EWC’s half day workshop on Short Story

Saturday 6 May, 9.30 a m to 1.00 p m at the ICES

23 participants including 9 EWC members, a Bangladeshi Buddhist monk and a Buddhist nun from Myanmar. (These last two were kindly allowed in free). Two EWC observers.

Premini’s daughter Ishika and her niece Padmika helped with collection of fees; Lilamani saw to arrangements.

Premini presided and welcomed participants; introduced the resource person; and thanked the resource person and participants at the end of the workshop.

Refreshments were served with a packet of fruit juice; food supplied by Premini and Nanda, fruit drink by Lilamani

Resource person: Madhubashini Ratnayake She was very competent and kept the workshop going extremely smoothly and interestingly..

NOTES about proceedings

· Resource person welcomed participants and explained very briefly the aim and plan of the workshop

· Self introduction by participants

· Writing needs criticism. Editing is important, first self editing

· “Art is the craft in you”; “Show, don’t tell”

· We need characters, plot, theme, setting, point of view

· Normally a short story has a cause and effect; heart of a short story is a conflict

· In a short story one usually gets the following usually sequentially, not all in all stories

– Exposition or explanation; writing of conflict; climax; climbing down; resolution

– Entry to the short story or start of short story can be at any point given above.

· The writer must know his character/s.

· Two methods of narration: writer is led by character in the creation of the story OR

writer dictates sequence of events and character/s follow these

· In a good short story character would have undergone some change by the end of story

· The antagonist must have power since that drives the chief character/ protagonist

· Too much time must not be spent on resolution

Most of the above points were elucidated with examples, many examples being selected from stories in Channels 2016. Raymond Carver – Gazebo and Sandra Cisneros’s Rice Sandwich and Hairs were read and critically analysed.

Evaluation: Rapporteur Nanda gives her judgement as no written evaluation was done by participants.

· It was a mixed group of participants with known writers like Vijita, journalist KKS Perera, critic Wilfred Jayasuriya, Gratiaen winner Sakuntala, being among aspiring writers and non writers of fiction. However, they mixed well.

· The atmosphere in the auditorium was very pleasant and everyone felt relaxed and easy.

· Full participation was seen, with everyone speaking when they had to; some asking questions while the resource person was elucidating matters, which was very good.

· Needless to say, the resource person was very competent and able to draw out responses from the participants. Her manner too is spot on since even novices like the monk and nun felt comfortable with her.

Posted in Creative Writing Seminar, English Writers Cooperative Sri Lanka, seminar, Short Story, Sri Lankan Writers, writing workshop | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Writing Seminar makes the news

The Sunday Times reported on the Creative Writing Seminar held on the 24th of September. Go here for the link, or read it below.

EWC holds lively literary event

A distinguished panel of literary heavyweights from this year’s Gratiaen Prize winner Thiyagaraja Arasanayagam to past Gratiaen winner Madhubhashini  Ratnayake, Professor Neloufer de Mel and author Sunila Galappatti were at the Creative Writing Seminar 2016 organised by The English Writers Cooperative of Sri Lanka on September 24 at the auditorium of the Sri Lanka Federation of University Women.

From the word ‘go’, there was interaction between the speakers and the participants. Professor Neloufer de Mel and Mr. Arasanayagam conducted the first two sessions while the panel discussion on “The Nuts & Bolts of Creative Writing” was handled by Madhubhashini Ratnayake, Nanda P. Wanasundera and Sunila Galappatti, admirably moderated by Dinali Fernando,  Head of the Department of English, University of Kelaniya.

The EWC’s next event – an evening of prose and poetry will be held in November.


Captions to the Pix: Immediate above – a section of the audience, and  further above Thiyagaraja Arasanayagam speaking at the event.

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The Results are in!

The winners of the short story and poetry competitions held earlier this year, along with the title of their entry, are as follows.
Winners of Short Story Competition 2016
1st Prize – Decisions – Nelani Goonawardena
2nd Prize – Ravana Ella – Lara Wijesuriya
3rd Prize – The Kiss – Rohini Gamage
Winners of the Poetry Competition 2016
1st Prize – Saffron Robes – Himangi Jayasundera
2nd Prize – My Mother – the Child – Nelani Goonawardena
3rd Prize – Across the Great Divide – Keerthi Wijekulasuriya
The winning entries will be included in Channels which will be launched following the half day seminar on the 24th of September 2016.
Venue: Sri Lanka Federation of University Women auditorium,
96/25, Kitulwatte Road,
Colombo 8
Time 1 pm – 1.30pm
Cost of Channels 2016 Rs 250/=
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EWC Seminar 2016

The EWC annual seminar will be held on September 24, 2016. It will be a half day’s programme. Please see below for more details on how to register and the programme.

The latest issue of Channels will be launched at the end of the Programme. Prizewinners of the writing competition will also be presented with their awards.

VENUE: Sri Lanka Federation of University Women (SLFUW)
96/25,Kitulwatte rd, Colombo 8
TIME: 9 – 1 p.m.
TWO MAIN SPEAKERS – Dr Neloufer de Mel, T Arasanayagam – Gratiaen winner 2016
Please register with mtlebell@gmail.com
Or nanpw@sltnet.lk
Payment must be made between 8.30 and 9 on the day.



8.30 a m – Registration

9.00 – 10.15 Prof Neloufer de Mel

10.15 – 11.15 Interview with Gratiaen prize winner

11.15 – 11.40 Break with refreshments

11.40 – 1.00 Panel discussion

1.00 – 1.30 Launch of Channels.



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