Findings from Creative Writing Pilot Study

Two of our Creative Practices Centre teams recently shared research findings with women who have experienced breast cancer and health professionals.

Our Creative Writing project was one of the studies we shared.  Women participated in writing workshops, wrote independently, and created collages as part of our program.  At our presentation, we discussed three key themes that emerged from our data which consisted of audiorecordings/transcripts of the workshops, photocopies of journal entries, and workshop evaluations, as well as collages which were photographed.  The background of the slides appearing here are snapshots of the some of the collages that the participants created.  The three themes are summarized in the following slides, but more information can be found in the full presentation (link appears below). 

Theme 1 creating safe spaces

The first theme is connected to ideas about safe spaces.  These spaces extended beyond the workshops and into the process of writing.  Such spaces provided participants with the opportunity to express emotions that they were not able to share with other people.

Theme 2 permission and balance

Some of the women felt they needed to give themselves permission to take the time to write and to adjust priorities, given the demands of work and caregiving, as the second theme illustrates.

Theme 3 fear and uncertainty

All of the participants expressed some anxiety about the future and fears of recurrence.  Writing provided opportunities for the women to develop a sense of strength, as well as acceptance about the uncertainties associated with breast cancer.

For more information and the complete presentation:


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What do Running & Creative Writing have to do with Breast Cancer?


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A National Picture of First Nations Cancer: An Update

A National Picture of First Nations Cancer: An Update

We've had an amazing experience working with the Mohawk peoples of Akwesasne over the last 9 months. The community has been passionate and motivated to raise awareness of the impact of cancer in their community. We began working down there in January, running sharing sessions, sitting down to individual interviews, and gathering peoples' photos and journals. We have a few tasks to finish before moving into the next phase: analyzing, summarizing, and delivering the knowledge we've acquired back to the community. We look forward to taking these next steps with the peoples of Akwesasne. Nia:wen!


The National Picture project is funded by a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute - Quality of Life Grant in memory of Edna Goebel. 

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