We, Kashia Dias and Ramudhi de Silva (the Co-Presidents of ELA), were fascinated with reading, writing and literature for as long as we could remember. Yet, the more exposure we received to the literary world, the more we realized that reading and writing wasn’t merely a fun way of passing our free time; it was also blossoming valuable traits in us that continue to make us who we are!
Although many people don’t realize it, literacy is a power that can change nations and shift barriers. However, even though we have this ability, not everyone nurtures and strengthens it. This is why we created the Association: we wanted to equip other students with the tools to unlock and enhance their literary prowess.
What effect could you create by replacing one word with another? What combinations create which meanings? How can we better understand the words we’ve made a habit to use? The intricacies of the language we use so often, yet think so little about is truly fascinating and we are dedicated to exploring that. We are committed to engaging with language in all its facets-not just writing long paragraphs, but experimenting with different forms (for example, poems and articles) and styles.
Regular meetings will take place every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6pm, through the Zoom platform (due to Covid-19). They will consist of:
–Discussion sessions where members will read a piece of literary work and analyse how language was used to make it a successful and powerful piece of writing, thus strengthening valuable analytical and logical thinking skills.
–Writing sprints where members are given writing prompt(s), or a similar alternative, and have a pre-determined time period to free write using a shared timer. This not only strengthens writing skills, but also allows members to be creative and let their imagination run wild!
–Critique where members may submit their work (in the writing sprint) to be critiqued by the rest of the members, only if they wish to. This allows members to understand what elements of their work were impressive and what they have to improve on. Moreover, this session allows members to practice their skills at critically reviewing literary work and effectively communicating it to others.
Our first meeting was held on the 21st of September, which was an immense success. The session, which was themed around ‘adventure fiction’, allowed us to discuss the aspects of adventure stories, while our writing sprint and critique sessions encouraged our members to write their own stories. It was thrilling to read everything they came up with, and some of them are featured on our club Instagram page (@englitassociationsis) so you can enjoy them too!
We are eager to provide opportunities and encouragement for our members to exhibit their skills. To do so, we’ve got a list of interesting and fun projects that we’re gradually rolling out.
Our first project was a poetry workshop held on the 5th of October, in preparation for the Annual Journal the club plans to launch later in the year. The workshop was conducted by Mr. Sandesh Bartlett, a Sri Lankan writer whose lifelong love for language and verse led him to publish his debut collection of poetry. The workshop was incredibly informative, educating members on different types of rhyming and subjects in poetry as well as discussing the importance of writing Lankan-influenced poetry as Sri Lankan students. This workshop was also packed with interactive activities that let members practice specific skills and submit their work to be critiqued.
Our eyes are on the skies: looming on the horizon are exciting meetings, writing competitions, group projects, workshops and our very own literary journal featuring our members’ work. Stay tuned and hang on for the ride!