WiC at a glance

QWF’s Writers in the Community program pairs small groups of young people with a professional writer or literary performance artist who can teach them and, more important, motivate them, to use language to express themselves in productive ways. In each project, a writer-facilitator works with a small group for 10 weeks, teaching them language tools, giving them writing prompts, and ultimately, boosting their self-confidence by showing them that they are capable of producing literary work of value.

Recent projects

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Meet the writer-facilitators

Mahta Riazi

Mahta Riazi (she/her/hers) is an Iranian/Canadian poet, community worker, and educator currently living in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal) on the unceded territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk people). Mahta works in popular education and is interested in the literary arts as a way to connect communities and collectively learn and heal. Her poetry appears in inQluded magazine, Voicemail Poems, Headline Anthology, FEED literary magazine, khejalat zine and Yolk literary magazine. 

Photo credit: Self-ish open mic @selfishopenmic

Participants responded well to creative writing and used my prompts to write about their personal experiences. They turned to subjects they were familiar with (abuse, drugs, relationships) and writing became a therapeutic means of release. While they were more comfortable in expressing darker emotions, I urged them to explore a range of affects and to think about how to express positive moments as well. Their journaling outside of workshops was also a clear indication that they were using language (creatively or as a method of documenting).

writer-facilitator

Program sponsors

We would also like to express our gratitude to the following sponsors, without whom the Writers in the Community program would not be possible