Carers UK competition highlights the benefits of creative writing for wellbeing

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For the past two years, Carers UK has celebrated the importance of creative writing for wellbeing by running a creative writing competition for carers.

They are now inviting submissions for their third competition. As in previous years, the best entries will be published in an anthology.

Carers UK are a national charity that work towards making life better for carers and are supporters of Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia.

How to enter

Carers UK welcome poems and short stories on all aspects of caring – the joys, challenges and complex emotions that come with looking after a loved one.

Simply enter up to three poems (each up to 40 lines), or one short story (up to 1000 words) on your experiences of caring. You can enter these online or by post by 31 July 2016. The winners will be announced in October 2016 and an anthology of entries will be produced.

Writing for wellbeing

The competition has already given hundreds of carers the opportunity to put pen to paper to express themselves. 2015 competition winner Fiona Ritchie Walker highlighted how important this was to her: ‘looking back I can see that we have been happy, and I’m grateful for the opportunity the competition gave me to recognise this.’

Fiona also recognised the benefits of creative writing for wellbeing: ‘writing helped me to realise how beautiful it can feel to live in the present.’ Read Fiona’s winning poem.

Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia

You can read more first-hand accounts of carers’ experiences in some of the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia titles. Chris Carling writes about caring for her father and mother, both of whom had dementia, in the moving memoir But Then Something Happened.

In Telling Tales about Dementia, edited by Lucy Whitman, 30 carers from different backgrounds share their experiences of caring for loved ones with dementia.

Get involved

Enter your creative writing pieces to the Carers UK competition by 31 July 2016.

Read personal stories about caring on the Reading Well Books on Prescription for dementia booklist.

Order the first two creative anthologies produced by Carers UK.

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