A CREATIVE WRITING JOINT
THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE CYPRUS WEEKLY ON 13 OCTOBER 2015.
A creative space devoted to the promotion of the written word in Cyprus is planning a series of creative writing classes and workshops in Greek and English, while also getting people acquainted with its new premises in Nicosia.
Known as Write CY, this creative writing cooperative was founded by author and lecturer Sheridan Lambert, who aspires to create a communal hub for writers of all ages, interests and abilities.
“Write CY is giving writing a stronger focus in the community through instruction, outreach and professional publishing and editing services,” reveals Sheridan.
Having been in Cyprus for over a decade now, Sheridan wanted to do something that “could help make Nicosia more of a place that I would want to stay in for another 10 years”.
In tune with the existing literary niches and communities, Write CY aims at embracing all sorts of writers and people who want to write.
“What I hope will differentiate it (from other established literary communities) is its community aspect,” Sheridan explains. “I’m hoping for it to be a hub for writers but also a community for non-professionals or amateurs or those who have always wanted to write.”
Yet this doesn’t belittle the professional aspect pursued through the centre’s endeavours.
“I think what it also has are two other things: the furthering education aspect, which I haven’t really seen here (in Cyprus); I know we have State Institutes of Furthering Education here, but Write CY is more of a specialised furthering education,” he adds.
“The other important aspect is for the kids and for young adults, as opposed to extra-curricular schools which are outmoded and where students are taught through memorising”. Write CY offers something fresh: an approach that can bring this new idea to people.
To this end, the classes on offer, to name a few, are: Story Craft: Practical Techniques for Building Dazzling Stories, Autobiographical Poetry, Wine and Tell: Wine and Food Writing for Aspiring Bon Vivants and Digital Storytelling.
Led by Sheridan himself, Story Share is a workshop targeted to people who already have a feel for the pen. He invites writers to share their stories, be critiqued and get feedback, an important part of the writing process and a support system that is lacking in the local scene.
A MEETING POINT
As a hub then, Write CY’s space, which is found in the old town of Nicosia, provides a meeting point for those affiliated with writing, whether professionally or not.
“If you’re a writer – or anyone – you can just come in, drop by, talk and collaborate.
“We want to make it really open to the public and host whatever people have to offer. Anyone who has some kind of writing base is free to walk in,” adds Sheridan.
Write CY is also planning on hosting various events at its premises, such as book readings, open mic nights, etc. On the business side of things, Write CY will also be offering professional services in Greek and English for anything writing related.
INSTRUCTORS & WORKSHOPS
Sheridan says he found collaborators through approaching people whose work he had read and which had appealed to him.
“The three first people I contacted were people whom I had heard at the second Diversity Arts Festival organised in April… They were the people whose work made the biggest impression on me, and they happen to be in Nicosia. There were Turkish Cypriots as well, but at the moment it’s focused in the south.
“There are more writers locally than I expected. That’s what the festival showed to me, that there is a lively community of writers here and all sorts of different types of writers. And some of the stuff I heard was edgy and I like that,” reveals Sheridan.
“Otherwise, there were people that I knew and whose work I liked outside the festival,” adds Sheridan.
In total, the nine instructors contributing to Write CY all come from different areas of expertise and backgrounds.
“A number have done teaching before or worked in the communications field,” clarifies Sheridan.
More information about Write CY's classes and workshops and instructors can be found at writecy.com