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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Write to Reconcile Call for Submissions by 21st February 2014

Jaffna workshop of Write to Reconcile
jaffna workshop of Write to Reconcile
The National Peace Council, in conjunction with the internationally renowned Sri Lankan author, Shyam Selvadurai, is inviting new and emerging writers to apply toWrite to Reconcile—a creative writing project that brings together Sri Lankan writers from Sri Lanka and the diaspora who are interested in writing creative pieces (fiction, memoir or poetry) on the issues of conflict, peace, reconciliation, trauma and memory, as they relate to Sri Lanka’s civil war and the postwar period.

Write to Reconcile was inaugurated in December of 2012 by Shyam Selvadurai. The first year of the project brought together 23 emerging Sri Lankan writers. The work produced by these writers was published in the Write to Reconcile Anthology, launched in September 2013.
Two thousand copies of the anthology were mailed to libraries and schools across the country and a downloadable version is available as well at The project, which was funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the American Centre, was so successful, that it is to take place for a second time in 2014. The mandate of the project has been broadened to include members of the Sri Lankan diaspora as well.

The project will be conducted in English. It will consist of an eight day residential creative writing workshop that will take place March 29th – April 5th 2014 and two creative writing online forums, which will take place between mid-April and June 2014. This will be followed by the publication of the participants’ work in an anthology at a book launch in February 2015. The project is open to all applicants who have Sri Lankan or dual citizenship or who are from the diaspora with at least one parent who is of Sri Lankan origin. Participants must be between ages 18-29 or be secondary school and university teachers of any age who live and work in Sri Lanka and are citizens or dual citizens of the country. Write to Reconcile will cover all expenses of participants. Entry into Write to Reconcile is competitive and only 24 participants will be selected.

Speaking about the project, Shyam Selvadurai said, “I am very pleased to be doing Write to Reconcile again. The stories and poetry developed in the first year of the project were wonderful and I fully expect that the work coming out of this second year will be just as important and interesting. Creative work has a lot to contribute in a post-war Sri Lanka. It helps us understand each other, heal wounds and move on.”

Speaking about the National Peace Council’s participation in the project, Dr.JehanPerera, the Executive Director said,“Although possibilities of travel and engagement across provinces and communities have increased since the end of the war, polarisation between those of different communities still remains strong. Shyam Selvadurai’s previous work with writers of different ethnicities shows that he is able to help them overcome the insularity that comes from absence of engagement with those who are from another community.”

Speaking of their sponsorship of the project, for the second time, the Ambassador Grete Løchen of the Royal Norwegian Embassy said, “The power of the written word, be it fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction, carries great potential to reconnect people and heal the wounds of war by providing readers with access to the different points of views, norms, political and religious beliefs of the various communities.” Expressing his pleasure at also sponsoring the project again Christopher Teal, head of the U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs office said, “The American Center is pleased to partner once again on Write to Reconcile. We hope this second edition will be as effective in creating a dialogue among ethnic and religious communities as was the first.”

For more information on the project and how to apply go to Or email for an application at The deadline to submit an application is February 21st2014. First 15 successful applicants will receive an autographed copy of Shyam Selvadurai's new novel The Hungry Ghosts.

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