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The Internet Is Not Everything

Posted on 05/12/2014
By Commonwealth Foundation

We still use them.

In the new year, Commonwealth Writers will be running a prose writing workshop for writers of fiction and non-fiction living in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The workshop will take place 23-28 February in Suva, Fiji and the deadline for submissions to enter is 5 January 2015.  For full details see The Pacific Writing Workshop.
We’re thrilled to have had several enquiries and even some submissions already. We very much look forward to reading them. But, before we do, we have to fulfil a challenge we’d set ourselves: of getting our call out to as many people as possible who don’t have access to the internet.
We’ve told everyone we know in the Pacific (more people than you might think) and asked them to tell their friends and relatives. We’ve been trying to contact newspapers and radio stations in the different island countries – long distance, from London. This, you can imagine, is an inexact and distant art.  Sometimes there is no substitute for being there in person.
But if you are – if you live in any of these countries or know people who do – will you help us? Will you telephone or meet with at least one person who is not online and tell them about our workshop?
Who should you tell?

Our writing workshop is not just for people who go to writing workshops. We are as interested in people we can learn from as people who can learn from us. Our first question is not about what you write – it is about what you might have to write about?

We’re interested in hearing from people who have never considered writing but have stories to tell. We’re interested in hearing from people – like newspaper journalists – who have been writing all their lives in one form and may like to try another. For those five days in February we will work with the final selected group of 12-15 participants on possible ways of telling their stories in writing.
If there is anyone who would like to hear more, we would be willing to telephone them and talk further. We’d just like to hear from anyone, of any age, with a story. We’ll find a way for you to apply using someone else’s internet connection.
And if you send us the story of how and where you met someone and told them about this project, then we will run a blog post in the new year about all these encounters.
Commonwealth Writers

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