Street Writers On Stage!

On March 8, 2011, the Street Writers took to the stage at the Art Bar Reading Series in Toronto. A former participant, after watching the night's footage, emailed to say it was more fun than the Academy Awards! Heh. We modestly agree. :)

Check out photos by Nadia Alam:
Photos of PSW at Art Bar!
And video by Michael Healy:

We're Famous!

Check out the Global TV news segment on us, in a segment called Making a Difference: "How local authors and artists are helping young writers in Parkdale get a chance to find their voice and share their experiences. Susan Hay reports."

It features PSWers Addi Stewart, Dizia Raposo-Ferreira, Muffin-M'randa Rachael-Star Jones, Jeff Vallejo, Ben Cope, Michael Healy and Lily Tung (with special guest author Kristyn Dunnion)!

Between Insanity and BrillianceThe Toronto Sun recently ran a fantastic article about our group: Why funding the arts doesn’t just cater to the black tie set:

"Too many people think the arts are the exclusive domain of people who attend black tie galas or high-priced theatre openings. But the arts are accessible — and they make a difference on the ground. Parkdale Street Writers, an arts group, is doing just that. Making a difference."


Writers work on everything from short stories and poetry, to graphic novels, hip-hop lyrics and screenplays. The positive benefits for the young writers are impressive, says Pohl-Weary. “The main change I see in them is the building up of their confidence. They gain the ability to speak their minds. It’s as much about communication and speaking your thoughts, your feelings and, in some cases, you trauma. People come out of their shells.”

Also, Shameless Magazine ran this lovely profile of Parkdale Street Writer Marlene Leung on their blog:

Shameless: What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?
Marlene: Love each other and love the planet. (Sorry that’s two things).

Between Insanity and Brilliance: Stories and Poems from the Basement of Discontent

Between Insanity and BrillianceWritten and illustrated by Toronto Street Writers, our collection Between Insanity and Brilliance is the culmination of our year-long writing workshop.

To get your own copy, please send $5 to Parkdale Young Writers Group, 1303 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6H 3G1.

Toronto's creative young writers find their unique voices, tell their own stories, and represent what's it's like to find your way in this city. Youth challenge all stereotypes of Canadian writing through fabulously diverse poetry, fiction, non-fiction, comics and screenplays. The book is also illustrated with their original art and photography--so you literally get to see the city through their eyes.

Keeping read to access online selections from the publication.

Parkdale Street Writers Invent Hilarious Songs!

One of our multi-talented participants, Ziadh Rabbani, ran the most incredible songwriting workshop this evening (December 16, 2009). The results of our labour were so hilarious and awesome that I have to post them here! Check them out and join our group, every Tuesday evening at 5 pm.

Band: The Villains
Addi, Zeyneb, Marlene, Anna, Meghan, Muffin
>>> Play "Evil" <<<
The Villains!
Band: Betty and the Turnips
Marlon, Jessica, Alyssa, Riadh
>>> Play "Cannibal" <<<
Betty and the Turnips!
Band: Jeff and the Puppets
Jeff, Dizia, Max, Sarah
>>> Play "Til Death Do Us Party" <<<
Jeff and the Puppets!

The Scrawl is Now Online!

The ScrawlWe're thrilled to announce that our web magazine, The Scrawl, is now online!

There are stories, poems, comics, even a couple of screenplays written by some of the participants in the first-ever Parkdale Street Writers: A Boot Camp for Young Dreamers.

The work by Muffin M'randa Rachel Star Jones, Benjamin Cope, Marlon, Rupi Natt, Cristina Gardeazabal and Danielle Thomas will make you laugh, cry, question the meaning of life, and burn with a quiet anger!

Seriously. Check it out! We'll be adding work by more participants in the future.

Make Indie Video Games in Parkdale!

Screencap from a gameCheck out this article about our upcoming video game workshop and workshop leader Jim Munroe on Torontoist:

We've just gone through our archives here and it seems like we've managed to reach 2009 without mentioning the Artsy Game Incubator. Hmm. Well, rather than lament our foolishness, let us explain that it's a collaborative game development group for artists and people who want to make games but have no technical skills (or not enough) that uses simple and accessible tools to allow their game concepts to be developed.

The program ran in February 10, 2009. No special programming skills were required! To join a group like this, check out Jim's Artsy Game Incubator site. Or drop us a line.

Articles about our Street Writers and Book Artists!

Screencap from a gameA few articles about our writing and art programs have been published in local media...

Shameless magazine's blog:

"An awesome writing workshop full of cool, creative youth."

Quill and Quire magazine, by Stuart Woods:

"They say you should always “write what you know,” and what author Emily Pohl-Weary knows best is Parkdale, the gritty downtown Toronto neighbourhood where she was born and raised."

The National Post, by Andrew Chin:

"You get the opportunity to say whatever you want," says Jennifer Fraser, 18. "Things that you will never say to other people - you just write it down and it's good."

Parkdale Liberty, by Erin Hatfield:

"Fascinating writing doesn't come in the form of a forced story about what you did over the summer months (...) Writing a five paragraph essay on 'X' topic is not the way to inspire young people to love reading or writing."

Hey, Hey! We're on Facebook!

Keep up to date with Parkdale Street Writer news and get to know us by liking our PSW Facebook Page!

(We welcome participants and anyone who's curious about the group.)

Join Parkdale Street Writers!

WRITE!The Parkdale Street Writers 2010-11 session is being held on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Parkdale Branch, Toronto Public Library, 1303 Queen St W)


Do you keep a blog? Write super-long e-mails? Make up stories and poems in your head? Love to read? Why not join the PARKDALE STREET WRITERS!

More information about us here or join our Facebook page!

To register for Parkdale Street Writers, send a message to info(at) or call 416-779-1448.

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