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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 14 August 2014


LITERATURE'S love affair with the mind is an age old tradition where creativity has always been closely entwined with mental distress, yet the subject of mental health is still widely considered a taboo subject. We hope that this competition will challenge the stigma around mental distress and promote social inclusion by giving entrants the opportunity to explore this topic using traditional and/or alternative forms of writing.

Has mental distress affected you or someone close to you? Are you particularly interested in the subject of mental health? Are you a carer or have you worked with people suffering from mental distress and want to share your experience? If the answer's yes, we'd love to hear from you!

Liverpool's Mental Health Consortium, in partnership with Writing on the Wall, is launching a writing competition to mark World Mental Health Day on Friday, 10 October 2014. We are calling on members of the public to submit an original writing piece under the theme of 'Mental Health and Me.' You can send us a poem, a short story, a diary piece or a blog post, a letter, a piece of journalism or even a tweet, yes – a tweet!

The competition will be judged in 6 different categories by an exciting judging panel comprising of very talented, professional writers, Journalists, Social Media Experts and people with personal experience of mental distress. The winners of each category will form the shortlist from which the overall winner will be selected and will win the crown trophy! All entries which are shortlisted including the winner will have their work published in an anthology and will be awarded a free copy and more will be available to buy online and in shops.

Sarah Butler Boycott, Involvement Worker at The Liverpool Mental Health Consortium says:- "We are thrilled to be organising 'Mental Health and Me with Writing on the Wall, we hope that by exploring the mind through creativity and writing, we will be able to challenge the stigma around mental health issues, create a positive effect and allow people to explore and discuss mental distress more openly."


1. Short Stories Category
Helen Walsh – Award winning novelist and author of The Lemon Grove, Go to Sleep and Brass will be among the judging panel for the short story category.

Colin Watts - writer, poet, playwright and teacher. (Getting the Hang of it; Singing the City; Human Geography)

2. Journalism Category
Catherine Jones – Liverpool Echo's Arts Editor and WW1 commemorations coverage coordinator.

Brian Reade - Award Winning Journalist and best-selling author who has two weekly opinion columns, one on sports, for the Daily Mirror.

Richard Adamson – Participant of What's Your Story? group with the Liverpool Mental Health Consortium and Rainbow writer.

3. Tweets Category
Jo Austin, Engagement and Digital Marketing Coordinator at The Women's Organisation Liverpool - Social Media Expert. Jo Austin will be judging the Tweet category.

Wendy Brown - Social Media Editor at Canter Levin & Berg and committed social media enthusiast. Nominated for 'Business Development Manager of the Year' at the 10th Annual 'Livercool' Awards.

Rosa Murdoch, Writing on the Wall's own Social Media Coordinator.

4. Letters
Tony Wailey – Published Author of Edgy Cities, Migrant Women and American Women, with a particular interest in historical research including Liverpool Seamen in 1985. He was also a tutor for The George Garrett Archive project founded by Writing on the Wall.

Maria NG - Bookseller and Joint Director at News From Nowhere, Liverpool's independent radical bookshop. Maria is involved with all aspects of the business with running the book store and selecting books which inspire, inform and empower people.

5. Poetry
Curtis Watt - performance poet, rapper, beatboxer, actor, presenter, musician, workshop leader and author of Children's History of Liverpool. He has worked internationally on both stage and screen, and is recognised as one of Liverpool's most versatile artists, voted 43 in Diverse Magazine's Top 50 Black Merseysiders.

Sal Woodward – Bookseller and Joint Director at News From Nowhere, Liverpool's independent radical bookshop. Sal is involved with all aspects of the business with running the book store and selecting books which inspire, inform and empower people.

Sarah Maclennan - Coordinator of Liverpool's Dead Good Poets Society and teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University and for the Open University.

6. Blog/Diary Entries
Seaneen Molloy – Mental Health Blogger and mental health activist. She is also a columnist for BBC Ouch!, a regular contributor to 1 in 4 magazine and has written for The Guardian and The Observer. Her blog 'The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive' was adapted for BBC Radio 4 under the title, Do's and Don'ts for the Mentally Interesting which won the award for Best Radio Drama at 2009 Mind Mental Health Media Awards.

Mike Morris, Project Manager of Writing on the Wall, playwright of Waiting for Brando and was part of the writing team for Dockers (Channel 4 1999), and a director and producer of the ground breaking documentary, Liverpool's Cunard Yanks (Granada TV, 2008) He also regularly blogs for WoW.

To enter, please see the full guidelines and terms and conditions click on here.

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