In edition to our quarterly publication of Open Minds Quarterly, the Open Minds’ office has been busy bringing to you other valuable publications. The most recent of our publications is our anthology In New Light which contains selections from the back issues of Open Minds Quarterly related to the themes of identity, struggle, and mental illness. In 2011 we published a healthy eating cookbook and a journey to finding mental wellness called Food is Mood and in 2010 we published a guidebook & workbook for telling your life stories entitled Mental Pencil. Our final publication to date is a chapbook intending to assist beginning poets with making their way to publication, entitled An Adventure in Chapbook Publishing.

In New Light, the first anthology from Open Minds Quarterly

Book cover - Mental PencilCookbook cover - Food is MoodBook cover - An Adventure in Chapbook Publishing

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In New Light: The many paths of identity, struggle and mental illness 

Open Minds Quarterly is now in its fifteenth year of publication, and to celebrate this milestone event we are excited to have launched our first anthology. In New Light features selections from the magazine from 1998 to 2011 and examines how a person can hold on to their identity in the struggle for wellness. The anthology, like Open Minds Quarterly, features essays, stories and poetry from writers who have experienced mental illness. Contributors hail from across North America, as rural as Labrador, Newfoundland and the Canadian prairies, and as far away as Japan, Thailand and the UK.

Two years ago, the book’s editors, Miriam Harrison, Ken Lillie and Dinah Laprairie, were presented with twelve years of material and a big challenge. Dinah Laprairie, the current editor of Open Minds Quarterly comments:

We had such a wealth of material to consider in planning this collection, but we knew we needed to deal with the big questions that arise when you encounter mental illness. People who have experienced depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other illnesses have had to redefine their sense of self over and over. For many, this is done from a marginalized position in society, in poor health and in poverty. People are struggling with their identity while they are struggling to meet their daily needs like food and adequate housing.

We are thrilled with the success of the anthology so far and the impact that it has had on readers. One of our readers shared with us:

This book will be kept, reread and treasured. It means a lot. Much of it I identified with, admired, laughed, cried, applauded. These are my people…thank you so much.

Only $22.95!

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Mental Pencil: Sharpen up your story

Have you ever secretly dreamed about writing your memoirs? Have you been stuck on where to start? Don’t wait. It’s time to put pencil to page.

Designed for beginning writers, this guidebook will lead you through the basics of writing your story. Follow the lessons and exercises inside and you’ll have your first story in hand in no time –  and your readers won’t be able to put it down.  Mental Pencil is written by Ken Lillie, who is a published writer who works mainly in horror fiction and comics. He also sat in for a time as the Stories & Essays Editor for Open Minds Quarterly, reviewing the stories and memoirs of individuals living with mental illness.

Mental Pencil retails for only $9.95!

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Food is Mood: Eating Well for Mental Health

Food is Mood: Eating Well for Mental Health is not only a cookbook, it is a story – a story about the trials and tribulations of eating well for mental health. Put together by a grassroots organization run by and for people living with mental illness, this cookbook will bring you along on the journey of members working together to bring about healthy eating with the mind “in mind.”

With mouth-watering recipes, stories, photos and original artwork, this community-inspired cookbook will tempt your taste buds and make you think about the important links between the mind and the body.

Recipes found inside include:

  • Pumpkin Spice Spelt Waffles
  • Broccoli & Mushroom Quiche
  • Baked Cinnamon French Toast
  • Hearty Chicken Soup
  • Wild Rice Berry Salad
  • Chickpea Curry
  • Rhubarb-Raspberry Yogurt Parfait
  • and more!


Recipes, stories, tips and photos. Great as a gift, perfect for anyone working towards better health.

Food is Mood is only $9.95!

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An Adventure in Chapbook Publishing: Make a Name for Yourself in Poetry

The author of this chapbook, Anthony Chalk, is a poet who has found financial success – $15,000 from sales and royalties over ten year – and personal satisfaction – one of his poems was published next to Al Purdy’s. Ten years ago, Anthony couldn’t find a comprehensive resource for beginning poets in Canada. This guidebook, he hopes, will help others starting out, no matter what country they live in.

Very few poets make a living from writing poetry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. This guidebook will help beginning poets work their way into the poetry scene. Inside, you will find encouraging arguments about why your poetry is important, information on the nuts and bolts of chapbook publishing, tips on developing your reputation as a writer, and how to submit your writing to literary magazines and journals.

You should ask yourself a few questions before putting anything into print. Why do you want to publish a chapbook? Do you have enough material? How will you present it? Who is your audience?…

Focus your energy on the actions that count as you begin to make a name for yourself as a poet.

This chapbook is only $9.95!

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