in WA, experiencing the sights and smells. 

(c) Tracy Sorensen 2021
Tracy Sorensen.

Places at this writing workshop are limited. If you would like more information, wish to register or know a friend who might be keen, please follow this link.