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Writing the Rollercoaster

Stories of riding out the pandemic in Burlington

May you live in interesting times. 

Ancient curse or overwrought cliché? Either way, the meaning is clear – interesting times are never easy or peaceful. And like it or not, this pandemic has dropped us smack into the middle of one of the world’s most interesting times. 

Covid-19 turned our lives upside down bringing lockdowns and closures, uncertainty and anxiety; demanding change, creativity and new ways of thinking about the way we live. 

Everyone has been impacted by this pandemic, and we all have stories to tell. Stories that deserve to be explored, recorded, and shared because nothing helps us make sense of our lives and our place in the world like story, which is why we created Writing the Rollercoaster. 

This project offers a way to tell your story, to make sense of everything you’ve been through, and share your experience with others. 

We’re looking for stories from all age groups, and every corner of this city. A moment that made your heart soar or break, things lost and found, lessons learned about yourself, about others. Make us laugh or cry or nod our heads and say, “Yes, yes! I understand completely.”

Don’t worry if you’ve never been published or can’t remember the last time you wrote anything that wasn’t a report or a grocery list. If the story is yours to tell, we want to read it, and we’re here to help you with the writing process.

In co-operation with the Burlington Public Library, we’ll be presenting three free virtual writing workshops, one for kids 8-13, and two for everyone over 13. We’ll also be posting videos with writing tips and tricks on this site.  Once you get started, we’re confident you’ll find that telling your story is as natural as talking to a friend, and just as important to your physical and mental well-being.

In order to broaden the reach of the project, we’ll choose fifty of your stories to be published in a book titled Writing the Rollercoaster – tales of riding out the pandemic in Burlington. The goal is to release the book on May 19, 2021, marking the anniversary date of the end of the first lockdown in Ontario. With luck, we’ll be able to hold a live book launch, but even if we can’t, we’ll find a way to celebrate the joy of writing and the release of what we know will be a wonderful book. 

For more specifics about the project, the book, and how to submit your stories, please see the Guidelines and FAQ page. Then put your fingers on the keyboard, lower the safety bar and come write the rollercoaster with us!

Writing the Rollercoaster is made possible through a grant from the City Of Burlington’s Community Support Fund, and we are indeed grateful.