Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The First Bhutanese Writers’ Retreat

We called it a retreat because it was too modest to be called a festival. This was something we have been looking forward to since the time we founded Writers Association of Bhutan (WAB) in 2009. This time around we entrusted two of our prominent members in Phuntsholing to lead us. Kinley Wangchuk and Namgay Tshering took less than two months to make the first ever Bhutanese Writers’ Retreat happen. It was a distant dream for the longest time, and now it seems like we have finally found our way. Thanks to the leadership of the two men.
Aue Supe with Super Presentation 

The event took place on 23rd Jan 2016 in a quiet conference hall of Centennial Hotel in the middle of busy Phuntsholing town. The attendance at the event was as modest as our event but quite a few people believed in us to travel from Thimphu to take part in the event while some seemed to wait till we are big enough to deserve their time. We might never make it there but if we ever do we shall remember the people who were with us during our small beginnings, who did more than just watching us struggle. It’s been years now and I know if some of our established writers showed a little faith and came together we could have already come up with something substantial to proudly call our own.

Super Cop in Deep Muse 
In 2003 I completed my first book of short stories and invested all my pocket money into printing the manuscript. First I didn’t know where to go and second the places I went to didn’t even read my stories, and at last they threw away my manuscript. Thirteen years have passed and I haven’t published that book yet. This need not happen to any aspiring writer now. There are people at WAB who will read the manuscript and if the stories are good then we have a team to edit the story, layout the book, design the cover, find financial support for printing if necessary, and produce a book that is of international standard. This already happened with at least six new authors. With each new book we have learned better ways to do things.
The Modest Population
And the Retreat is to celebrate and showcase our team efforts because everyone at WAB is a part timer and every new author is a new team member. So at the retreat we come together to share experiences, to promote books, to have workshops on writing, editing, publishing, and book designing. It’s basically to beat the path to publication flatter.
My Friend and Co Founder Nawang on Alternative Publishing 
Following list of activities from the event will tell you what the retreat was all about:
  1. Mindfulness – Namgay Tshering
  2. Book Promotion and Sale: Kadrinche-beyond words, Cronical of a Love Foretold, Darkest June, La Ama, Barnyard Murder, and Restless Relic
  3. On the road to publication- Experience sharing by Kinley wangchuk and Karma Tenzin Yongba
  4. Poetic Inspiration- Tshering C Dorji
  5. Simplicity in Writing- Kunga Tenzin Dorji (Supe)
  6. Writers and Blogging- PaSsu
  7. Editor’s Story- Needup Zangpo
  8. Elements of Detective stories – Karma Tenzin Yongba
  9. Crowd Publishing- Alternative Publishing- Nawang P Phuntsho
  10. Book signing by Authors; Karma Tenzin Yongba and Kinley Wangchuk

The day was overloaded but every session seemed to bring another dead cell in me back to live. That evening I threw myself on my bed in complete exhaustion but I couldn’t help smiling in satisfaction.  I have never been more motivated to dust my old manuscript and dream of publishing again.
Among the many conferences, retreats, and forums I have attended on my own expenses so far this one put an additional smile on my face because I was given a free accommodation in a nice hotel, not to mention the magnificent venue and meals since our arrival on 22nd Jan evening till our departure on 24th Jan afternoon. Therefore I would like to thank the duo Namgay Tshering, and Kinley Wangchuk for paving the difficult path and would like to join them and their supporters in thanking the event sponsors on behalf of WAB:
  • Proprietor of Dophu Transport, Karma Dophu Thinley
  • Proprietor of Namgay Woods, Dasho KS Dhendup
  • CEO of Bhutan Polythnen Company
  • CEO of Rabdhuen Pvt Ltd
  • Mr. Sonam Wangchuk and Yanka of Phuntsho Norphel Trading
  • Proprietor of Centennial Hotel


9 comments:

  1. Very aspiring and inspirational initiative taken by participated by talented writers. We appreciate you guys. A very best of luck. Thanks

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  2. Congratulations to all participants. May your efforts grow to make Bhutan count in the literary world.

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  3. The journey to a thousand miles begins with the first step. Your retreat was a good way to unite everyone towards the right objectives and paths. I am always impressed with the beautiful English written by all the bloggers of Bhutan.

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  4. I am honored to be in the picture here in your blog. Thank you la.

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  5. I am honored to be in the picture here in your blog. Thank you la.

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  6. Wonderful events. Congrats!!

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  7. Wonderful events. Congrats!!

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  8. Now one of those present at the conference works here:http://customwriting.com/. There are only good writers

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