Sunday, February 10, 2013

Coming alongside emergent Indian writers

This past week I was on leave from work and helped facilitate a workshop for emerging Indian theological writers. This was a completely new enterprise for me and for the participants.
It was a real privilege to get to know the participants and try to help them move forward in their writing. They had diverse backgrounds, experience, and goals.
One participants writes a weekly column in a secular non-English newspaper with a circulation of several hundred thousand. Another was starting out to write short devotionals. Another has already published two books. For some English is their second or third language.

Each received a copy of the excellent book, "Writing is an art you can learn," by Beulah Wood, and published by SAIACS press. [It costs 125 Rupees, approx. $2.50].
It is at a basic level and has many helpful exercises.
Just like John Grisham, Beulah emphasizes that writing is very hard work, even for the gifted and experienced.

Here is some of the material I used and covered.
First I had the participants complete a questionnaire about their publishing experience and plans.
I then gave them some feedback and got them to write a second iteration. I consider this process to be absolutely central.

Here are slides of some of the material which include some practical exercises.

I showed them how easy it is to set up a blog and discussed some reasons why I blog. I hope many participants will start blogging.

My work blog also has many entries about writing.

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