There is a growing belief that writing is lonely but writers need not be. In this age of fly-sized attention, how do you ensure you have the rapt attention of people and writers for the herculean task called ‘writing well,’ which never has short cuts? Writing well takes time (at least for some of us) and it needs a concoction of: a mighty shoulder to rest that head bursting with ideas, an understanding grip for those tired fingers, and a group that believes that it’s okay to be crazy to choose the painstaking but rewarding journey called writing.
Write Club Hyderabad is that.
Inspired by Write Club Bangalore, Sravanthi Talluri, a software engineer and an aspiring writer, founded Write Club Hyderabad (WCH). She was a part of the Write Club Bangalore before moving to Hyderabad. And with the experience she gained, she founded WCH.
She says “Write Club Bangalore is our alma mater. Having been a part of it for a long time, I was already prepared with the basic logistics of how the meetup group should function. After a lot of research from friends and people I knew in Hyderabad, I zeroed in on Lamakaan – one of our best hosts even today.”
The club believes in the concept that good writing takes time and as celebrated writer Jhumpa Lahiri says, “..many of these stories I worked on for a very long time and wrote them, set aside, rewrote them, worked on something else — they were never far from reach; they informed each other.”
A typical meeting is scheduled for three hours.
The first hour is driven by the concept ‘Guided Free Writing’ — a two-week old member hosts a session with a theme and planned writing exercises for an hour.
The second hour is synchronous with the first and is lead into free writing.
The third hour is a session of reading and constructive critique.
Why three hours?
Sravanthi says, “members often learn about each other’s writing styles, verbosity, creative understanding and tips to better. Members are encouraged to share experiences & ideas. After the session, we network and socialise.”
Along with the writing sessions, the club actively conducts initiatives collaborating with groups across Hyderabad. They collaborated with Teach for India in Hyderabad – to encourage story telling for children in sub-urban schools; Hyderabadass Comedy Club – Comedy Writing Workshop; and online initiatives on their site, writeclubhyd.com, to facilitate writers across the world. Their most recent one was the Open Mic on Women’s Day which garnered a lot of praise for the thought behind it: pieces written by women only.
Sravanthi adds “We want to encourage and reach out to more and more writers within and beyond Hyderabad. We want to provide writers – budding or accomplished – a group that would give them constructive feedback, a space they can call their own and express themselves and a motivation factor that would help them break the block when it strikes. And to do that we aspire to do more workshops and specialised meetups.”
The group started with 11 writers and today hosts more than 30 members. Their meet up group is registered with 800 members. They focus on regional languages too – they regularly host meetings for Telugu writers and hope to expand to other regional languages soon. Their future plan includes hosting meetings for children. Currently, the group is working on its second anthology, Encounters.
Sravanthi opines, “If you do not have the right space, you cannot write at your best,” and further adds, “For that two organisations have been instrumental for Write Club. Lamakaan – our home since we started off, and Phoenix Arena – the perfect open space that we love to host at. We have been fortunate to have had wonderful partners to collaborate and work with – Nivasini Publishers, The Blue Stencil, InkscapeCo, Hyderabadass Comedy Club, Teach for India Foundation and many more…”
How does one join this prolific bunch of people?
Meet up or Facebook. The entry into the club is free but there will be charges as applicable for their initiatives. Write Club Hyderabad celebrates its 100th meet up on Saturday April 22, 2017. Join in to be a member and for the celebrations to propel those words out of you.
Details about the celebrations, here
Look them up: