“Write back!” - an online workshop for young writers by the Gratiaen Trust | Sunday Observer

“Write back!” - an online workshop for young writers by the Gratiaen Trust

26 September, 2021

The Gratiaen Trust, in association with John Keells Foundation, commemorates World Children’s Day with “Write Back!” – a workshop curated for young writers. The Trust invites budding young writers of 14 – 17 years of age to participate in this two-day, online workshop on the nuances of writing short stories in English, which will be held from October 19 -20.

Three Gratiaen Prize winning authors - Lal Medawattegedara, Prashani Rambukwella and Delon Weerasinghe - will be the mentors.

The Gratiaen Trust places huge value in engaging with and nurturing the readers of literature and the creative writers of tomorrow. “Write Back!” is the Trust’s second initiative targeting children and young writers.

In October 2020, the Trust organised “Story Time” at the Sarasavi Bookshop for younger children. This time, its event is designed for an older group of young writers who will be given the opportunity to unleash their creativity through short story writing in English and receive useful insights on how to make their stories come to life and connect with the reader.

The Gratiaen Trust is grateful to John Keells Foundation, the CSR entity of the John Keells Group, for its support in making this workshop a reality as part of its primary sponsorship of the Gratiaen Trust since October 1, 2019.

Established in 1992, the Gratiaen Trust has worked closely with authors, academics, readers, publishers and other professionals in Sri Lanka’s literary world to promote better works of creative writing in English and translations from Sinhala and Tamil literature into English.

“Write Back!” is one of a series of workshops it has organised towards these objectives.

The mentors

Lal Medawattegedara is the author of The Window Cleaner’s Soul (short-listed for the Gratiaen Prize in 2002), and Can you hear me running; and two novels, Playing Pillow Politics at MGK (Winner, Gratiaen Prize 2012) and Restless Rust (short-listed for the Prize 2021).

His work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio and Khaleej Times.

Prashani Rambukwella has written two novels, Mythil’s Secret, her debut novel which won the Gratiaen Prize in 2009, and its thrilling sequel Asiri’s Quest on the adventures of young protagonist who journeys back to World War II Ceylon.

Delon Weerasinghe has written professionally for the stage, print, screen, web and radio.

Best known as a playwright, his play Thicker than Blood won the Gratiaen prize in 2005. Since then, he has gone on to write plays for The Royal Court Theatre in London and BBC World Service radio. In recent years, he has conducted many workshops on creative writing.

How to participate

Applications to participate in “Write Back!” should be emailed to [email protected] by October 1, 2021. Participants should have a good command of English, digital literacy and have access to uninterrupted internet connectivity.

All applicants must be Sri Lankan citizens resident in Sri Lanka. For more details on how to apply visit www.gratiaen.com. Places at the workshop are limited and participants will be selected by the Trust based on a writing sample.