By Harshini Rayasam (18S06B), Chairperson
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– Blank Verse, by Ernest Hemingway
One of the first things you learn about Writers’ Guild is that there is truly nothing standing between your restless imagination and the written page. Here, there are no word limits or rubrics to measure yourself against, which is a welcome relief to those who are embittered by secondary school creative writing assignments!
If you’re passionate about writing, you’ll never be bored; Writers’ Guild offers you the space to explore new styles of writing, and the structure to embrace critique and learn from others. Our members have explored genres as far-ranging as satirical poetry and historical fiction.
and of us dancing the same dance together, no feet too guilty for ballet folk or morris dancing, whose universal as a text’s demands i love.
– A 140-character asingbol written by a Guild member for a workshop on the poetry form.
Our CCA welcomes people of all skill levels and prior experience with creative writing. The only prerequisite is a strong commitment to writing regularly as a hobby. CCA sessions sometimes consist of short warm-up writing exercises, but the bulk of your creative writing as a Guild member would occur outside of sessions. At Guild, we believe that the best work is written with the time to develop your craft and work on prior feedback. Therefore, members are usually asked to submit a new piece (or additions to a former piece) every 2–3 weeks. This way, everyone will be able to improve.
So what do we do during CCA sessions, if not write? After a writing deadline, sessions focus on sharing critique on written works in small groups. Otherwise, they may consist of member-run presentations and activities on a topic of their interest (so far, we’ve had topics as divergent as prose poetry, characterisation and asingbols), or planning for a major activity run by the CCA, such as typewriter poetry and our anthology launch.
Throughout the year, there are also many opportunities to develop our writing beyond CCA sessions. Members are given the opportunity to participate in writing competitions throughout the year, as well as showcase their work at various events. This year, members wrote and performed spoken word poetry at Dine in the Dark and Literature Night.
Not only that, this year, we invited prominent writers like Cyril Wong and Lucas Ho to talk to us about their experiences in the Singaporean arts scene.
Though writing may itself be a solitary endeavour, crazy banter and heartfelt relationships are at the core of our CCA, as it runs on the belief that our writing is just that much better when we share it with people – receiving ideas and feedback in return. Not only are members split off into groups during sessions for critique, there are many opportunities to work together outside of that! For example, everybody is actively involved in committees to run our major events. For the past two years, we have also volunteered together as a CCA at Singapore Writers’ Festival.
Writing is hard! This is not a fact that escapes Guild members, especially when we are challenged to keep up our craft in the midst of the relentless loop of lectures and tutorials. However, seeing our creative writing grow with regular practice and feedback has been an incredibly fulfilling experience for many of us. As a relatively small CCA with diverse and interesting people, Guild provides a valuable counterpoint to hectic JC life.
“In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic.”
– God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
If you are an explorer of mystic caves or a slayer of dragons, if there a story within you and you want to learn how to make it great, this CCA may be for you.
There is nothing standing between you and the page.
Take the leap.