By Tay Jing Xuan (20S03C), Li Fangqing (20S03A), and Audra Chua (20S06S)
“So, what’s the difference between Writers’ Guild and Raffles Press?” We hear this all too often.
To be fair, mixing us up with Press is all too easy—RJ has two writing-centric CCAs, a number so small it might as well be one, and to many, the lines between various written genres seem fine and blurred. So let’s put it this way—Raffles Press deals with journalism and the covering of school events, while we, Writers’ Guild, deal with the more literary and creative end of the spectrum.
To us, there are no restrictions to creative writing; as long as it’s PG13, anyone is free to write whatever they wish, whatever their imaginations brew up. We don’t do this writing during CCA sessions, though. Most, if not all of it, is done at home—because there simply isn’t enough time to write and offer critique at the same time within two hours.
What do we write about, exactly? Most of us are both poets and prose writers, and occasionally dabble in playwriting as well. Our seniors have also pushed the boundaries by writing screenplays and songs! Genre-wise, as mentioned earlier, we write about anything under the sun, so there’s no telling what we can come up with.
Our sessions are currently located at the chilly C61, where we huddle together every Monday afternoon from 4.30pm to 6pm regardless of gender, subject combination or writing skills. Our typical CCA sessions range from presentations on creative writing, competition critique to improve the pieces you submit for various national and international competitions, to bonding sessions so we get to know each other better before we (courteously) grill each other’s writing during competition critique.
Towards the end of each year, however, casual writing gets put aside; it’s time to prepare for Guild’s annual anthology. This time, you don’t just write, you write your best. And that’s not all—since the annual anthology is 100% student-driven, Guildlings are also responsible for bargaining with print firms over prices, and the arduous planning and rehearsing for the anthology launch. Perhaps even more if you’re ambitious.
Of course, the annual anthology isn’t Guild’s only form of outreach. This year, we’re collaborating with the Raffles Photographic Society to create a photofiction exhibition for everyone to enjoy and for Guildlings to explore something different. Throughout Guild’s history, our seniors have also organised other activities such as on-demand typewriter poetry, and performed their original spoken word poetry at past events like Dine In the Dark and Literature Night.
Here, we believe that there is no set criteria in judging one’s creative writing, so CCA trials don’t exist in our cozy little bubble. You’re welcome to join us even if you claim to have little to no flair in writing—nobody really starts out with the skills of Shakespeare, and within Guild, everyone is here to learn. As a member of Guild, however, we do expect you to have and express a passion for writing, and be willing to critique and receive constructive criticism for your own works. Once again, everyone is here to learn.
Without further ado, let’s formally introduce ourselves. We’re Writers’ Guild, and we write. If writing piques your interest, Guild might just be the best place for you.