On Demand – Writing chronic illness, mental illness and neurodivergence


December 31st, 2024 10:00 AM — December 31st, 2024 1:00 PM



December 31st, 2024 10:00 AM — December 31st, 2024 1:00 PM


Are you looking to develop richly complex and diverse characters for your stories but are not sure how to go about it? Join Dr Helen Edwards for a workshop on developing authentic characters using sensitively researched information and drawing from lived experience.

Writers SA presents an on-demand workshop that you can watch at your own pace for a limited time. You can then download resource sheets and a fact sheet with some key tips to help you develop diverse characters within your writing. **Please ignore the December date listed on the event**

Including well-rounded characters who represent the world as it really is—that is, from all walks of life and of all abilities—within our stories is an important part of modern writing, but how can we write more representative characters with or without first hand experience? How do we write about chronic illness, mental illness and neurodivergence thoughtfully, without stigmatising, stereotyping or harming real life communities? Sensitivity and understanding go hand in hand with thorough research to create compelling and accurate characters. Join Dr. Helen Edwards for this workshop on writing for representation and inclusion and consider what you know, what you think you know and how to fill the gaps in between.

Participants will:

  • Why to include characters with chronic illness, mental illness, and/or who are neurodivergent, in your stories.
  • History in popular culture. What has changed, and why?
  • Writing what you don't know – why do you want to include these characters? What are your intentions? What are your hopes?
  • The importance of research in your work and why inclusion matters.
  • How to analyse your writing/characters for ableist language and ideas.
  • Tips for writing diverse characters
  • Avoiding common stereotypes and pitfalls.


WSA Member $44 / Non-member $77

—Not a Writers SA member? Members receive more than 30% off the full price of this workshop, you’ll also get a free 20 minute consult, expert advice about your career and your work, and join a community of like-minded creatives. Join now for as little as $60! 

—Writers SA members must be logged in to receive the member discount. If you would like to use a workshop credit to book in, please contact [email protected].

—If you are a member of another state based writers centre, SCBWI SA or Editors SA, please contact [email protected] to get a code for the member price.

—Writers SA provides complimentary membership for First Nations writers and for writers experiencing economic hardship. Please contact [email protected] to redeem.

As soon as your registration is processed, you will receive an email with the link to the videos and your personalised password. If you don't receive this email, please ensure your payment was processed and then email [email protected].


About Dr Helen Edwards

Dr Helen Edwards is a children’s author and an award-winning blogger and writer, with a long background in mental health. In 2001, Helen founded an online diabetes counselling service and charity, which she managed for 16 years. She has had type 1 diabetes since 1979 and lives with anxiety and ADHD. Helen has won a number of awards; her proudest being selected as an Australian of the Year SA finalist for her work in diabetes and mental health. She has a PhD in Psychology and uses her personal and professional experiences in her writing, weaving diverse stories of nature, magic, and history. Her debut middle-grade novel, an historical fiction time-slip adventure set at Mount Buffalo in Victoria, will be published in 2023 by Riveted Press.



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On Demand – Writing chronic illness, mental illness and neurodivergence

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Not yet a Writers SA member? Join here for as little as $60!

Writers SA members receive

  • 30% discount on all workshops and services
  • a free 20-minute consultation with our Director upon sign up
  • advice, information and support in your writing activities
  • career pathway support and opportunities
  • access to a community of writers
  • opportunities to meet industry professionals
  • opportunities for publication and promotion

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