Later this month, we’ll be in Hpa-An in Karen state, training teachers in creative writing teaching. Because our skills in Burmese are poor, and our Karen is non-existent, we’re excited to be sharing our experience of creative writing teaching with local teachers. We hope that this will enable participants to return to their classrooms ready to take their own creative approaches to inspiring new generations of writers, whatever the language. Continue reading “Creative Writing Teacher Training in Hpa-An”

We’re currently in Mawlamyine, in Mon state, for a few days, and yesterday we met up with Ko Myint Than of the MYMA (Mon Youth Missionary Association), an educational organisation that works to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of Mon literature. Mon language is currently on UNESCO’s list of vulnerable languages, and so this is hugely important work. Mon, incidentally, is a fascinating language. It belongs to the Mon-Khmer group, so is not closely related to Burmese, although Burmese uses a modified version of Old Mon script. Alongside Mon language and literature, the MYMA also works on developing students’ skills in English and in Buddhist study. Continue reading “Work in Progress in Mon State”

Our short story class at the Parami Institute in Yangon is now in full swing, and it has been a lot of fun. We have been working with a committed and talented group of Burmese writers, exploring a whole range of storytelling skills. The photo above comes from last night’s session on Aristotle’s Poetics and story structure. Into the New Year, we’re planning further courses at Parami as well as a range of projects elsewhere. We’ll keep you posted!

We’re delighted to be working over the coming months with the lovely people at Mote Oo, which runs projects on education and social justice. We’ll be consulting for them on their new coursebook on ethical leadership, as well as writing, and possibly piloting, the textbook.

We’re very excited by this, as it is a chance to think about ethics not as something bolted-on to the way that organisations work, but instead as something that runs through everything that they do. Later next week, we’re having some initial discussions up in Hpa-An, in Karen state, and then into the new year we’ll be getting to work on developing some content.

You can find out more about what Mote Oo does by visiting their website.

We’re very excited to be launching a new project in the new year, publishing high-quality print and e-books. At the moment, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes flurry to get things set up for this, but in the first quarter of 2019, we’ll be ready to launch our first project.

By setting up a publishing arm of Wind&Bones, we hope to have a better platform for the voices from some of the work that we do. At the moment, we’re not taking submissions, as we’ve got our hands full (so please don’t send us anything). But if this changes, we’ll post here on the website.

In the mean-time, whilst we get ourselves organised, see our publishing page here.

We’re now in Myanmar (Burma), where we’ll be for the coming months. We’ve got a number of projects in the works, but first up is a six week writing workshop at the Parami Institute of the Liberal Arts and Sciences in Yangon. Starting later in November, we’ll be teaching a course on the fundamentals of short story writing. We’ll be drawing on published stories from both Myanmar writers and writers elsewhere in the world, and will be looking at short stories in a cross-cultural and cross-linguistic context. It promises to be a lot of fun.

Today we’re leaving Ubud after a hugely stimulating few days at the Writers and Readers Festival. Our final event yesterday was our workshop on writing and ethics. We had thirteen or fourteen participants – a nice mix of Indonesian and non-Indonesian writers – for a leisurely three hour exploration of how to get in and out of trouble with words. It was a massively stimulating afternoon, with a huge breadth of experience and insight around the table. Continue reading “Talking Ethics in Ubud”

We’re now in Indonesia, getting ready for our events at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. But we thought we’d just share this fabulous painting done by our hugely talented friend from Jakarta, Audhina Nur Afifah. Audhina is a proper Renaissance woman: a painter, a musician, a designer and a lover of literature. It has been a delight to get to know her, and we’re both hugely touched by this enormously generous gift.

Greetings from Jakarta, where we are beginning our short Indonesian tour. First off, we’re in Jakarta for the British Council’s Wallacea Week 2018, where Will is doing an event this evening (17th October) with the fabulous Indonesian travel writer Agustinus Wibowo. The event is at the National Library of Jakarta, and entry is free.

This October, we’re going to be heading to Southeast Asia for a number of months, where we’ll be working on a range of new projects.

After an event at the British Council’s Wallacea Week in Java, where Will is talking about his book Stealing With the Eyes, and discussing travel writing with Indonesian writer Agustinus Wibowo, we’ll both be at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali where – amongst other things – we’ll be running a workshop on the ethics of writing (about which, see our previous post).

From there, we’ll be heading on to Myanmar, where we’re doing a writing residency and running a series of workshops at the Parami Institute in Yangon. In Myanmar, we’re also planning to get involved in a number of other projects in the realms of literature, education, creativity and social justice.

Whilst on the move, we’ll also be writing. Hannah’s book-length collection of short stories, In Their Absence, is due out from Roman Books later in 2019, so she’ll be finalising the manuscript for that, as well as working on new material; meanwhile, Will intends to work on his current non-fiction work-in-progress (about which more in the next couple of months).

Whilst in Southeast Asia, we’re absolutely open to new possibilities and collaborations. So if you are in the region, and are doing anything that relates to our work, we would just love to hear from you.

This autumn we’ll be in Ubud for the 2018 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Will’s book on Indonesia, “Stealing With the Eyes: Imaginings and Incantations in Indonesia” – about the tangled ethical dilemmas of anthropology in the easternmost islands of Indonesia – has just been been published by Haus Publishing, so he’ll be doing a couple of events to talk about the book.

Whilst there, Will and Hannah will be jointly running a Wind&Bones (or, in Indonesian, Angin dan Tulang) workshop on the ethics of writing. This is a topic that is often curiously under-explored in creative writing courses – which is in stark contrast to journalism courses – and so it should be a fascinating few hours of discussion and hands-on exploration.

The workshop is on the 28th October, so if you are around in Bali, then come along.

Picture credit: Michelle Maria

We are now back in the UK after spending several days in Sofia at the end of our Bulgaria trip, on a mini-residency at the Sofia Literature and Translation House. It was the perfect place to do catch up on a bit of writing and reading. Whilst there, Hannah got to work on a short story pamphlet commission, and Will continued with research on a number of his non-fiction projects. Meanwhile, we both also had more of a chance to catch up with friends, to explore Sofia, and to meet some local writers, artists and activists.

The Literature and Translation House is run by the Next Page foundation, under the leadership of the wonderful Yana Genova, who was a superb host, and who offered us all kinds of insights into the wider Bulgarian literary scene. Yana also very kindly set up an informal discussion meeting with a number of people working at the meeting places between the arts and social justice. Among the guests were Anguelina Ranguelova from the Pavilion 19 project, which works on theatre and storytelling with underprivileged young people (in particular from the Roma and asylum-seeker communities) in the area of the Zhenski Pazar, or the women’s market, and Evgeni Dimitrov who works on projects at the Centre for Inclusive Education, as well as on his remarkable project “The Invisibles” (see the link here), which has many resonances with Hannah’s work on missing people.
Continue reading “Residency in the Sofia Literature and Translation House”