We are a small team of writers who love to write and tell stories and talk about how these two things have changed us and continue to challenge us as we try to grapple with the concept of what it means to tell awesome stories.
We are Indonesian writers who actively write in English as a foreign language and we are strong proponents of the idea that writers of any color or culture should never be confined to the language of their birthplace in order to express themselves fully and creatively. We also believe there are aspiring writers out there who have found their voice in English as a foreign language, yet who are also reluctant to exercise it for fear of being branded as unpatriotic. Or aspiring writers who have yet discovered their voice in English as a foreign language, but would love to learn more about how to develop one.
Let’s explore this together.
We realize that, as writers and storytellers, we are entering uncharted waters. “Why English?” is a question most of you will raise after you learn more about the workshops; and there’s a good chance you will consider us “less than [fill in the blank]” for even suggesting them. We see your point; but we refuse to succumb to anyone’s judgement. Our answer is simple: “Why not English?”
There is no mystery (or sorcery, for that matter) to the practice of writing in a foreign language. Milan Kundera did it. Vladimir Nabokov did it. Samuel Beckett did it. And Yiyun Li is still doing it. Recently, Jhumpa Lahiri decided to write solely in Italian. What does it mean to them to write in a second or foreign language? Some say their souls have been stirred, that it is a calling. Others say they do it for greater readership. Whatever the reason, you needn’t justify the act. Just write. And do it well.
And if you need a push, a room to call your own where you can safely practice your skills alongside like-minded people … come join our workshops.
Let the transformation begin.