“From writing stories for my younger brother, to penning poems for the School Magazine and filling a growing pile of personal journals, the written word has always been part of my life’s journey.”
My guest today, Julia McGuinness, started out as an English Teacher and subsequently retrained as a Counsellor.
As well as doing some freelance journalism and written four non-fiction books, creative writing has become Julia’s main focus in recent years.
Her poems have appeared online on sites including Amaryllis, Silver Birch Press, Clear Poetry, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, Riggwelter and Ink,Sweat and Tears. She has been published in Curlew and Bucks Mill Magazine, and anthologised in Our Hearts Still Sing. Her first poetry collection, Chester City Walls, came out in 2015.
In 2018 Julia was commended in the Wirral Festival of Firsts and Poetry Space competitions. She was appointed to a volunteer role as Poet-in-Residence at Chester Cathedral in August 2019.
Julia runs Write for Growth workshops for creativity and well-being, and a monthly journalling group, Way With Words, in Chester. She runs regular creative writing sessions for those affected by cancer at a Maggie’s Centre, as well as other one-off sessions e.g. most recently, for a Birth Trauma recovery support group.
Pathways Through the Page is her independently-organised CPD workshop event for fellow health professionals, though she has also been brought in to train other groups, including CRUSE, Beacon Counselling and various Hospice Counsellor groups.
Since the advent of Covid-19,Julia has been taking her workshops online and introduced a journalling course, Writing our Path, to encourage and support the use of personal journalling through these unsettling times.