Over 150 amateur writers at Fairway English Creative Writing Workshop | Sunday Observer

Over 150 amateur writers at Fairway English Creative Writing Workshop

Fairway Holdings, hosted the second annual Fairway English Creative Writing Workshop on November 3 and 4, 2017. Over 150 amateur writers took part in the 2-day workshop at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo 7.

“Our sincere hope is that all of you will be encouraged and inspired by this workshop to excel in whatever type of creative writing you are interested in,” said, Kavinda Dias-Abeyesinghe, Deputy Chairman, Fairway Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, in his welcome address. The first session of the day – Understanding Creative Writing – was by Gratiaen Prize winning novelist, Madhubhashini Dissanayake-Ratnayake, the author of ‘There’s Something I Have To Tell You.’ She discussed the power of all creative writers and the importance of stepping outside one’s comfort zone. Renowned author, editor and publisher, Ameena Hussein stepped on stage next and presided over an insightful session on writing short stories. Discussing the art of composing short stories, she dwelt upon four essential points – Setting, Timeline, Characters and Dialogue.

The author of ‘Fifteen’ and ‘Zillij’ introduced the budding writers to the 8 Point Story Arch – Stasis, Trigger, Quest, Surprise, Critical Choice, Climax, Reversal and Resolution.

Following the lunch break, the third session - Getting Published, was conducted by famed journalist, editor, bookseller and publisher, Vijitha Yapa.

The session dealt with the intricacies and finer points of publishing and what publishers look for in amateurs. Yapa spoke of the importance of capturing the people’s interest in local topics and themes, saying, Sri Lanka had so many beautiful stories to tell, but no one to pen them. The fourth and final session of the day – Writing Novels - was by Charulatha Abeysekara, 2016’s Gratiaen Prize winner. Abeysekerara, who won the Gratiaen Prize for her novel, ‘Stories’, shared the tale of her journey with the gathering. She explained the dos and don’ts in the process of becoming a recognized author.

The second day’s agenda began with a session on playwriting and screenwriting by actor, playwright and theatre director, ArunWelandawe-Prematilleke. He discussed crucial elements of playwriting and screenwriting, including the difference between writing for a live audience and a reader, the internationally established format and structure of screenwriting and the art of writing for both, the theatre and the screen.

Jill Macdonald, the founding Principal of The Study, Colombo’s first Sixth Form College, and a judge of the Gratiaen Prize, conducted the second session of the day – Editing for Publication. Macdonald pointed out the differences between editing and proofreading and stressed the importance of maintaining a close relationship between the writer and the editor to ensure that the two parties would be able to better understand each other.

The final session of the workshop was based on the topic – Writing Poetry. Internationally well-known poet, Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe pointed out to the audience that it was important to understand poetry and its finer points, to construct a poem. She encouraged the aspiring poets in the audience to think afresh and ensure that every one of their poems is original and unforgettable. 

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