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.

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This entry was posted in Creative Writing Seminar, English Writers Cooperative Sri Lanka, seminar, Short Story, Sri Lankan Writers, writing workshop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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