This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Naomi Koh (16A13A), Ryan Ma (16S06A) and Brenda Khoo (16S03L)
Milan Kundera once wrote that happiness is the longing for repetition. Here in Writers’ Guild, one can find plenty of repetition in that sense – and by extension happiness – in the plethora of things one can look forward to during the weekly sessions each late Monday afternoon.
You may ask: what is there to look forward to on – groans – Mondays? Members can look forward to Guild sessions that last from 4.30 to 6 PM every Monday. Each session is handcrafted by members with love, and then led astray into abject entropy due to…well, circumstances. Case in point: one session’s task was to adapt fairy tales into a modern setting. The result: Hansel and Gretel and WiFi, nose hair Rapunzel who lived in the Hwa Chong clock tower, and Goldilocks’ incursion into a heteronormative family of bears. (Disclaimer: Any resemblance to actual people, events or buildings is purely coincidental). And don’t mention the time our CCA’s name was almost changed by popular vote to Writer’s Guilt/Quilt/Killed.
Still, before you worry about whether Guild members maintain any semblance of normality, let us assure you that we do have our more serious moments. We are, after all, writers, who draw from the inkwell of words. So yes, we write. During each session, our members pick a theme that they identify with, and spend some time drafting their ideas. Sometimes, we write based on prompts, chosen on the spur of the moment or based on Guild members’ solicitous suggestions. After musing about the subject matter, guild members then put thoughts onto paper. Following that, we begin literary discussions in small groups facilitated by our easy-going EXCO. We then volunteer tributes – apologies, willing and enthusiastic writers – to share their works among fellow guild writers. We try to achieve a balance of humour and seriousness during each session, thereby honing our literary prowess while also having a good laugh over some of our more hilarious works.
Of course, we don’t just write poetry, plays or prose every week. Some weeks, members share about art forms, which they are particularly passionate about. We do mini-lectures too, depending on interest. For instance: members interested in detective fiction can do a sharing about the evolution of the genre, while members interested in Spoken Word poetry can hijack a session to fangirl – we mean, hold serious discussions – about spoken word poetry and spoken word poets. Anything writing-related is fair game.
That said, if you’re worried that your brilliant works would be stifled within the four walls of C63, fret not. Writer’s Guild is not a reclusive society to which our writers alone are privy, for every year we embark on two projects to showcase our craft to a wider audience. Firstly, one of Guild’s flagship products is the annual anthology, a collection of our members’ works and a vibrant display of our writing talents. Each member also gets the opportunity to be part of the editing, design, and publicity process. The theme of next year’s anthology is “Enter/Exit”, so be sure to anticipate the next issue of Guild’s very own publication!
Secondly, Writer’s Guild undertakes the Typewriter Poetry project during the annual LitWeek. In this project, our members go vintage by manning a typewriter station in school, where they type out poems based on prompts given by other fascinated Rafflesians. And yes, we do help out with love poems for youthful, pining souls. In fact, our typewriter poetry has become so popular that our members got to enjoy a post-LitWeek rushing session to complete all the poems ordered by our schoolmates.
What do we look for in our members? Well, sanity is not a prerequisite. Neither is insanity. We do not discriminate against members based on writing ability. Guild’s credo is that everyone can write, and should be afforded the chance to do so. We are not looking for accomplished writers, but passionate ones who want to take their writing to greater heights. To all who seek happiness in the flow of the quill: welcome, and we hope you will find it here in Writer’s Guild!