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The fellows at South Asia Speaks work on a diverse set of projects, write consistently, and adopt various styles of writing. Therefore, the scope of learning from (and with) each other is wide and exciting. Additionally, given that the pandemic has rendered it difficult for writers to come together for writing, reading, or discussing work, most are compelled to write alone. The program provides a great opportunity for fellows to network online till our world offline recovers.

Identifying this potential, one of the fellows, Samia Mehraj set up the South Asia Speaks Writers' Group in the month of July to build a working-community of fellows at the program and explore means to support each other. 

The group consists of thirteen fellows whose primary objective is to gather at a mutual space online for quiet writing sessions. There are four writing slots each day (morning, day, evening, night), and so far the group has clocked 18 days of writing together. Other than writing, the group's conversations touches on books, updates, greetings, and cheering one another.

Upon its commencement, the writers' group organized an introduction meeting, followed by two ongoing series of sessions. For the first series, Mentor Talks, fellows invite mentors from the program for informal tête-à-têtes to discuss and ask questions about their work. Author Fatima Bhutto joined fifteen fellows on the evening of the 4th of August for the first session, which was moderated by Rabia Mushtaq and Samia Mehraj. In September authors Sonia Faleiro and Karan Mahajan will join the fellows for two more meetings.

The second series, Mentee Talks, was organized by the fellow Pallavi Narayan with the intention of mobilizing the expertise of fellows to benefit the rest of the group. The series kickstarted on the August 1 with an interactive talk on grant writing conducted by fellow Monika Mondal

The Writers' Group at South Asia Speaks is a compassionate, community-driven, and encouraging space, strengthened further by our shared love for writing and reading.