ISLAMABAD: Desi Writers Lounge re-launched their website and forum with a new outlook at Kuch Khaas on Sunday. The lounge is a community of South Asian writers who have come together to form a writing, editing and training platform for emerging writers. It is a nonprofit online writing community with around 350 members.
A literary reading was held by Desi Writers Lounge, featuring work on its way to be published in their biannual e-zine (online magazine), Papercuts. The community uses their publication as ‘another avenue’ to present their most accomplished works. The objective of holding this open-mic reading was to promote their upcoming issue of Papercuts.
After being significantly revamped, the upcoming issue opens up new doors for contributing writers to submit their work and bring together a substantial community of creative people from all walks of life.
Nadine Murtaza, who used to own the now closed Paper Microphone café, Osman Khalid Butt of Living Productions and writing and editing members of the community were also present at the ‘read out’. The members of the editorial board not present in Islamabad at the time were able to share their thoughts via video clips. The organisers made an evening of it with featured readings from poets, Hussain Kazmi, Asmara Malik and writer Madeeha Ansari.
The readings were interesting and well thought out. The more seasoned writers presented some finely edited pieces. However, there were also some impromptu readings which were not as impressive as the other recitals.
Afia Aslam, editor of the publication said, “We are doing this simply to promote the voices of new South Asian writers.”
She further stressed on the significance of the entire venture being run for free.
Furthermore, the organisers introduced their entire team via video clips as most of the team is spread out around Pakistan and the United States. With an economist, social worker and an entertainer on board, the forum provides a wide pool of different perspectives to analyse and critique any specific sort of work.
Even though the founding members are not seasoned writers they still make a significant effort in mentoring emerging writers.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2011.