First leg of Northeast Writers’ Conclave held at Guwahati

As part of its journey across all the Northeastern States, Dimapur-based HAWA and Guwahati-based Quaint Essense kick-started their handshake tour with creative minds from the Northeast with an open platform at the 13th North East Book Fair. The literary conclave, entitled a conglomeration of creative minds, saw a number of senior and established writers interacting with amateur writers, photographers and artists.

Coordinated by writer Susan Waten, the literary conclave was the first step in the handshake tour. Susan and writer-activist Aiyushman Dutta are presently touring across different towns and cities of the Northeast in a bid to bring unpublished and hitherto unheard writers, artists and creative professionals on a common platform with established voices and faces.

The event in Guwahati, entitled ‘North East Writers’ Conclave – an open platform: A conglomeration of Creative Minds’ saw a number of eminent writers from the city and also a host of amateurs get together to discuss on a host of issues concerning writing and writers from the region. The issues discussed were as diverse as the list of participants, ranging from writing styles and influences, new-age tools for writers, integrity of the writer, understanding of a community, publishing woes of writers etc.

Noted writer and associate editor of Assam Tribune Group of Newspapers Indrani Raimedhi began the proceedings of the conclave. Speaking on the art of writing, she had a lot of tips for the amateurs on the nuances of writing. The event was coordinated by Susan Waten.

Responding to queries of students and amateurs on the influences for writing, noted writer and associate professor of Handique Girls College Srutimala Duarah said, “Different writers, both from the classical and from the contemporary genre, may influence us and our writings, but as writers we need to have a sensitivity to respond and react and have to touch upon us. All we need is to be open to moments that might range from the beautiful to the ugly and we need to grasp it no matter what.

Morningkeey Phangcho, an ethnographer who also spoke on the occassion, said, “A writer focusing on a particular community should concentrate not only on the ‘what’ aspects but also on the ‘why’ aspects. A writer should relate to the community he or she is writing on and needs to go back in time to make a study of all the aspects of the people.” The event also featured travel columnist Swapnil Bharali who shared his experiences about his personal growth as a writer.

Asking writers to respect the art, senior bureaucrat and writer Dhruba Hazarika said, “The most important thing for a writer is to respect oneself and to command respect as well, which is possible only if one is honest.” He opined that writers nowadays have a lot of choice to take up the art as a full time profession.

Texas-based Software professional Ankur Bora, who publishes and edits the global magazine ‘Friends’ was also present in the seminar. Talking about his initiative to bring a regional magazine while being based abroad, Ankur recounted his own experiences with writing and with writers.

A familiar name in the Northeastern literary realm, Susan Waten was among the handful Indian delegates invited to the 1st Kathmandu Literary Festival. She had organized the first conglomeration of Naga women writers in Dimapur which concluded with the publication of the epic anthology ‘Of Voices and Paper’. A popular writer and columnist of Nagaland, she has been collaborating on several research and documentation projects with journalist-activist Aiyushman Dutta.


About Aiyushman Dutta

Who am I? Yet to find the answer. For the time being, u can call me a writer, maybe a journalist and a music entrepreneur or an errand boy! Whatever suits your fancy!

Posted on February 13, 2012, in Concerts/ Reviews, Day-to-Day, Musicians/ Bands and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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