So, do you want to write?
Everybody has a story. But unfortunately, after a huge number of people took over to writing as a profession following India’s satisfying triumph at the Bookers over the years and the success of many debutant novelists, the novel market is filled with mediocrity. What was once a monopoly area of specialisation has now turned in to a oligopsony; the buyers are proportionately lower than the numbers being churned out.
So when Rheea Mukherjee and Bhumika Anand, whose love for the right word at the right time, found the market setting a dangerous example of embarrassment in the future when we become history, the two simpatico convoked.
Deciding to take the route of a workshop, the duo formed a format of training budding writers which had enough scope for sharing and discussing in a corrigible module. Thus was born, Bangalore Writers Workshop (BWW).
The combined skills of Rheea who completed her MFA in Creative Writing from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2011, and Bhumika, who completed her Masters in English and worked as a community manager, teacher, editor, and trainer in several academic institutions and corporate organisations for over 12 years, turned into an organised body with a pursuit to contribute towards the writing community.
Bhumika and Rheea felt that there was an opportunity to disport writers that lurked in the city and find a method to sharpen and increase the appreciation of skilled text. Most importantly, they wanted to form a community of writers that could depend on each other for feedback, encouragement, and keeping the literary scene in Bangalore thriving while doing something that also gave back to the larger community. “If you look at the current bunch of novels that are flooded in the market, you are disappointed. The plots are insipid, the structure has no balance, the grammar is erroneous. Consumerism is ruling these days and there is no evaluation because of the fast-paced lifestyle. With the workshops that we organise, we are trying to encourage people to pause and involve in a certain amount of reflection. At times, we see the urban angst come out in our workshop,” says Rheea.
BWW’s mission is to foster the creative mind with an 8-weeks long (three hours every Saturday) workshop which brings a group of writers together and allows them to study the craft of writing while simultaneously receiving constructive feedback on their own work.
BWW has also introduced online fiction and creative non-fiction workshops, advanced workshops for the graduates of BWW, corporate training services, and editing services.
Even after the writers finish the workshop, they are encouraged to stay in touch, write, share feedback and keep the community thriving and to this means the community has started the BWW Continuation Work Group and the BWW Book Club. A fair amount of their proceeds go to FORHD foundation that works with children of prisoners. “One of their founders, L. Revannasiddaiah and his artist wife, Vinoda gave us the space to conduct the workshops,” says Rheea.
The community now includes technologically savvy software professionals, creative entrepreneurs, ambitious students who want to write a book before they are 25, talented homemakers, retired persons who want to keep themselves busy with a writing project full of their experiences that can aid society. Talking about their future plans, Bhumika says, “We want to be a part of a literary fest, probably even organise it, but it will take time. We will also probably look at being literary agents and even publishing at a later stage. Right now, we get proper resources to the writer which are suited to the genre that they are writing.”A few writers who have graduated from BWW have now seen their work published in newspapers and online literary magazines. The BWW blog also features posts/stories by the writers in the community and includes guest posts on the craft of writing from published writers across the world.
For more details, go to http://www.bangalorewriters.com