Happy New Year of the Water Rabbit to all our WiPS Members, and welcome to our first newsletter of 2023. We hope you will enjoy reading it and will be encouraged to join in our upcoming events and activities. If you have any comments or ideas, do let us know – we love to hear from you and look forward to meeting you all, online and in-person, in the following months!
Save the date: Launch of Imprint 21!
We’re excited to announce that we will launch Imprint 21 as a part of the Hong Kong Literary Festival, which takes place from 6-12 March 2023. Imprint 21 will be launched on Thursday, 9 March 2023 at the FCC. Please save the date in your diary. Details to follow.
Each month we read the book previously chosen by our group members and then discuss it on our scheduled “Book Club” afternoon, a friendly session lasting around an hour. Whether we love, hate, or are just, “meh” about the book, our discussions are lively, interesting, and fun. This year we hope to hold more author events as we continue our exploration of the literary genres. The book club is free for WiPS Members and HK$80 for guests – a bargain!
The writing workshop sails into 2023 with a committed group of regular participants. After running it for nine months, it was mutual that the current format is working well, though we’re exploring enhancements such as adopting themes and permitting the occasional submission of longer pieces. We meet over Zoom on the first Friday of each month and spend anywhere from two to three hours sharing feedback, debating plots and yes, reminding speakers to unmute their lines. We review all genres except poetry, so if you’re interested in a trial session, do join us by registering through our website. The next workshop takes place on 3 February 2023 at 3pm Hong Kong time.
WiPS Members Socialise in Style
After many long months of Zoom meetings and solitary evenings, WiPS was finally able to offer our members a chance to gather, in person, for a casual evening of drinks and snacks at the Dada Lounge in Tsim Sha Tsui. Although we were a small group, Dada did not disappoint! Their extended happy hour meant that we all enjoyed two-for-one drinks until 9pm, along with lively, interesting conversation, anecdotes, and laughter. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), the Dada deep fat fryer was out of commission, so food choices were limited. But we thoroughly enjoyed their excellent pizza and prawn and feta crispy treats!
As the evening wore on, our wide ranging discussions included books (of course), the British Royal Family, Art courses, and ideas for future WiPS events. Our upcoming Imprint launch created quite a buzz! It was a lovely evening of new and renewed friendships, and everyone agreed that we should do it again!
Author Event: Bibliotherapy with Ella Berthoud
On 22 November 2022, a group of avid readers joined our author event: An Introduction to Bibliotherapy by Ella Berthoud, author of The Novel Cure, amongst other titles. Ella and WiPS member, Bhakti Mathur, a newly minted bibliotherapist herself, shared a history of the ancient discipline, “prescriptions” for common ailments, and answered our many questions. Two of the attendees commented:
“REALLY enjoyed that session! Well-led and facilitated!” – Penny Van Niel (non-member)
“The conversation between Ella and Bhakti was illuminating…Indeed, there are people who find themselves at a loss when it comes to choosing a read to fit in their lives at a particular point. Congratulations on the vast knowledge of a variety of books…!” – Luisa Ternau (WiPS member).
Book Club & Writing Workshop Yacht Club Dinner
After meeting virtually for eight months, participants of the book club and writing workshop finally came together for a dinner at the Hong Kong Yacht Club on 9 November 2022. Although many of us were meeting in person for the first time, it was an evening of lovely conversation with new friends who already felt familiar. After trading books, backgrounds and confessions of a sweet tooth, the group agreed to turn this into an annual celebration of the two groups. Thanks to Lesley Hobbs for facilitating the event and being such a gracious host. Next dinner: November 2023!
Additional Benefits of Being Our Member
We’re happy to announce a new benefit we’re offering our members in 2023: we will help promote your products on our social media sites so long as they’re publishing-related and meet our criteria. So, whether you’re offering a writing course, poetry workshop or promoting a new book, let us know and we can share your post across all our platforms. Enquire with firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
For our members who have yet to renew, now is the time! We have an exciting year planned for you with the launch of Imprint 21, author events, workshops, book club and more, including “members only” events. We understand that life sometimes gets in the way, so we have extended the deadline for renewal until 31 January 2023. So, if you just haven’t had a chance to renew your WiPS membership yet, please do so now.
Personalise Your WiPS Directory Entry
A picture is worth a thousand words. If you haven’t added your photo to the WiPS directory, you can do so now by logging into your account. It’s as easy as saying “cheese”!
With our best wishes
Your WiPS Committee