BENGALURU: Everyone has a book in them but not all can put the first sentence down or sell the first book to a publisher. Therefore, there is The Write Club Bangalore, started in August 2011 to encourage aspiring authors. A well-known city-based author Sharath Komarraju has been organising its meetings since October 2011.
“The group has 2,000 members online and about 35 people come for the meet-ups every Saturday. Over the years, the club has become quite tight-knit with a strong core group and a lot of floaters who attend off and on. It offers all members a social, informal atmosphere in which to meet like- minded people,” says Sharath who has himself penned 10 books till now.
Sharath also mentors members who wish to publish by guiding them through the process. “The most common doubt first-time members of Write Club have is how to publish books. About four of our members have either published a book or are in the process of doing so. Some of them have received traditional book deals with a publisher, while others have gone with the self-publishing option,” he says.
The questions and apprehensions writers have are mostly common, so Sharath has a handy starter kit. It gives them a lowdown on how the writing and publishing industry works. “Many of Write Club’s members want to know this information, so by handing it out to all new members, I preempt a lot of questions that come my way,” he says.
While every member loves words, each one shows up for the meet-up for varied reasons. “We have all kinds of writers,” says the software engineer-turned-writer. “Those who treat it as a light hobby and want to write something fun every weekend, those who enjoy the social aspects of the club and attend to catch up with friends while also writing something, those who want to write and publish novels etc,” he adds.
Every meetup is geared towards practice and feedback. “We have a different host for each week, who brings writing exercises or introduces a technique which we practice. Each member then reads out their work and we give them feedback on it,” he explains.
We all know Biswa Kalyan Rath as a popular stand-up comic who comes up with hilarious movie reviews through Pretentious Movie Reviews on YouTube, but Sharath informs us that he was once a Write Club member. “He was part of our core group for a couple of years before branching out into stand-up comedy.”
Recalling his initial stint with getting his first book published he says, “My trials were the same as those faced by any other writer. At the beginning, your work is not good enough to catch the attention of editors at publishing houses. My solution to that - and this is what I tell everyone else at Write Club too - is to keep writing and learning until your stuff cannot be ignored.”
The group meets up for a three-hour session every Saturday on MG Road.
We have all kinds of writers... Those who treat it as a light hobby and want to write something fun every weekend, those who enjoy the social aspects of the club and attend to catch up with friends, those who want to write and publish novels etc — Sharath Komarraju, author and organiser