I write this during a stormy afternoon, in the wake of a typhoon that hits the PH a day before the enhanced community quarantine is lifted in most areas. When the country was put on ECQ, we were locked up in our homes, with nothing to do but wait for news that was equally depressing.
Eventually, we felt that waiting was not enough. As creatives, we had to get our hands busy with something – anything – lest we go mad. Because almost everybody had time to kill, we thought, why not discuss “writerly” topics with fellow authors?
The idea came from a project I did in 2018 – the Cheat Lit Series – in which I met with a small group of students in a café each week to discuss literature and literary criticism, in an informal and friendly manner. Wanting to take this initiative to a wider and more varied group, I pitched the idea to Cindy Wong and Kate Velez of 8Letters Publishing. Thus, Writers’ Discourse was born.
This is how we spend our Sundays: We meet via Skype, Messenger, or Zoom for two to three hours, discuss a topic, work on a writing challenge, and critique our outputs. The exercises are intensive. Except for samples from our manuscripts, which require a longer working period, all of our works have to be completed in a week.
Six weeks after our first session, we’re still here. We never thought we would make it this far. We never thought the participants would stay that long despite the grueling activities.
While we are all authors, we come from diverse backgrounds, and understandably, our experiences in writing are not always similar. We are a motley crew: an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a work-from-home mom.
There is a journalist on board, as well as a young fictionist and a crafty creator (wink, wink!). And who would have thought that these interesting personalities would also join us: a late bloomer, a conscious daydreamer, and a hawk-eyed geek.
Then there’s me, the Francophile facilitator.
Despite our differences, no one is superior to the other. No writer is better just because he has been published by a university press. All of us recognize our strengths and our accomplishments.
We try to make Writers’ Discourse as inclusive as possible. Everybody is welcome: writers who are looking for a support group, people who dream of publishing their first book, and creatives who are eager to sharpen the saw.
We want to become a safe and dependable community, however small, for aspiring writers who are clueless where to begin. We also hope that with our exercises and projects, writers will be inspired to retrieve their abandoned manuscripts and see where this new adventure will take them.
Our doors are open to anyone committed to writing and building this community. Writer’s Discourse is here to be of service, and ultimately, to create a place where writing is both fun and meaningful.
J’espère que vous profitez bien de votre séjour ici!
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