Call out for ‘Creative Voices’ to take part in a special Festival project

The Huddersfield Literature Festival and Words in Mind are offering free online workshops leading to a musical and spoken word performance event at next year’s Festival.

Preserving mental health has been a challenge for many during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the Huddersfield Literature Festival (HLF), in partnership with TSL Kirklees project, Words in Mind, is offering a series of free creative writing workshops with the aim of promoting positive mental wellbeing, reducing isolation and loneliness, and enhancing community cohesion.

The workshops will be taught in four small groups of no more than 12 people, to allow everyone’s voice to be heard. Participants will be offered one workshop a week for 10 weeks, running from October to December, followed in the new year by a music workshop taught by musician Rachel Ireland and a performance technique workshop led by writer and performance poet Michelle Scally Clarke. The work produced will inspire spoken word performances and songs sung by local choirs to be presented at an event at the next Festival.

Festival Director, Michelle Hodgson, said: “Engaging with the local community and promoting the benefits of taking part in creative projects is a key commitment of our Festival. The Creative Voices project will not only give participants of all levels the opportunity to explore their creative skills and express their feelings, but also to allow them to engage with other people, reducing some of the negative impact of the Covid-19 crisis, such as social isolation.”

Elaine Duffy, Project Co-ordinator for Words in Mind, said: “Our work bringing bibliotherapy to vulnerable individuals has shown how creativity can promote better mental health and we are pleased to be partnering with the Festival again for this project. Creative Voices will give participants the opportunity to follow a path from creative writing to performance, and to develop skills and make connections that will last beyond the project itself.”

Creative Voices is supported by Kirklees Council’s ‘Do Something Now’ Covid Recovery fund.

Anyone interested in taking part can find out more and sign up for their free place by following the link below.

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