"A writer and nothing else: a man alone in a room with the English language, trying to get human feelings right. " ~John K. Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1961

Sunday, December 20, 2009

PAPERCUTS Print Publication?

With both the Lahore ice breaker and Islamabad Book Club meet behind us, we turn our attention towards new possibilities.

We're thinking of bringing PAPERCUTS (our online literary journal) to print, which would be mapping the same content along with print only additions. Selections will still be web-based with the work of our members undergoing the same rigorous workshopping and editing sessions, pre-publication. The circulation will just be a lot wider.

There are a lot of details to work out, but this is something that's both been long in the making and comes at the right time for us.

So...yay or nay?



Friday, December 18, 2009

DWL, Lahore Comes Alive!

It started with the LUMS Creative Writing Workshop and on Saturday, December 19 we're convening at Cafe Life to formally kick off the currently dormant chapter, into a hub of life. Future events like book clubs, readings, game nights along with other one-off events in collaboration with LUMS and other universities, are on the cards.

It all starts with the meet and greet, ice breaker on Saturday. Details, below.

The What: Lahore Icebreaker
The Where: Cafe Life (Gaddafi Stadium, opp Pakistan Cricket Academy and next to Tobacco Masters)
The When: Saturday, December 19 5PM-9PM
The Extras: Not a member, but interested to see who is? Drop by. A member, but you've been dormant for so long, you can't remember your last post? Come along anyway. Have a friend who you think will be interested? Bring em!

If for nothing else than meeting with likeminded people, who'll give you something to talk about and then some. Don't be shy...show us some Lahori spirit. Don't give us a reason to be disappointed with this city. Besides, if you'd like an in to future events, come along.

We realize that this is exam time for a lot of our student membership, but if you can pause for an hour or two, take a bookmark or flier, along with the possibilities of the future, we'll be happy to have you.

Just please...don't let the opportunity pass you by!



PS, It it counts for anything...Maryam Piracha, DWL Administrator and Papercuts Editor-in-Chief will be in attendance, so if you've got a bone to pick with MP, now's your chance to corner her!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Club (Isloo) Convenes For The Exorcist

Click here to be redirected to the Facebook event created for this purpose. But just to let you know the overall details, we will be picking out the next selection for January so if you'd like to be involved in that decision, come along. Remember to bring your book pick selections along, either as a list or in hard copy form.

And now, to the details.

The What: Book Club Meeting, Islamabad Chapter
The When: Saturday, December 19 @ 6.30 pm (sharp!)
The Where: Paper Microphone Cafe
The Extras: Click here for the FB event or here for any questions.

Hope to see you guys there!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

LUMS Workshop Deemed Success!

For more information on how it went, check out Maryam's post here. Attendees, if you're reading this...let us know what you thought, either here or by emailing it in. We're always on the lookout for ways to improve, so bring.it.on.



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

LUMS Poster Unveiled

Check out the poster (inset), signifying that one of our own will be speaking at the university's first such event. As desi writers, we are excited! Are you?

We've been told that there will be a fairly solid turn out of desi writers there and as TPTB (the powers that be), we're excited to finally put faces to those (creative) voices.

See you all there! Meanwhile, enjoy...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Creative Workshop at LUMS

For anyone who isn't on our FB group, a forum member or who isn't a fan of our page, this is for you.

LUMS is holding a creative writing workshop on Friday, December 11 at 5.30 pm sharp. There will be four speakers at the event, including our very own administrator and PAPERCUTS Editor-in-Chief, Maryam Piracha speaking about various aspects of the craft. Details below:

The What: Creative Writing Workshop
The Where: Main Academic Block, LUMS
The When: December 11 @ 5.30 pm sharp. Rs 100 entrance fee
The Deadline: Registrations end at December 9. RSVP to Hamza Farooq (hamza50@gmail.com)
The Speakers: Tamkeen Nadeem, CEO of Scribble Magazine will giving a talk on Creative Writing 101.
Miranda Hussein, a journalist will be speaking on creative writing with a focus on journalism.
Maryam will be speaking on the importance of workshops and critique, and help participants flex their brain cells.
Fariha Rasheed, CEO of Ink Magazine is another guest speaker.

We think this is a great, great opportunity for our Lahore and possibly Islamabad membership to take part in a first of its kind workshop, and are looking for a positive response.

If you have any questions, please email Hamza who is the event coordinator for the event.

Hope to see some of you there!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book Club New Date Announced!

December 5th 19th, 2009
Desi Writers Lounge Book Club, Islamabad
In Session @ the Paper Microphone Cafe

6.00 pm.

Don't be late!

And bring your suggestions with you. See you there!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Something Wicked Isn't Coming This Way Yet

Although our administrator and event coordinator (yours truly) was a preplanned no-show for the book club, most of the other confirmed attending membership backed out at the last minute. As a result, we've had to cancel the meet and will be rescheduling it for some time in the future.

If you're interested in attending and haven't read the book, now's your time to catch up. We'll let you know when it's going to be, at least a week in advance.

So see you on the other side!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Flaunt It, If You've Got It

The members only writing competition has gone live. Details available here. The caveat? You need to be a registered member, but the incentives for scoring a Desi Award are many.

For starters, we're going to bring out a special issue of PAPERCUTS specifically for the best five entries submitted; entries will be judged on creativity and general well togetherness of the piece. Participants have six different titles to choose from and one limitation: they have to include the title in their piece, every word of it. How they do it, is entirely up to them.

Along with the above, we're gearing up to compile and publish our first anthology; winners of the competition (Desi Awards will go to the Best Poet and Best Writer) will be guaranteed a spot in the anthology.

Thirdly, winners will get a certificate, a proper certificate of participation along with their names and the award won. They'll be encouraged to frame it for display in their homes. :)

And finally, as a forum member participants will get a forum medal in their honor that they'll carry with them forever. Something along the lines of 'Best Poet, Desi Awards 2009'.

The deadline is December 31.

If you're suitably interested in the above, why not register if you haven't already and give it your best shot? Fresh registrants should have at least 10 posts to their name, and should be fairly active on the community in the run up to the deadline. We don't want members simply registering for the competition and then forgetting all about us later. Members who truly appreciate the written word, are who we're looking for, and who the competition truly stands to represent.

One of the many advantages will be direct publication, without having to go through our very brutal workshops. Needless to say, the piece has to be very well put together to qualify.

We are insanely picky that way.

Good luck!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Unveiling Our First Cover & Other Things

We are going through with the book club and The Exorcist as our pick of the month, on November 21 at the Paper Microphone Cafe at 5.30 pm sharp. We will also be picking the next selection, so if you know interested people in the city, or will be attending yourself, bring along some easily available books with you, as suggestions.

We had to change our original book selection because Divisadero wasn't easily available.

And now, take a look at our first "official" cover for the latest issue of Papercuts; Vol 5 or our Fall issue. Like, dislike?

Post in the comments, below!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Website Launched!

Our new website design just went live! Go on, check it out here. Tell us what you think; whether this new look suits us.

The Events tab is currently empty, but that will be filled in shortly. We've been working on new layouts for the e-zine and promise some covers coming your way.

Also, catch the new We, The Craftsmen link: an introduction to the team behind DWL from the people themselves. We've got our pictures up for now, those will soon be replaced by our caricatures. Yes, we will prove writers are willing to laugh at themselves!

So...what do you think?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Announcing PAPERCUTS

Hello Everyone,

We've finally settled on a title for our online literary magazine; the decision involved some pretty cool choices and a large poll. It ran for a suitable period before the unanimous decision was...yes, that's right: PAPERCUTS.

We're planning a new design layout in commemoration of the new title. Part of the reason of changing the design, was because we needed to upgrade our website in terms of the development aspect (migrating from Joomla 1.1.x to 1.5, a much more stable and universally acknowledged version). So that's something to look forward to in the next couple of days.

We're working on getting ourselves some more media exposure, so if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for that, we're definitely welcoming them. We'll be registering ourselves as an organization in late November/early December, and along with that, we've got the largest scale event we've ever had which will involve sponsors, people from all over Pakistan, and lots of exciting stuff like that. We're excited. Are you excited? :) We've been hinting at it for a while, and once the new website goes live, you'll see it with a little more prominence.

Book clubs, readings and game nights will still proceed as normal. We still have the DW corner at the Paper Microphone Cafe that lets you write there and then, and leave the sheets there or take them with you as you see fit. Columns are Khutt, The B*tch Letters and ODTM (One Day, Two Minutes). Who knows? We might expand in the future. Be sure to check us out there, though and bring a little patronage to the Cafe while you're at it; they've been our gracious hosts.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book Club Reconvenes Today

Alright, so we're picking up where we left off in a slightly new and rejuvenated fashion. Today's ice breaker is all about you and selecting books you want to read. So, we're allowing participants to join us today, and either physically bring their selection with them (mine's Shadow of the Wind, complete with the book itself), or create a list of books that's on their must read list.

We'll put all scraps of paper selections in a bowl, toss em around and pick one at random. We'll open up a box of selections for the book club, allowing random visitors to the cafe to help us decide. The box will be left at the cafe.

Every month, we'll pick a new title from the box and the cycle will continue.

So if you're interested, join us today (Saturday) at the Paper Microphone Cafe, 2nd Floor, above Bukhari Furriers in F-6, Super Market at 6pm.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Game Night Announced!

After much dillying and dallying, we're finally announcing a finalized date for our second game night, the (hoped for) success to August's event. We're increasing the games played from wordy games to a slightly more pictorial debut, introducing Pictionary to the circuit bringing our games to Scrabble, Balderdash, Taboo, Boggle and now Pictionary.

The details are below:

What: DWL Game Night, Issue 2
Where: Paper Microphone Cafe (2nd Floor, above Bukhari Furriers, F-6 Super Market, next to the Shell Petrol Pump)
When: Saturdya, October 10 at 7 pm sharp
Extras: Rs 150 admittance fee. Please come early to secure a seat; space is limited.
RSVP: Click here (FB event)

Along with the GN announcement, there's been a slight change of rules with regards to applying for registration in the forums. We now require a writing sample just to get an overall feel of incoming members, in particular their grammar and English language inclinations. This comes as an effort to streamline the quality put up on our forums, and in turn those that deserve critique less on the basis of grammar and punctuation, and more on the basis of structure and plot which is the heart of our collective vision at the Lounge.

Meanwhile, we still have the readings and the book club gatherings coming up in the future and our DW @ the Paper Microphone Cafe is operational, so please do check that out and let us know what you think.

We'll be putting up event notifications on the white board at the corner as well, so if you patronize the cafe, check out their White Hot Chocolate and sip it while composing the next brilliance at the Corner. :)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Naming the 'Zine

Hello Everyone,

Thanks to one of our members for putting up the suggestion, we're looking to brand our 'zine with its very own name, creating a distinct identity for it apart from our site. So if you guys have any suggestions, either put em in the comments or mail them in.

Hopefully, we should get a positive response for this.

Meanwhile, yes we will update the Game Night post soon. We promise!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Game Night Success!

Whoops, didn't realize this blog wasn't updated to reflect the success that Game Night was. We'll upload the pictures and a more detailed write up, soon. :)


Thursday, August 6, 2009

We Get Our Game On, August 8th. Be there!

Game Night (First Edition)

Where: Paper Microphone Cafe (2nd Floor, Super Market, Main School Road. After the Shell Petrol Pump, right above Bukhari Furriers)

When: August 8, 2009 @ 7 PM (tables close at 10 PM)

Entrance Fee: Rs 100/person

The Details Consider this your chance to get even, especially if you've taken flack from us about your work. Codename: Revenge. Games include Taboo, Balderdash, Scrabble and Boggle...and Pictionary, for the artistically inclined.

Bring in a friend or two, create a two-player group or compete as individuals, it's entirely up to you. Come early to nab a seat at your favorite game (we're spreading things out Vegas-style, a game a table), register as a team or single player, pick up your score card and player number and let the festivities begin!

Play for fun, to win, or to get some cool prizes including cash...the admission fee goes to a cash pot, that will be awarded to the player (or team) with the highest score at the end of the night. More people, more cash! So rope in as many people as you can.

No registration for the event is required, just show up with your game face and play!

We hope to see you there!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Book Club: A Case of Exploding Mangoes & Other Avenues

We met on Sunday to discuss the book (for some of us, the book had the impact of restoring our faith in Pakistani lit at large, and for all of us it was a most thoroughly enjoyable read. We also welcomed three new attendees to our group, one of whom is a Lahori and was interested enough to start a Desi Writers Lounge chapter in Lahore, or at least play a significant role in its coordination.

Our next pick is Ali Sethi's The Wish Maker although we will, in all likelihood, be meeting post Ramadhan to discuss it. That said, there may be one or two plain DWL Isloo meetups/iftaris at the request of many of our members. Furthermore, after next Saturday's Game Night, it will mark the last of our events until Ramadhan ends, after which the Game Night depending on the turnout will become a monthly event, as will our book clubs and the readings will continue to be once in two/three months.

Meanwhile, next week is Game Night and that cash prize incentive. The admittance fees pooled for a cash prize at the end that can go to either one individual or a voluntary team of two, playing as one. If there's a deadlock, we'll go into Death Match mode where an agreed upon game will be chosen to settle the final score. Festivities begin at 7pm and go through till about 10pm. Please come on time.

We'll be issuing a formal invitation, soon. But meanwhile, check it out on our site. Event announcements will be going up on both our website and Facebook group, along with (hopefully) the Paper Microphone Enthusiasts group as well.

If you're interested in attending our book club gatherings in the future, all that's required is to show up, book in hand and preferably register with us so we can remind you a little closer to the date. We now have a field to input your cell phone details; please rest assured, this remains in complete confidence with yours truly (administrator) being privy to the information, and being used to send a reminder of the event you've registered for, only. We advise you to consider it.

And...with that, we wrap things up! Hope to see you at our coming events and at the other side of Ramadhan, when we pick up again. :)


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mixers, Competitions, Publication...It's All Happening (Hopefully)

Having met up with Nadine yesterday, we came back with much brainstorming to do and a whole lotta events on the brain. For starters, we have our own little section for event notifications over at the Paper Microphone Cafe so you'll see us setting camp over there. Also, we've opened up Game Night to the public, instead of making it an invite only event, so hopefully that should help things along. It probably doesn't matter now though, registration wise, as long as you show up and are prepared to fork over the Rs 100 admittance fee and agree to order. You will get the fee back in a way, however, because we're planning on issuing cash prizes to winners which ups the stakes...by a whole lot. More people means more cash, means a whole different ball game. So spread the word to people you think will be interested in playing them wordy games. :)

We're planning for the "official" launch of the DWL Corner with Game Night which is on August 8 at 6pm at the cafe. Aside from that, we're also thinking of holding a formal mixer for writers, editors and publishers to all meet in one location, and discuss possible future collaborations held jointly under the Desi Writers Lounge and Paper Microphone banners. The DWL Corner may become a vantage point for editors and publishers to scope out new talent. So...yaay!

Another thing that is now most definitely on our horizon, post Vol 5 e-zine publication, is bringing out our own collection of short stories and poems. We need to compile the work into something presentable before pitching it forward to interested parties.

Writer and theater workshops are also on our list of things to get around to doing as and when the resources become available. Along with this, we're thinking of hosting a scripwriting competition, which would result in the winning playwright getting the chance of converting his/her play into a fullscale theatrical production, with no other than Osman Khalid Butt aka our Poetry Editor, as a mentor and director. It would be a great experience for any budding playwright, and something for which we are incredibly excited. We're hoping to launch that event either by the end of this year or some time in 2010.

And throughout all this, we're still going to continue with the book club and readings as the hallmark of what Desi Writers Lounge is all about, in essentials.

So there's a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Hope to see you guys at some, if not all our ventures. Everything is full of possibility, at this point.

Tally ho!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Game Night Registration Goes Public

Instead of keeping this a closed event and having advertised it for so long for the last 3 odd months or so, we're opening up registration to the public. So go ahead and register.



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Game Night Announced...at last!

August 8th. Be prepared to bring your best game, a healthy sense of competition and a whole lotta fun. We're finally bringing out our Game Night, featuring family classics like Boggle and Scrabble and newer additions like Balderdash and Taboo. Bringing the family activity to a cafe and opening up DWL to as much as it can be opened, with being a members-only event.

But don't let the members-only tag fool you. Members can invite whoever they want to, so if you're a member or know a member, good for you. The reason that we're not opening things up is to gauge interest for the event. If we have substantial interest, we will open things up. Hopefully. We have a thread over on the Coordinations, Coordinations board of the forums where we're encouraging registrations.

There will also be a cover of Rs 100. This marks the first time that we're charging for one of our events, and since the amount is nominal at best, we hope this won't deter participants from taking part in what promises to be a lot of fun.

If the event takes off, we might just include other games like Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit and any other games requested by participants.

Comments, questions, suggestions? You can always mail them to info@desiwriterslounge.net or write them in the comments.

We're boldly going where we've never gone before. Here's hoping we come out of this in one piece.



Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mark Your Calendars for July 12th

We're pushing forward with our July and August readings. August is going to be a busy month for us, with the conclusion of the Spring/Summer readings along with another book club discussion meeting and first game night. We're hoping to do a game night every month, but will be charging for this event. A nominal fee of Rs 100 at the minimum. We might or might not issue a set of tickets available at Paper Microphone.

Anyway, if you'd like to register for our reading, click here. And if you'd like to present your material featured, please send that into reading@desiwriterslounge.net no later than July 9th.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Club New Pick Announced; Expansion Plans

Book clubs are being launched in both Islamabad and Karachi, which has started its own thread. Email us for more details and to put you in touch with our coordinator in the city. Meanwhile, we're still looking for reading material and because we've kept an open and revolving door policy, your material will be presented in a first come, first serve basis so if you're interested, now's the time to let us know!

Meanwhile, we're issuing a formal invitation to anyone in Islamabad to attend our next discussion meeting. Have your thoughts and ideas at hand. Without further ado, your invite:

Heralded as a breakthrough first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes reimagines the conspiracies and coincidences that led to the mysterious and still unexplained 1988 plane crash of Gen Zia-ul-Haq.

On August 2, we invite you to join us at the Paper Microphone Cafe to discuss the book over coffee, muffins and other delightful delicacies.

The What: Desi Writers Lounge Book Club Meeting #2

The When: Sunday, August 2, 2009 @ 6 PM (please be punctual)

The Where: Paper Microphone Cafe (2nd Floor, Main School Road, Super Market right after the Shell petrol Pump)

The Registration Details: Click here

The Extras: If you can't find a copy of the book at your local bookstore, you can always order it online at Liberty Books. Not pimping out their service or anything, but the prices are great and shipping is free so what's not to love?! :)

The RSVPs: Won't be there? Not enough time to finish? Bringing in a guest? Mail in your comments here. Also, if you've already registered prior to this posting, please don't register again.

Hope to see you there!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Possible TCF-DWL Collaboration

A few months ago, we were considering extending the muscle of Desi Writers Lounge towards social work and to that effect, had a meeting with representatives of The Citizens Foundation (TCF). With both parties suitably interested, we'll be taking a trip down to their two schools close to Islamabad to assess the situation.

Our ideas included holding a book club/reading session and a creative writing workshop, both activities conducted in the English language. Needless to say, we're looking for volunteers interested in literary and educational progress. So if you're interested, drop me a line with your name and any questions or suggestions you may have.

We're committed to this project and are looking for individuals who can help us further the cause.

- MP

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Readings Soon To Be In Session Again

We realize it's been a while since our last reading session and want to give our member- and readership a heads up that we'll be taking material in for July's session now. If you're interested and/or know others you might be interested, direct them to this post.

Pieces (poetry, prose, random rants of non-fiction) can now be sent into readings@desiwriterslounge.net. Registration for the reading will be opening up shortly. Watch this space and our website.

Any questions, you know where to find us!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Book Club Discussion Meeting Date Set

The time, date and venue for the first DWL book club session for Daniyal Mueenuddin's In Other Rooms, Other Wonders have now been finalized. For those of you who've registered, the email will go out shortly. For anyone else that hasn't registered, but has read the book and might decide to join us, the open invite is below:

The What: Desi Writers Lounge Book Club Meeting to discuss In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
The When: Sunday, June 21 @ 5PM
The Where: Mocca Coffee, Shop No. 1, Kohsar Market (Right above Al Saleem Salon)
The RSVPs: info@desiwriterslounge.net, maryam@desiwriterslounge.net
The Extras: Bring along your notes, thoughts and opinions about the book. Maybe bring the book with you to point out your favorite passages and why they rang home to you as much as they did...alternatively, you can use your copy to effectively debunk the opinions of somebody else!

So that's about it.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An Open Letter to Book Club Registrants

The following is the letter sent out to all book club registrants, and has been reproduced below:

Hello everyone,

If you're getting this email, you have registered or shown interest in our book club, which officially launched on May 24, 2009 with Daniyal Mueenuddin's In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.

We held an ice breaker aka an informal meeting for our attendees to get to know one another before the discussion would inevitably turn into more serious venues. While this was not a mandatory requirement, it was recommended.

If you attended the ice breaker on the 24th, more power to you and if you were unable to do so, you still have the chance to participate in our Club which will convene sometime at the end of June (exact dates will be announced a little closer to the date set). That's why you've been included in the mailing list.

If you're still interested, now's the time to prove it by picking up the short story collection available at any and all major bookstores in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

If you have any questions on any of the above, please let me know by sending me an email.

Meanwhile, constant reminders will be sent at two week intervals so if you haven't bought the book yet, didn't attend the ice breaker and are wondering where you stand on things, I'm here to tell you that all is not lost and you can buy the book, read it and join us at the end of June to discuss things.

Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Club Ice Breaker Set for May 24th

We've finalized the date, time and venue for the first ice breaker meeting for our book club, as well as its selection. Starting out with Daniyal Mueenuddin's short story collection, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders that easily won a majority vote in the poll we set up for this reason. The Case of Exploding Mangoes followed in second place.

The reason we're calling the first meet an "ice breaker" is so that all participants can meet up, introduce themselves and generally just mingle, talk about books, words, whatever comes to mind really. The reason we're putting in the directions on the blog is to invite people who haven't registered and who aren't sure if they will and give them a chance to sample out the crowd.

So come along, bring in a friend or two and see if you can't appreciate things. Here's the invitation to formalize things:

The What: Book Club Ice Breaker
Then When: Sunday, May 24th @ 5 PM
The Where: Mocca Coffee, 2nd Floor Kohsar Market (it's above Gloria Jeans and the entrance is on the extreme left side of Kohsar Market)
The Who To Get In Touch Withs: info@desiwriterslounge.net

Hope to see you guys there!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Club Meeting Postponed

The first book club meeting (also known as a meet and greet, for attendees to get to know one another a little...an open house of sorts) has been postponed, partly because the Paper Microphone Cafe is closed for renovations, and partly because one of the organizers is currently in Lahore (that may explain the post below).

The new date has been tentatively set for Sunday, May 10 until further notice. We apologize for the late message, but look at it this way: more time to register for the reading, more time to vote for your favorite if you haven't already done so already, and more time to spread the word). If you have issues with the date, because they're coinciding with exams, please let us know at info@desiwriterslounge.net. We might shuffle things around so that the book club takes place in hardcore summer.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Impromptu Lahore Reading In The Works...

'ello Lahoris,

So here's the thing. We're throwing an impromptu reading session in Lahore, and yes, there's barely any time, and yes, we don't know where it's going to be or when but that's where you come in.

If you're interested, mosey along to this thread and start the planning (forum members only, sadly). This could be the very first in a series at Lahore, after all! Who knows, we might jumpstart a book club here as well? If you're interested, tell us. It's the only way we'll know for sure.

Hope to see you...well, somewhere! :)


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Online Registration

Interested members can also register on our site. Apparently, the forms are currently unavailable at the cafe. We are imploring participants to only register if they are absolutely certain they will be participating. There were a lot of registrants to the reading, from which only a handful showed up despite confirming.

So please, please save us and yourselves the trouble of being continuously harassed and only register if you're absolutely, positively, 100% interested and sure about your attendance.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book Club Pushing Forward

We've put up a poll on the main site for anyone interesting in having their voice heard on what Desi Writers Lounge should "officially" start with. We have six options to choose from, and in addition to this we've got some forms of interest over at the Paper Microphone Cafe for people interested in relaying their interest to us. We're starting with 15 people max to keep book discussion maintainable, but might increase in future events.

A quick rundown on your options:

Burnt Shadows (Kamila Shamsie)
The Crow Eaters (Bapsi Sidhwa)
Without Dreams (Shahbano Bilgrami)
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders (Daniyal Mueenuddin)
The Case of Exploding Mangoes (Muhammad Haneef)
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Mohsin Hamid)

If you're interested or know of people who are interested, send them over to the cafe and ask them to leave behind their email addresses so we can keep in touch with them (we never spam), and let them know when the club will start and reconvene.

Any questions, comments or points of contention email them in to info@desiwriterslounge.net.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Short Story Event: Life's Too Short

From the Life's Too Short site:

"The short story is what you make it. As a genre it has been used by writers as varied as Maupassant, Chekhov, Faulkner, Mansfield and Manto. It can be a gem consisting of a few paragraphs or the seed of a larger idea – both The Great Gatsby and The Sun also Rises started life as short stories.

The life’s too short Short Story Prize was conceived to reinvigorate this oft-neglected genre in Pakistan. With the increasing success of short story collections in the global publishing market, they are becoming big news again. Now we would like people to read yours.

Sponsored by the ZZ & Zohra Ahmed Foundation, entry to this competition is free of charge and the prize money is the most substantial for any such endeavour in Pakistan."

The Prize Money referred to above ranges from Rs 10,000 to 100,000 although of course no true writer writes for money...right? :)

"Entries must be emailed to entry@lifestooshort.pk

‘The life’s too short short story prize’ should be written on the subject line of the email

The short story should be the body of the email. Emails with attachments will not be considered.

Each entry must include the name, address, telephone number(s) and email address of the writer

Submission deadline is June 30, 2009."

The judges for this competition are well known desi authors: Kamila Shamsie, Daniyal Mueenuddin and Muhammad Haneef.

So if you're interested, you know the details...for further information click the link above. Happy writing!

- T(he)P(owers)T(hat)B(e)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Future Events

Now that the reading's over, we're turning our attention to organizing future events, more particularly the book club whose official selection may or may not be Muhammad Haneef's The Case of Exploding Mangoes.

Aside from the above, we're also working in collaboration with The Paper Microphone to bring out a Desi Writers Lounge corner at the cafe, allowing interested writers to write in any of our four regular columns on the forums: The B*tch Letters, A Writer's Journal, Khutt and One Day, Two Minutes. They will be writing material on our official letterhead, and will have the option of either taking it with them or leaving it at the cafe for it to be featured on our site.

We will create a separate section here, called 'DWL @ The Paper Microphone Cafe' where material written there will be published on our site, as is. Of course, we realize much of the material most especially things like Khutt, which are letters written to receive closure, are extremely personal and may or may not want to be published, so we acknowledge that right to privacy and offer the participants a choice. The important thing, however, is that you're being inspired to write. Even if it's not being shared, it's being written and that's the most we can hope for. However, you can also post things anonymously, so things can be published on the site anonymously and no one will ever know.

Expect to hear more about the corner in the coming days. Meanwhile, our readings will either be held once a month or once every two months, depending on the organizational skills of our management. Also watch out for the book club.

Should you swing by the cafe, be sure to pick up our fliers and bookmarks on display.

The above text is also in our newsflash ticker on Desi Writers Lounge.net. Clarifying any redundancy issues that may arise.


Friday, March 20, 2009

DWL & The Paper Microphone Cafe

If you've taken a trip to our website recently, you'll notice an announcement on the Open Mic nights held by The Paper Microphone Cafe. And if you've been following our reading announcements, you may have noticed our reading will be taking place at the cafe as well. We have formed a verbal commitment with the cafe to host our events there, which currently include readings, book clubs and possibly an invite only game night (if you know someone who knows a desi writer, your chances are great).

Our reading is taking place on March 28th at 5PM sharp with the bulk of the material being presented by our own members. Realizing the guts it takes to read out your own material to a bunch of people you don't really know, our members have stepped up to take care of things. We're hoping, however, that after this reading more people outside of the fold will step forward with their material.

We will be announcing our book club during the reading to gauge interest as well as put it to a democratic vote on what book we should start with, using the shortlisted books we've settled on.

So there are a few events coming up for the remainder of '09. As of this reading, attendees can register in advance to show their support (and attendance). If you have any questions, you can get in touch with us at info@desiwriterslounge.net.

That's it!

ETA: Entirely forgot to mention we're creating a Desi Writers Lounge corner at the cafe allowing interested writers to jot down their thoughts on our letterhead, and either leave it at the cafe for open display on our site or take it with them if they'd rather not share. We'll detail this further in our next post. But to sum up, we'll be incorporating our columns (One Day, Two Minutes; A Writer's Journal, The B*tch Letters and Khutt) on hard copy, along with a folder containing our past e-zine issues.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reading Postponed

Due to the Paper Microphone Cafe (our venue) being closed on Sunday due to the security situation of the Long March, our reading has been pushed back to March 28 until further notice.

We apologize profusely for the short notice, but were just notified ourselves and thus passed the message along to the general webosphere. The good news in all of this is attendees now have more time to send in their material! So start sending yours in for consideration if you're interested.

Hoping to see you then...


Reading in light of Long March Security

We've had a few questions on whether we're still going to proceed with the reading taking place at F-6, Super Market (at the Paper Microphone Cafe) on March 15, a day before the scheduled march. Currently, our plans remain unchanged but things could swerve around on Saturday if the situation looks particularly dire. Hopefully, we shouldn't face too much of a lag in terms of attendance especially since we were considering discussing future events in this session.

That said, fliers, bookmarks and business cards for the founding members have come back from the printers and things are looking dandy! We've made specific bookmarks for attendees to the book club, so hopefully that should kick off soon enough. We're still unsure on whether we should have a meeting once a month or make it a little less frequent. Although a book a month seems quite reasonable, as long as its length isn't too long. However, if we give our audience a deadline they might well work better in that perimeter of time. This will be, I suppose, a more hardcore book club...not one to be undertaken by the faint of heart.

Oh well, there are a lot of things that still need ironing out and that will be ironed out soon enough.

Meanwhile, event registration has been officially closed along with the deadline for sending in pieces for this session. It was a little disappointing to see that not all registrants who were going to read something out, sent in their material but we have quite a few of our own members in attendance and the bulk of material will be represented by the Lounge. We are hopeful, however, that for subsequent readings we will be able to present writers outside of the fold and thus wholly "undiscovered", so to speak and subject them to our process of working at the Desi Writers Lounge.

Fingers still crossed for a full house on the 15th.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Reading Attendance Surge

Tabulating the totals from the event posted on Facebook with the onsite registration, and removing any redundancies, the total number of people attending the reading is 25. The total is a little over double the number we've boasted on one of our reading, which until then had the most number in attendance.

To be honest, we're a little nervous to cater to so many people and are hoping that not only we, but the event delivers and brings some of them back again if not to attend the readings, then at least the book club and other events we have on the horizon.

Meanwhile, we're always on the look out for writers and the event announcement and alliance with The Paper Microphone has brought on a member surge into the Lounge. However, we're still looking for further material to present at the reading so as a reminder: the deadline's March 12 for sending in material for consideration.

Fingers crossed, people! Fingers crossed...


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

DWL Reading #5 Announced!

'ello peoples! So we've finally settled on a date for the reading. Details are what follow.

The What: Desi Writers Lounge Reading #5
The When: Sunday, March 15 @ 5 PM
The Where: The Paper Microphone (details and registration info here)
The Details: We're doing something different and inviting you to register for the event, including whether you'll be a reader or writer and whether you'd like critique if it's the latter.
The Important Stuff: Write in to readings@desiwriterslounge.net with your material no later than March 12, to be considered.

Please, spread the word! We've also created an event on FB (although you're requested to register via the site). Here's the link to our group if you didn't know about it earlier. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DWL Going Beyond Readings In Events...

Our first 2009 reading has been planned for Sunday, March 15 @ 5 pm (sharp) at the Paper Microphone, a cafe built to serve the purposes of events like these.

However, in the future we're planning other events like Poetry and Prose Workshops (including a possible series of summer workshops aimed at grades 8-10 and possibly beyond; it's all under discussion). Aside from the workshops, we're bringing you a book club in the future which will naturally be open to members outside of the Lounge. The entire point of these events is to bring together like minded people and offer them activities that are hitherto relatively unknown in this country of ours.

If you're interested in any of the above, soon we'll have an event registration/reminder so people can register for an event and we'll be notified and can make the necessary arrangements. This will be in place before the flyers and other promotional material is handed out.

The workshops will be limited to 15 people/session, since that's a manageable group of people and still maintains a comfortable rapport between the attendees.

Needless to say, we're extremely excited about the above ventures. We'll create FB events for the readings and book club.

It's important to note the difference between our readings (where writers who present their work receive light feedback only) and a workshop (which will involve heavy critiquing and writing in a close knit, but nonetheless intense environment). The book club will involve reading books together and discussing the impact, etc. Again, details are being ironed out. This space will be updated accordingly.

But meanwhile, we're moving forward!


Monday, February 2, 2009

Readings to Recommence

'ello peoples,

Now that the e-zine is out of the way, at least for the next few months, we're jumpstarting our reading series again. This new series; new because it's a brand new year, will be marketed around town so you're encouraged to write in to readings@desiwriterslounge.net to send in your material.

Like our past readings, this is more of a writer's workshop where we collectively offer insights and opinions on a piece if you're open to that kind of thing. If you'd just like to read it to an audience, we provide a listening ear too.

We're excited for this run, hopeful that more people will get to know just what we do at the Desi Writers Lounge, so keep a look out for our posters and/or fliers and if you have an idea for what else we can do, to boost our rep, write in the comments and let us know. :)


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Volume 4 Published!

Volume 4 was published early morning, Wednesday or late night Tuesday (whichever way you want to look at it). You can see all the wonderfulness that is Reprisals, here.

Meanwhile, we've restarted our old FB Desi Writers group that we let fall into oblivion thanks to the management of the web site along with the various readings, international meet ups and of course the monstrosity that was the e-zine. So if you're not a member yet, and would like to keep abreast of our events and what not, you'll need to head on over there. However, we're soon going to open up registration to our events over at DWL's main website, along with incorporating a newsletter function to keep interested visitors up-to-date with our events.

Our readings based in Isloo will soon be restarted as will other events (a proper Book Club and Poetry/Prose night and possibly a dedicated writer's workshop which might mean separating readings and the workshop as separate events). If you don't know about us, but want to, please consider yourselves invited to our next event. We place no censors on material presented, but please do let us know if you'll be presenting anything (readings@desiwriterslounge.net) so we can make the necessary preparations (distribution of all material falls to us).

Alright, so that's pretty much it.



Thursday, January 22, 2009

Selections Finalized; Writers Informed of Decision

It wasn't easy. The path was long and winding, especially in lieu of the new clause of involving the respective editors in any final decisions concerning the work they were responsible for. But it's done. The task of wading through the 34 (out of the approximate 1-200 we started with) or so pieces that were brought forward for final e-zine consideration subject to the grueling editing process, has concluded.

14 pieces were struck from the final line up resulting in a medley of poetry, prose and the abstract fusion of both. Two pieces are still awaiting judgment, but the couple not withstanding, 18-20 pieces will be up for display this January 25th, 2009.

Yes, a date has finally been set.

Guess we'll see you there!

And now? Allow us to take a breather before going through the whole process all over again in April-July '09.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Editing Concludes...Selection Begins

Now that the editors are wrapping up on the work of their mentees, putting any last minute touches on whatever's left and sending it forward to the Chief Ed, the real work of wading through all the shortlisted work (taking care of the respective editor's thoughts on the piece) and final selection begins. If, for whatever reason, your work doesn't make the cut please note: it's nothing personal and you were warned earlier on that no piece was final, even after going through the grueling editing period.

It's never easy to go through each piece and decide on what should or shouldn't make the cut despite all the work that's gone in, but it has to be done. Of course, "quality" is relative and very subjective but in this instance (as in the past), I'm afraid the final word still rests with the Editor-in-Chief.

So...no more apologies. Good luck, everyone!



Monday, January 12, 2009

Crossing Borders

Well, it happened and while it mayn't have been everything hoped for (for one, we couldn't get the visual stuff to work unfortunately!), it was still a kick ass meeting! At the peak of things, we were on three continents, spanning six cities all across the globe and we got to hear the voices of the participants. Not to mention, we talked about everything under the sun. A small clip might be uploaded or not, depending on what we're willing to disclose.

Meanwhile, the chat log will be uploaded on the forums relatively uncensored. We managed to record a portion of the teleconference so there may be something for posterity (the audio part, that is--the chat log was separate).

But yes, this was one for history and the search for the elusive and perfect videoconferencing software continues. We may have to invest in something on a later date if this becomes a permanent fixture.

Here's to a new year full of new possibilities!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Who We Are

We've had a recent influx of members lately.

The best thing about Desi Writers Lounge, is the quality we demand from our members and the utmost confidence we place in them to achieve it. Compliments really are a writer's enemy as is unfounded criticism, but helpful critique...yes, that's useful and I would like to think we provide just that, aside from sharing a healthy camaraderie with one another. It doesn't take too long for a new member to join the circle of friends and writers that Desi Writers Lounge is made of. It's just nice to know we've accomplished that.

Another good thing about the Lounge (we're feeling particularly immodest today!) is the fact that we don't encourage censorship considering the variety of material and subjects our writers write on and are accepted into publication. True freedom of expression, and that's a tremendous accomplishment on our part. Look at Chowk; they never published "Snow Angels", which is on the lighter side of the spectrum as far as "out there" stories go. Considered a test on our part to gauge their reaction, the result makes us feel prouder of what we've accomplished as a collective.

There might be a lesser number of members, but we're damned if the posters aren't extremely talented or at least, haven't been brought out of their shells and begun to reach their truest potential. That's what you get when you're a Desi Writer, I guess. Everything else comes hand in hand.

Here's to a brilliant surge of creativity in 2009!