Is it just me or doesn't suddenly the literary side of life in India seem to be booming?
I mean, I write this in the backdrop of news that Amish Tripathi, the man behind the Shiva trilogy, just got Rs 5 Cr as advance for his next series – mind you, the man hasn't an inkling of what his next book would be - that’s like my boss paying me my next three years’ salary this month itself based on my previous performance.
.. ok, wait….. bad example… I probably may have to pay him back…
Few more examples
– the Bangalore Literary Festival, the first Lif Fest in namma Bengaluru, was a resounding success.
– the loveless IT engineer today pens his luckless endeavors at love and strikes gold – from ‘I too had a love story’, don’t be surprised if one of us comes with a ‘I too have a book’
– many people who can’t even write decent fb status messages now have a blog, a point of view and in most lethal cases, both ( a la moi).
Also, yes the mushrooming of courses that claim to ‘bring out the writer in you’. Last week there was some short story workshop in the city, which true to its name was also short – 4hours in total – but long on the moolah - at Rs 2000/-.
So in the midst of myriad activities in the booming writing space, this blog attempts to give you an update on two writing related programs that I'd personally vouch for:
The Writer’s Mentor
Meetup.com was one of the coolest sites that colored my earlier weekends – it was a great place to find dates, meet new friends and connect with like groups. And one of the coolest discoveries on the meet up site under the ‘writing’ section was ‘The Write Club.’ In their own words, they’re – “a small bunch of people will get together on weekends and write things together”. Today after seventy-two such sessions, the ‘small bunch’ has successfully grown to six hundred members, and gets about twenty-five people every week.
The Write Club is hosted by two time author, Sharath Komarraju, and now with the success of Write Club, Sharath has started The Writer’s Mentor, a free writer’s mentorship program to help first time writers to get published. (yes, you did read the ‘free’ part right )
So who is Sharath again? OK, this is the part where I hide under a rock or something – Sharath’s been in the industry for 5 years, is twice published, has another 3 books coming out in the next year and his 6th book is currently under evaluation now (phew!).
What it is, this WM? It’s a free mentorship service to help unpublished writers get published. Period.
What’s the methodology? Most of it is imbibed from the Write Club. The Write Club uses a technique of writing on a given topic and feedback is given immediately by the eclectic group of writers, thereby getting feedback from writers of different styles. The focus is on the Craft, on Writing, Publishing, Editing, Ins and Outs of the Industry etc. You can hear more about it from the man himself in my interview with him above.
What’s the cost? The four words that can turn on any Indian – “ Its free baby, free.”
Seriously, what’s the catch? Well, Sharath’s idea is to meet writers individually, look into her writing, understand where she is on the development phase, figure out how much mentorship she requires, provide mentorship and work with her so that she gets published. Yes, good people like him still exist on earth!
Why do I vouch for this? The man‘s published, knows the industry, has got the knowhow, the credibility and the drive. And yes, the network.
I was part of this workshop and they’re focused to the craft of the writing – I’ve seen people cry due to their very rigorous feedback. At my time, they were very focused on the writing of books and not really on blogs- this could have changed now cos I know that they change their syllabi actively in accordance to feedback.
What it is, this BWW? As the name says. Is a once a week course spread over 8 weeks. Ya, they also run a short story workshop.
What’s the methodology? Each batch has about 8 -10 writers and they meet every week. You send your work to everyone in advance so at the meeting, you get feedback from everyone including the facilitators – it’s a very ‘critique and discuss’ sort of methodology that they follow . Once the course is done, the alumni meets up once every month continuing with the ‘critiquing’ and ‘discussing’ of your (new) work. In the process, a community of active writers, or BWW alumni, forms. Once a while, they bring in published authors to whom you can ask questions. Yas, they also run a book club.
What’s the cost? 8.5k for the writers workshop and 6.5k for the short story workshop. The fees increase, so you can blame the government for the inflation.
Why do I vouch for this? Cos they kill themselves to make you learn. Check out my feedback for their course (here).
How do I reach out to BWW? Apply at their website (link here)
Readers can comment below of other writing related courses/programs/websites that they found interesting.
Remember, life is short – either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
In either case, hope this post helps.