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CANCELLED: Fiction Writing to Help Manage Chronic Pain

21st April at 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

A red first aid box with a piece of paper standing in it. The paper is titled ‘Distraction Technique’ and has words like ‘Hip Pain,’ ‘Multiple Sclerosis,’ and ‘Fibromyalgia’ on it.

We are delighted that Gillian Shirreffs will be hosting a workshop ‘Fiction Writing to Help Manage Chronic Pain’ online on Thursday 25th June. For more information and booking please see here.

When pain doesn’t define your story.

Fiction Writing to Help Manage Chronic Pain, Tuesdays 21st April and 28th April, 10.30am to 12.30pm, Women only


Fiction Writing to Help Manage Chronic Pain. Credit: Gillian Shirreffs
Fiction Writing to Help Manage Chronic Pain. Credit: Gillian Shirreffs

Explore the ways writing can be used as a powerful distraction to help manage chronic pain, in these creative writing workshops led by writer, living with MS, Gillian Shirreffs. We’ll practice the skills involved in writing fiction and have fun developing our own scenes and stories. Look out for a taster writing exercise on our website in late March! Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Book on to our next workshop here.

“I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in May 2007. One of my main symptoms was nerve pain so I was given a number of drugs to try to find one that would help. Unfortunately, none of them did. In the months that followed I spent lots of time in bed and started to write stories to pass the time. I discovered that when I was fighting with sentence after sentence, I wasn’t aware of the invisible shards of glass sticking into my skin. When I stopped writing, the nerve pain would come back. I thought it was just something odd about me but then I found out that scientific research has shown that distraction technique can help manage chronic pain. Distraction technique basically describes doing something you enjoy and focussing all of your attention on it. By doing so, you can distract yourself from pain. So, if you have chronic pain and you like to write, or you’ve always fancied writing, why not come along and give it a go? The workshops will introduce you to the skills of writing fiction and you’ll use prompts from our writers’ first aid kit to develop scenes and stories in a fun and supportive environment.” – Gillian Shirreffs


As of Wednesday 18th March, Glasgow Women’s Library is closed until further notice. We believe that closing our doors is the best way to slow the spread of Covid-19. We are no longer taking bookings for events in our Spring programme, in the understanding that they may not go ahead, however Gillian will still be giving taster exercises online through our website in March! If you can check in at the end of April for updates on our website and social media, or by email, please do so. You can find more information on our response to Covid-19 here.

This event is for women only* and is free to attend. Please book below (you will be taken through the shopping cart but no charge will be made) or you can call us on 0141 550 2267. If you have booked a place and are no longer able to attend please let us know so that we can make your place available to someone else.

*All women-only events are inclusive of Trans and Intersex women, as well as non-binary and gender fluid people.


Please get in touch with us on 0141 550 2267 or email emily.ilett@womenslibrary.org.uk to talk through any access needs and we’ll try and make your experience at the workshop as comfortable as we can.

Glasgow Women’s Library is wheelchair accessible, with lifts to the first floor and the Mezzanine Floor. We have accessible toilets and all the bathrooms are individual closed stalls and are gender neutral. Our larger Events Space is fitted with an induction loop. A portable induction loop is also available. For paid events free companion tickets are available.

Find more information on Accessibility at GWL or contact us and we will be very happy to offer assistance.


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21st April
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
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Glasgow Women’s Library
0141 550 2267


Glasgow Women’s Library
23 Landressy Street
Glasgow, G40 1BP United Kingdom
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0141 550 2267