The Editor’s Note
Writers Practice delivers a range of creative writing activities. Since the last issue of Write Together, Writers Practice has delivered workshops in person and online. We launched our first four-week online course, with teaching writer Whiti Hereaka. What pulls all these activities together is Writers Practice’s vision of craft, community and conversation for writers across Aotearoa & beyond.
Write Together is one of our newer programmes. We’re excited about the way it fits with the Writers Practice vision. The journal brings together writers from all over Aotearoa and asks them to write for a month together with the goal of submitting work for this publication. We are very open about what the end product of this collaboration might look like but we do ask participants to comment on the process.
We believe collaboration can produce surprising and compelling work, that the act of collaborating can often lead to new work that might not have come about if writers had worked in isolation. This second issue of Write Together shows again the great potential of writing collaboratively and we’re grateful to the writers who participated.
We really recommend reading what the writers have written about their process because it adds so much to the reading of the works. You can often see the process reflected in the pieces themselves. It is often the challenges of working collaboratively and finding ways to progress through these challenges that give these pieces of writing their form and power.
All three of the works in this issue demonstrate a way of working which makes for original and compelling literature.
In ‘Uncommon Ground’, Vivienne Ball and Anna Mahoney explore how a common cause can lead to different and often opposing actions. What is engaging about this work, as evident in the description of the process, is that Ball and Mahoney had to find common ground to write a story about people working from individual to joint action. The work captures a snapshot of Aotearoa in a climate emergency and the ways we are trying to act for a better world.
Sylvan Spring and Lily Holloway’s piece ‘two queers meet in a café’ has a wonderful echo with the writers real-life meeting. The work hums above this reality, using a question and answer form to create a parallel world which offers wide-ranging possibilities. It’s a piece that speaks in sound as much as in meaning. We really recommend reading this piece out loud. The cues are in the layout on the page and the play of white space gives almost an aural effect to the work when read in silence.
Pamela Calverley is the first solo writer to appear in Write Together. We’re really grateful that Pamela was willing to share this work with us after her writing partner was no longer able to participate. This is something that can happen in collaborations and as Pamela says in her process note, has in some ways been written with a co-writer. Pamela’s work ‘A Kindness’ is a close and rich observation of a place and a moment. An exploration of differences and similarities, of loss and potential.
Thank you again to all the writers who took part in this process.
Issue 3 is now open for sign-ups!
Applications close 31 September and we will pair you by mid October.
If you are keen to be part of this process please read and register here
Kirsten and Pip