Being an avid Fiction reader, I wanted to get back to the fiction writing that I evaded long time back during my A levels (gosh! I feel old). The recently held workshop by Open Letters provided me that perfect opportunity to do so. Organized by ‘Open Letters’, a creative writing based society, the workshop was definitely worth its while when I attended it.
Open Letters is basically ‘ a society run by creative young individuals who feel that arts need to be given more importance in Pakistan. Critical views on art and culture need to be integrated with within the social institutions and take more central role in shaping public discourse.’ While this society was formed just recently, they have taken pretty much the steps in right directions regarding the initiatives by organizing bi-monthly Writers Meetups at The Second Floor. These meetups are aimed at individual writers (amateurs and professionals) coming together at a single platform, willing to share their work at a select audience and get a feedback. Apart from this, one of the firsts, this society also did their first fiction writing workshop, which I attended.
Facilitated by two LUMS students(for now), Amna and Ovais, while the third partner-in-crime, Ahmed Durrani, watched over us from the digital world and handled the admin part of the society (paperwork, registrations etc.). The workshop touched upon in great detail various aspects of fiction writing in each class. From plot to character to language, things were discussed in detail. Thanks to the casual vibe and occasional banter and esp. the ‘YOUR WORK IS NOT CRAPPY’ rule, everyone was pretty much at ease as to how to go about their personal styles and approach the subjects. One is also introduced to different contemporary writers and different writing styles as to how far can one play around with the it, while putting their point across. Also in a fiction writing workshop, what else you do but WRITE. The second half of the two hour workshop was dedicated to that. While the Free writing exercises were done in accordance to what was being discussed during the first half, it also included the uninhibited feedback from the attendees (trust me its not brutal..’go to an art school and u’ll know what brutal is’ ) . Confining random thoughts, planning it out but just leaving out that window for more possibilities and relaxing for once while writing were a few things I needed to get back on. Amna and Ovais did open a few ‘pandora boxes’, pretty much knew their stuff and were happy to help at any given point. The end result was with a much longer piece that we had to write and was critiqued in the last session, showed how much everyone had come along since the first class and what had they taken away from it.
Though I did wish there were more classes (u have to attend one to know what I am talking about), We ‘the first ones’, are promised that there might be possibilities of the next advanced session of classes that might be conducted later this year so *fingers crossed*. HOWEVER, the good news for people in KARACHI is that these workshops are taking place The Second Floor from 15th July 2013 so send in your writing samples in the same email mentioned in the poster below and for people in ISLAMABAD the workshop is being conducted at KUCH KHAAS. Grab a spot while you can! This one is not to be missed by those who are wanting to dabble in fiction writing. Details are mentioned below: