As we approach the end of 2022, WiPS can look back on a successful year’s programme of events, following the experimental and highly enjoyable Imprint launch. Since then, at least two WiPS gatherings have been offered each month (five involving overseas authors/speakers), albeit that we were obliged to hold them by Zoom. But even that, we hope, we will shortly be able to change. We thank members for their support in what, despite the growing optimism, has been a difficult year in Hong Kong.
Readers and Writers Unite!
Our Book Club and Writing Workshops both kicked off in the Spring of 2022 and their members have been meeting diligently over Zoom every month since. However, many of our regular attendees haven’t yet met each other in person. That will now change with our first combined dinner for both groups taking place at the Hong Kong Yacht Club on November 9, 2022. Spots are limited so if you belong to one of these groups, RSVP on the WhatsApp chat to either Gillian or Rinkoo. We can’t wait to meet you all beyond our computer screens!
Can Fiction Help Us Heal?
We have lined up an exciting event as a finale to 2022! Joining us from the UK on November 22, Ella Berthoud, co-author of The Novel Cure will be speaking to WiPS member (and newly certified bibliotherapist) Bhakti Mathur about how books can heal us. Described as “the art of prescribing fiction for life’s ailments”, bibliotherapy is an ancient discipline steeped in the belief that reading the right book at the right time can change your life. Join us as we learn more about bibliotherapy and its use for anything from abandonment to zestlessness. Event details to be mailed out soon! For more information on bibliotherapy, please see Ella’s website: http://www.ellaberthoud.com/bibliotherapy/.
Welcoming in the New Year!
Our first event of 2023 will be an in-person social gathering for members on Thursday, January 12, ahead of the Lunar New Year, in Dada Lounge + Bar, Tsim Sha Tsui. This is the venue where WiPS held its last in-person gathering in December 2021 and all who attended will vouch for it being an interesting, elegant and convivial spot for networking and catching up. Exact details will be announced later. Following this, we are planning a speaker event for February, while an Imprint launch at the FCC is scheduled for March. Social distancing rules will dictate what form these two events take.
Book Club by Gillian Kew
WiPS Book Club continues to be an enjoyable, monthly event where we all get together to discuss our chosen book and decide whether it passes muster. Great literature is a bonus, as is a stonking good read, but effective prose, variety, something new, and perhaps a little excitement, are all part and parcel of an acceptable read.
Our September book, China Blonde by Nicole Webb, presented the unusual challenge of focusing on a subject that many of us thought we knew, and one that some members were tempted to dismiss. However, free copies for some and Nicole’s agreement to join our session as our first author guest tempted members to take part and to be surprised. Nicole was open to our questions and comments, answering fully and with good grace. Our lively and fun-filled discussion helped us all to a greater appreciation of the book and the many challenges first-time authors face. It was a worthwhile experience, emboldening us to ask more authors to join us in the future. We do hope that you will, too!
Writing Workshops by Rinkoo Ramchandani
The writing workshop will enter its eighth month in November, during which period we’ve experienced both lightning rounds of feedback to nine writers in two hours, and we’ve also spent the same amount of time poring over just three stories. Regardless of the number of monthly submissions, the feedback is consistently incisive and supportive. And our committed workshoppers have agreed not to break for the holidays, so whether you’re a first-timer or a published writer, feel free to join us for a trial session on our upcoming dates: November 4 or December 2, 2022 from 3-5pm HK time.
Creative Writing Masterclasses
WiPS had the great good fortune in September and October to welcome back Dr Sherryl Clark to Hong Kong, this time by Zoom. Sherryl had run popular workshops several years ago in Hong Kong for WiPS with a colleague from Victoria University in Melbourne where they both taught. Now as the renowned, award-winning author of more than 70 titles in a range of genres, Sherryl offered us masterclasses in fiction on “Creating Deeper Characters” and “Using Story Structure for Stronger Novels”. Both two-hour sessions were very well attended, made easier by being recorded and available to follow in any time zone for seven days, and were extremely well received. We look forward to having Sherryl offer us more masterclasses in 2023.
We would like to advise members that membership renewal notices for 2023 will be sent out in mid-November. We hope you will all wish to continue to support WiPS by remaining in and contributing to the group. Subscription fees will stay the same and are due by the end of December 2022.
Going high tech
The public can now send any enquiries to WiPS via WhatsApp: +852 9231 1724.
Imprint issue 20
Stuck for a gift for those last-minute casual Christmas invitations? Copies of Imprint 20 can make the ideal present. Discounted for members. Contact Polly at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
With our best wishes
Your WiPS Committee