It all formally started with Ernest Hemingway writing “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. Once, while lunching with friends at a restaurant, Hemingway bets the table ten dollars each that he can craft an entire story in six words. He then writes it on a napkin, passes it around the table, and collects his winnings.
This art is most commonly known as Micro or the Flash fiction. Japan, China, Latin America and Europe have been using it for centuries now, much before Hemingway. Haiku and Haibun (the art of combining prose and Haiku) originated in Japan in the seventeenth century. China popularised the art in various self-descriptive terms e.g. palm-sized story, minute-long story or smoke-long story. France has been practising the art of writing Nouvelles, the popularity of which increased as the twentieth century rolled into the twenty-first. Then later in the West, it has been popularly dubbed as mobile-phone-fiction or thumb-novels.
In all its forms, both ancient and modern, it covers the art of storytelling, sometimes in as less as 20-30 words, only. With a constantly reducing attention span, this serves the purpose of reading a tale and that would leave you with emotions to gush upon. In recent times, Twitter may have revived this practice with its 140 character limit but according to the team of The Writer’s Nest, this art is deeply rooted in our psyche and in the history of human communication.
The Writer’s Nest is collective of the youth of Assam which is revolutionising the art of Microfiction in the whole of Northeastern India. It’s an independent brand operating under the banner of The North-Eastern Chronicle, which focuses on promoting this art in the region by providing a platform to the amateur writers. In a span of a just couple of months, with their sheer dedication, they have been successful in amassing a huge readership of about 15.2K over Instagram and Facebook.
Recently, The Writer’s Nest community conducted the first ever tales writing workshop in the region and going by their immense popularity amongst the youth, they weren’t surprised by a footfall of over 500 people. Led by Mahasweta Sharma and Neil Goswami, this workshop was conducted in two shifts – the first on the 28th of June, followed by a three-day event from the 21st to 23rd of this month. The workshop comprised of three main sessions i.e. lectures on tales writing, motivational talks and introduction to entrepreneurship.
The key emphasis during the session was laid on the key techniques and construction of a Microfiction – the beginning, the middle and the end. Simpler the words, the more everlasting could be the impact. Apart from these, the challenges and the usages of writing a good piece of the tiny tale were also discussed. Not only that, the need of experimenting with the art to contribute to its development was also explained. The participants were encouraged to come up with tales during the workshop and lecture ended with the outlining of the scope of Microfiction as an important marketing tool in the contemporary times.
This was followed by a motivational session, spearheaded by Kaushik Khanikar from InspirePapa. This startup builds a platform to bring together motivational speakers from the region under one roof. There were talks of how to pull oneself through the troubling times while never losing hopes and the belief in one’s dreams. The next session, led by Anamika Das and Rishi Ghosh from Startup0.7, had the introduction to the elements of startup culture, with the aim to promote entrepreneurship and women empowerment in the region. The active participation was awarded goodies and merchandise by Tinder and RedBull.
The workshop was held at the well-known Back Bencher’s cafe at Guwahati.
By Pritesh Gupta