Building community for writers in Sackville

To be a kid is to be unabashedly creative. It is the age before we are made self-conscious, when we will gladly present at a kindergarten show-and-tell. Stepping into the Bill Johnstone Memorial Park Activity Centre for the Writers’ Open Mic felt like stepping into a kindergarten classroom. Not just aesthetically, although it is painted like an orange creamsicle with arts and crafts adorning the walls. The intimate space felt safe. Like a place where you could be brave. 

This level of comfort was largely due to Laura Watson, Sackville’s Poet Laureate and host of the Writers’ Open Mic. This is the second open mic Watson has hosted in this series and it won’t be the last. The event aims to connect local writers of all ages, styles and backgrounds, and give the writers in the community a safe space to share their work. 

Of the small crowd, many came up to the front to share their own work, or even do a reading of someone else’s. Among the performers was Watson, as well as local poet Marilyn Lerch, Mt. A professor Geordie Miller, and graphic novelist Patrick Allaby. 


It is Watson’s hope to cultivate a strong community for Sackville writers to share and connect. I can safely say, she is doing just that. Even I, a life-long sufferer of stage fright, found myself scrolling through my phone for something to read aloud. If only I were able to muster up the courage. Though I didn’t this time, I sense this is a space I will return to in the future to take that leap.

If you are a writer, or even a listener, I implore you to attend the next Writers’ Open Mics on February 26 and March 26 from 3 to 4:30pm. “Come out and read your poems, short stories, comics, novels, plays, essays, Twitter posts, stand-up comedy, etc. […] Try out something you’re not sure about or just come to listen. Keep it respectful and inclusive, but otherwise, anything goes,” shares Watson in the event description. 

Watson has also asked that I include her email, [email protected], in this article. She would love to hear from both past and future attendees on how best to construct this event and reach a larger audience.

There is a vibrant community both within and beyond Mt. A’s campus of writers and artists that Iwould love nothing more than to connect with. Watson is offering a space to do so, an orange-creamsicle-painted space, might I add. What’s more enticing than that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles