Welcome to the Spring edition of the WiPS newsletter! The masks are off, the tourists are back, and Hong Kong is once again the thriving city we all know and love! And we at WiPS couldn’t be happier! With another successful Imprint launch behind us, we’re thrilled to share that our committee is growing, and we’re exploring ways to resume our in-person connections this year while keeping our regular monthly workshops online to engage our overseas members.

New Committee Member: Lesley Hobbs
Lesley has lived and worked in Hong Kong since August 2007. She is the founder/owner of consulting & legal recruitment firm Red Pillar Consulting Limited. She joined WiPS in 2017 and has had pieces published in the three latest issues of Imprint. WiPS members attending the recent FCC-hosted Imprint 21 launch witnessed Lesley channelling her best Gillian Anderson playing Margaret Thatcher! Lesley is at first draft stages of what she hopes will be either her debut fictional memoir or novel.

Upcoming Event: Did You Read the Small Print? Avoiding the pitfalls of publishing contracts
Tuesday, 9 May 2023 (6:30–8:30 p.m.)
WiPS is excited to be joining forces next month with leading Hong Kong law firm Oldham, Li & Nie (OLN Law) to learn how our members can avoid the pitfalls of publishing contracts. Other legal issues important to the writing community such as copyright and IP infringement will also be covered by the speakers. OLN is hosting the event which will take the form of a 45–60-minute presentation followed by Q&A. Wine will be provided. For registration, go to: https://www.hkwips.com/events/.

Upcoming Event: Rare Books
Back by popular demand! WiPS members are invited once again at Lok Man Rare Books for a discussion on the rare books market in Hong Kong and beyond. So, whether you’re a bona fide bibliophile or just like the idea of being surrounded by leather-bound volumes that are a couple of hundred years old, please join us for an evening of books, wine and nibbles at the enchanting hideaway of Lok Man Rare Books in Chancery Lane. Space is limited for this event (planned for June), so look out for details.

Writing Workshop
The writing workshop is back after a one-month break in March, and we’re on fire! Celebrating our one-year anniversary, we were at full capacity and had to start a waiting list for the last session. So, if you’re keen on exploring your creativity in a safe and supportive environment, register now at https://www.hkwips.com/events/. We’re also excited to announce that from now on, regular attendees Lesley Hobbs, Andy Lowe and Gillian Kew will take turns with Rinkoo Ramchandani to facilitate this workshop, allowing Rinkoo to spend more time on her growing business, and helping us keep this popular workshop going in its second year.

Book Club
Our WiPS Book Club also celebrated its first birthday recently! Over the past year we have shared our views on a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction titles, from recent releases to the slightly more “mature” offerings, but, as yet, no “classics”. Our democratic voting process gives everyone the chance for her book choice to be selected. We meet once a month, over Zoom, providing group members in compatible time zones the opportunity to join our friendly sessions. An optional Book Club WhatsApp group enables us to share interesting, book-related stories and information, advice, and tips.

In May we will read The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. Would you like to join us? The Book Club is free for WiPS members and HK$80 per session for non-members. To learn more, visit https://www.hkwips.com/events/.

Launch of Imprint 21
March 9 marked a double celebration for WiPS: the anthology had become of age, and as a Society we were finally back together in the FCC after an absence of three years. Drinks in hand, members and guests filled the Hughes Room with energy, laughter and uplifting camaraderie during which the evening’s entertainment was rated “the best ever”. This was thanks to nine talented members (Shikha Bansal, Susan Lavender, Sadie Kaye, Lesley Hobbs, Andy Lowe, Ritu Hemnani, Deborah Mannas, Connie Lee Hamelin and Jennifer Eagleton) who read or recited their Imprint pieces (or excerpts from them), produced a skit on ChatGPT, staged a short play and hosted a challenging literary quiz. It was enjoyable theatre indeed! [https://www.hkwips.com/2023/imprint-comes-of-age-at-the-fcc/]

New Members
A warm welcome to our four new members: Sally Grace Bunker, Rosann Kao, Mei Sum Seto and Purnima Solapurkar.

WiPS on WhatsApp
We’re finally on WhatsApp! Stay tuned for an invite to join our read-only members WhatsApp group, giving you quick access to event announcements, registration links and more!

Mailed copies of Imprint 21
If you were unable to join us at the Imprint launch during the Hong Kong International Literary Festival in March, you should receive your copy of the anthology by the end of April. Please feel free to contact us if it doesn’t arrive.

Imprint 22
We look forward to your submissions with anticipation! The deadline is 30 September 2023 for a planned launch in March 2024. We ask members to kindly to respect the deadline as we cannot guarantee inclusion of late submissions. Please see https://www.hkwips.com/imprint/.

With our best wishes
Your WiPS Committee