The new forums are up, the switch being made from the rigidity that was phpBB 2 to the more fluid and interactive SMF forums. For now, I've kept the same color scheme as our old version, although this will change when we've finalized a color scheme and layout for our main website.
Heads up: there's a new writer's workshop being arranged by British Council in Dhaka, for writers between the ages of 25 and 35. Sadly, I don't qualify but I'll be damned if I don't try. There's no harm, is there? As it is, details available here including the attachments and documents required before submitting a writing sample. So if you're interested in attending a workshop, please do take a look.
Because of a slight mix up regarding polling dates on the forums, we've lost about a week of potential voting. However, we're urging our members to vote now and to keep it up till Monday night, when all polls are scheduled to expire. December 11, 12.01 am is when they "officially" expire.
There's also been a shift in policy, where we now require a minimum of 4 votes (those with a single vote to their name will be independently voted on by the mods, because obviously we didn't vote the first time around! I repeat: vote to keep these pieces in the running) to make it into Phase 2 of the selection process. Phase 1 remains the voting stage, and is instrumental to our process, but we introduced Phase 2 because of an apparent lag in quality which the votes, although extremely helpful in their own right, don't always get it right because not everyone's voting. As a result, the five moderators will step in and finalize all pieces. We're also not going to be taking in as many pieces as before, with each column having a limit in terms of how many will go in. For this, we are profoundly sorry, and it'll make selection extremely difficult but someone has to do it.
We're looking at the possibilities of marketing our website in national newspapers, radio, bookstores, etc well before our scheduled reading in March. To this extent, we require excellent pieces and this isn't saying that what we have now aren't excellent. We just mean, with less pieces, we have more time to spend and communicate with writers on those pieces and can, as a result, help in making it the best it can be.
Once the design and more importantly, logo of our website is finalized, we will begin printing out fliers, posters and bookmarks to be distributed in bookstores as a way of getting the audience we want and are looking for. These will be sent out to all major cities where our members reside: Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi with a special care package sent to our international members so they can help spread the word wherever they are. This is marketing on a vast scale, especially considering that it's been practically nonexistent until now. Taking this in context, you might now understand the importance of both a redesign and new look both in terms of design as well as content. To this extent, we hope that both as members and readers of our work, you'll appreciate all changes that will go into effect in the new year.
As always, anything you'd like to add, please voice them in the comments or send me an email on either the address available here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.