The pandemic has been a time of creativity for Rhonda Melanson.
For her, that means more time spent writing poetry.
“I know a lot of people working on their writing, whether it’s poetry or prose,” says the Cathcart Boulevard School teacher.
“There’s so much to write about right now.”
In part, that’s why she and three other volunteers formed a literary subcommittee at The Lawrence House Centre for the Arts to introduce a writers’ blog to the community.
It’s called Uproar and they hope it makes some noise in the local writing community.
“We want writers of all kinds, professional and non-professional, novices and experts to share their writing and connect with one another,” said Melanson.
She describes Uproar as an inclusive blog for all ages. “We truly encourage young and old who have something to say to submit.”
All submissions are reviewed by the committee comprised of Melanson, writer and college professor Lois Nantais, writer Ann Towell and former educator Kathryn Shailer.
Each month a new theme is chosen and submissions that measure up are published on the blog, then archived for easy online access.
“We want to be encouraging and inclusive but we won’t publish everything,” said Melanson.
Uproar was launched this month with the broad theme of “Opening” in keeping with the newness of the project, the move to Stage 3 re-opening during the pandemic, and the group’s hope to open up the possibilities for Sarnia-Lambton writers.
In the first couple of weeks, about 10 submissions were published, including a couple from two sisters ages 10 and 13. Photographs accompanied several.
The committee asks that poems are kept to a maximum of 50 lines and prose to 800 words. Two-to-five minute videos are also accepted.
Uproar also has a writer’s forum where announcements can be made, advice asked and suggestions made.
The Sarnia community has a surprisingly large group of talented writers, both published and non-published, said Melanson.
“We want this to be a way to reach out to them, connect them and give them some recognition.”
She described Uproar as “something new and something different” that is ideal for these times when meeting in person is not ideal. All submissions can be made electronically and are then posted online.
“I want to let people know we want them to be brave, reach out and submit,” added Melanson.
September’s theme is “Back to School.”
For more information and to make a submission, visit lawrencehouse.ca/uproar.