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     Volume 8 Issue 74 | June 19, 2009 |

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Getting Rid of the Block

Elita Karim

Writers Block members answer questions from the audience. .

Writers Block is made up of young and promising writers in Bangladesh, writing in English. It was almost two years ago when a few writers decided to get together and critique each other's writing. Soon enough, the group became bigger and would meet regularly (and still do), share their thoughts and their writings with each other. Not only does this help the members to become better writers, but also find the confidence to delve into territories unknown. Members of Writers Block: Awrup Sanyal, Farah Ghuznavi, Lori Simpson, Sharbari Ahmed, Masud Khan Shujon, M.K. Aaref, Munize M. Khasru, Saad Z. Hossain, Sabrina Ahmad, Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, Salahdin Imam, Samir Asran Rahman, Shazia Omar and Tisa Muhaddes.

Despite the fact that many of the members in the group are well-known columnists and feature writers in local English publications, these writers find it difficult to get their creative work published because of the limited publishing opportunities in the country. Last week, the group finally had their website officially launched at the plush Red Shift, located in Gulshan 1 at Bays Galleria. A platform where the Writers Block members can enjoy a space to be creative, the website is also an area where the writers are able to share their ideas and stories with readers outside their group.

Munize M Khasru

Several literary personalities were present on the occasion of the launch, where well-known dance artist Lubna Marium was the Chief Guest. Marium who actually inspired the forming of the group, spoke about the significance of creativity and how the sparks of imagining the incredible dwell in us all.

At the end of the event, the writers read out their stories and poems. Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi read out her poetry, which inspired Sharbari Ahmed to work on her soon to be launched film 'Duniya,' Shazia Omar read out the first three pages of her soon to be published book 'Like a Diamond in the Sky' from Penguin.

Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi

The website is, undoubtedly, an excellent way to showcase the writers' works to the readers. However, some pointed out that the website is not as interactive as one would hope. For one thing, writers from outside the group will not be able to upload their writing on the website. The Writers Block members say that they do not plan to take in any more member into the group, which is why the website does not have any feature of taking in member writers. However, readers can leave their comments upon reading the write-ups by the Writers Block members on the website.

The initiative taken by the small group of writers by creating Writers Block is indeed praiseworthy. As the event came to an end, the Writers Block members urged everyone to create similar groups in their respective localities and communities so that English literature in Bangladesh is taken to a higher level.

For more information, check out www.writersblock.com.bd.

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