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WiPS Newsletter: July 2021

Dear Members,

Last Saturday week, I experienced an Imprint rush. This can clearly be defined as a moment when one feels grateful for having made the decision to be part of Hong Kong WiPS.

That day, I was in fact in a rush to find cool shelter from the Hong Kong glue air summer. Indeed, it was sticky. Silk Road Café at Crossroads, Gold Coast was close and air-conditioned, so in I went for the first time in years. There was the character bookcase, worn and welcoming, with books I’d never looked at. And there was Imprint 15. And so, I started flipping the pages. The Gallery pieces were exquisite. There were the stories, each separated into the standard sections. Then there was Carol Dyer, sharing twenty-five years of memories in a wonderful piece at the back. It was the WiPS Silver Anniversary issue, which means this year WiPS turns thirty !

This is my introduction, on behalf of our committee, to you all. It’s also my way of saying how very appreciative we are to have our society, despite the pandemic and a disrupted Hong Kong dynamic. And now to my point: Imprint is on its way, and it seems we can finally celebrate in September or October, at the FCC. Fingers crossed!

We’ve been patiently waiting on social restrictions to ease and recently made the decision to hold off with posting out Imprint. To do a mail-out for a second year running seems wrong. We must celebrate in person. Thank you for being so patient. We are almost there.

Two years ago, it was an Imprint launch party which convinced me to be on the committee. I met so many of you vital, vivacious women, and I felt this wave of creative interest and genius in the room. This is the kind of environment we need to acknowledge all your generous submissions for our anthology.

As said, we plan to have the Imprint 20 launch at the FCC in September or October. At this stage, only those vaccinated may attend, and we are almost sure that the appetisers will be served in cute cardboard boxes, but at least it will be a long-awaited gathering. For those of you unable to be there, we shall organize a live Zoom so you can join us from overseas or in Hong Kong. You shall have VIP gallery status with a view of the proceedings! And, of course we shall raise our glasses after the readings for a virtual inclusive toast of both twenty years of Imprint and thirty years of WiPS!

Details of the launch will be emailed to you in due course.

NEW MEMBERS
We are delighted to have three new members joining us this year: Shelia Korol, here in Hong Kong; Stephanie Han from the USA and Liz Heron from the UK.

THE COMMITTEE
Now there is just one other little request: that you please consider joining us on the committee. We are a dedicated team of five but now that Sandra Gibbons has moved to Australia, we really do need at least one more member here in Hong Kong. Sandra remains on the committee, and we are very grateful to have you with us still, Sandra, but for distribution and events, a new volunteer would be just great.

I began with a story and I shall end with a slightly shorter one. Four years ago, Celia Claase told me about WiPS. I was too scared to join since I hadn’t published anything. Two years later I joined an event on libel. Two years further down the track and I’m in Bookazine with Heather Diamond, pointing to her memoir, Rabbit in the Moon, up there on the shelf as Book of the Week. Lindsay Varty’s Sunset Survivors; Claire Chau’s Remembering Shanghai; Ritu Hemnani’s Gope and Meera and Sarah Brennan’s The Chinese Calendar Tales, are of course sitting there on their own shelves along with other of our members’ books. Wow! I’ve met these women, done podcasts with some and been inspired by all. Sarah Brennan is now my mentor for my own writing journey.

One joins a group because it feels like the right thing to do. Malcolm Gladwell would agree with intuition leading us to where we must walk next. Friendship, expertise, inspiration and loyalty is what I’ve experienced after trusting my instincts. Do think about joining our committee!

With July here, we hope some of you may join family in countries which have opened their borders. And with the new seven-day quarantine in place for fully vaccinated permanent residents with a positive antibody test, it just gets better.

For those of you abroad, living under different circumstances, we hope all normalises soon. There are openings and opportunities, always.

Finally, we still have some remaining copies of Imprint 19 in storage. If any member can please help us find them new homes – they are free of charge! – you can collect your order directly from Happy Valley, or have it posted (with the mailing/packaging charge at your cost). Contact Polly at wipshk@gmail.com by 23 July 2021.

On behalf of the committee, I send very best wishes to you for all a wonderful summer!

Suzanne

July 12th, 2021|

WiPS Newsletter: May 2021

Dear Members,

It has indeed been a very long time since we last met in person and had the luxury of one another’s company in the familiar setting of the Hughes Room. You have been missed!

It was in fact 20 February 2020 when we had our last event, Are You Stuck? How ironic it is then that shortly after this, we were all stuck in the mire of a world pandemic. Aiyaaaa! as we say in Hong Kong!

We trust all is well for you and your families, whether you have remained in Hong Kong or returned home.

The committee has done its best to ensure we are offering you networking opportunities as well as nurturing your literary journey. Kay Ross continues to post articles and online events on our Facebook page, six days each week. We now have more members submitting to both Showcase and Woman at Work under the Members’ tab on our website. In addition, we have had five podcasts to date with a new Podcasts section in the same website location.

Do have a read and a listen to these if you wish to feel inspired, for we have many talented members with much to share.

Please ‘Like’ our Facebook page when it pops up, too. Few members are currently doing this, and it will help us if you respond.

If you wish to submit a piece for Showcase, Woman at Work or participate in a podcast, just contact us.

IMPRINT 20
Now to Imprint 20 and our annual launch event. We were hopeful of having one this year but, regretfully, it looks unlikely that Covid-19 will allow any festivity. We will go ahead to publish the anthology, we hope by the end of June. As always, the anthology promises to be a wonderful collection of your writing and artwork, and we thank all who have contributed very much indeed.

ADVERTISING ON IMPRINT 20
For those of you wishing to advertise (within the Members’ Directory), the cost is HK$1,300 for full page and HK$700 for half page. Please email us with your request by 17 May 2021 (deadline of artwork submission is 31 May 2021).

BIOGRAPHIES AND CONTACT UPDATE
The distribution of Imprint 20 will likely be similar to last year, with mailouts. It’s imperative that you check your contact details and biographies as this information will be printed in the directory. Please also update your mailing address as soon as possible. The deadline for all updates is 31 May 2021.

FREE COPIES OF IMPRINT 19
We have 80 copies of Imprint 19 in storage, kept back for hoped-for events and a launch. If anyone would like to receive a free copy or copies, please email us. You can either collect your order directly on one designated day from Happy Valley, or have it posted (with the mailing/packaging charge at your cost). This offer is on a first come, first served basis so be quick! Within reason, there is no limit on how many copies you may have.

On a final note, let’s raise our glasses to this year seeing the publication of the 20th issue of Imprint! The idea of a members’ anthology was first mooted at a lively brainstorming session at HKU 21 years ago. The 1st issue got off to a wobbly start and certainly no one at that time would have foretold its subsequent popularity. It has helped launch more than a few careers.

Very best wishes from all of us on the committee,

Suzanne

May 9th, 2021|

CNY Message from the President

Dear Members,

Spring is in the air! Despite Covid’s stubborn presence around our globe, we in Hong Kong are fortunate to have access to nature, trails and trekking over mountains, and to our many malls. What would Hong Kong be without its malls!

Typical Chinese New Year Hong Kong festive flair brings colour in abundance. Life-sized M&M’s and even Lulu the Pig delight the children along with cute little oxen. Peach blossom displays and flowers shock the senses into and out of all things sensible. Perched above heads of thousands are the pretty red lanterns in rows of regular readiness to please in the breezes brushing past beautiful women in heels. The air is fresh and the humidity low.

It’s holiday season and we encourage you to have a listen to our podcasts when not at work as well as a peek at the Woman at Work and Showcase sections on our website. And please read some more stories in Imprint 19, too.

To our overseas members, our wish is that you remain safe and happy in your own communities, as we all wait patiently for planes to fly us to family and friends again.

On behalf of the committee, I send my very best wishes to you all,

Suzanne

February 12th, 2021|

WiPS 2020 Christmas Message

Hello Dear Members!

Frosty the Snowman has a smile on his face and seems very happy indeed to have been invited to join our committee, as we wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas.

It’s been a blizzard of a year to say the least. That may be okay for snowmen and women, but it’s been a huge challenge for many. While some members have left Hong Kong and returned to their country of origin, most of us have been forced to make adjustments, both here and abroad.

To quote author Elizabeth Gilbert, “Resilience is our shared genetic inheritance.” In a TED Connect virtual conversation, hosted by Chris Anderson and Helen Walters, Liz offers hope and understanding around the anxiety and fears synonymous with the coronavirus pandemic. Her message to us all is that we must be kind and compassionate to ourselves – yes, ourselves. Do not be so hard on yourself. The human spirit is such that somehow out of nothing, we find solutions. Our resourcefulness and incredible ability to adapt immediately is our strength. Do have a listen to this talk; it is most uplifting, especially with Christmas not far away. 

In October 2019, the sum of HK$50,000 was gifted to us by an anonymous WiPS member, to whom we are most grateful. This incredibly generous donation has been used to increase our social media presence. We tried our best to have the Imprint 19 launch and even a Christmas party, but Covid pounced and we could not proceed. Turning instead to the Cloud and all that is safe in the virtual world, social media facilitated more promotion of your talents. On Facebook, Polly has been posting Taster of the Week every four days. These are excerpts from individual Imprint 19 contributions. Kay Ross has been posting many informative and deliciously interesting posts on our Facebook page for most of this year. We are most appreciative of her contribution and dedication to our social media growth. Under the Members’ section on our website, we now have seven Woman at Work pieces and seven Showcase contributions. Please do check these out and contact us if you would like to participate.

Now we are podcasting! Suzanne Harrison was the very first to be interviewed on her pacey and vibrant Hong Kong thriller, The Colour of Thunder. This is to be released on 1 February 2021. Sarah Brennan, author of the best-selling Chinese Calendar Tales along with the Dirty Story series and Storm Whale, was our second podcast guest. These podcasts are uploaded to our website and on Facebook. There will be at least one podcast per month.

Our next issue of Imprint

The offer to extend the deadline of submissions to Imprint 20 was gratefully taken up by several members who had missed the earlier date. This has ensured that we will have a healthy and eclectic mix of submissions for our next anthology. We will watch how things unfold in 2021 and do our best to hold a proper launch.

Carol asks those members who have still to send their pieces to let her know their status (caroldyer@netvigator.com).

And if you are looking for last-minute Christmas gifts, why not consider buying copies of Imprint 19? The book makes an interesting and inexpensive present. Please see the WiPS Home Page for “Where to Find Imprint”.

While some of you will be Zooming and others will be with family and likely a reduced group gathering, I send very best Christmas wishes on behalf of the committee to you all. May you find joy in the presence of those who matter most.

Suzanne
December 2020

December 14th, 2020|
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