Using the short story as a tool for well-being in arts and health workshops for the NHS staff

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This article focuses on creative writing workshops run online for NHS staff during 2020–21 organized through Lime, the Arts and Health Department of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT). As the pandemic and lockdown hit in 2020, all Lime activity had to cease. Lime’s premises were reassigned for administrative staff and its staff redeployed. Using Arts Council England emergency funding, Lime demonstrated the need for creative outlets for stressed NHS staff and moved online with its participatory workshops. This work was piloted with creative writing workshops focusing on the short story; the workshops used writing techniques that would help participants focus on their mental well-being as NHS staff during one of the most stressful and exhausting periods of work for them. The article further explores the use of the short story in those creative writing workshops, examining the premise for the use of creative writing practices, the workshops themselves and the facilitator’s experience of running them, alongside the (anonymized) feedback of participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-218
Number of pages16
JournalShort Fiction in Theory and Practice
Issue number2
Early online date1 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • mental Well-being
  • Arts and Health
  • NHS staff
  • creative workshops
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • freewriting

Research Institutes

  • Health Research Institute

Research Centres

  • Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing

Research Groups

  • Fiction Writer's Network


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