Editorial: April  Issue

Warm mid-spring greetings to all!

Interestingly, today is April 1 – All Fools’ Day! Ah, now I understand why the highly respectable scholars contemplated a bit longer before making their contributions close to the deadline. Yes, I remember requesting them for their articles, writings or reflections so as to publish them in this issue on April 1. Thank God, they took the RISK – after all they are all creative writers ready to take risks at each and every turn and twist! You may be wondering why so with your thoughts wandering if they are daredevils or aliens. You may dare to argue and ask if they have a lot to lose that they always take risks. Ultimately, you may heave a deep sigh of impatience and come to an abrupt conclusion that it is too hard to understand creative writers and much more creative writing! In fact, they are both too simple to be complicated. Simply, we need to be simple to understand simplicity. Of course, it is universal to take a risk to learn anything new whether it is walking or something else. Creative writers are the explorers of novelty to add something unique to their ever-learning process. That is why they are pioneers, always in the lead to venture a new initiation, digging many more out of NOTHING. That is how they sense creativity all abundant, all scattered all around! Let me share something creative with you through a short conversation. Here it goes:

A: what is there in the room?

B: Nothing.

A: Who is there in the room?

B: Nobody.

A: What do you think about the room?

B: Simple. It is all empty!

A: How? How come the room has NOTHING and NOBODY, and it is all empty?

Anyway, please rest assured – for sure none of us is going to be fooled here. If we happen to, take a chance to be creative in resonance with what you are chancing upon in this Creative Writing on the Move.

Yes, the CHOUTARI issue welcomes you all with creative writings as the products of Asian English Teachers’ Creative Writing Conference (AETCWC), a historic literary event convened in Birgunj on 12 and 13 March, 2013 by NELTA Birgunj and Multilingual Literary Society Nepal. The issue you are going through comprises six entries of diverse styles and tastes. As you move from one to another you are bound to discover different vibrant ideas and experiments.

The first entry is a concise scholarly article on creative writing by Prof. Alan Maley, an eminent figure in ELT from the U.K. with copious contributions and primary interests in creative methodology (including writing), teacher development and innovative materials, who was the key speaker at the AETCWC. His article highlights creative writing as the essence of living language suggesting enjoyable classroom teaching through inventive activities.

The second entry is a piece of writing by Dr. Kirk Branch, English language specialist from the U.S.A., who was one of the four plenary speakers at the AETCWC. His writing emphasizes breaking the barriers of conventional rules and encourages teachers of the English language to awaken their latent talent of free writing to be writers.

As the third entry is an experience-based piece of writing by Dr. Jayakanran Mukundan from Malaysia, a Professor of English Language Teaching at Universiti Putra, Malaysia with his prime research interest in English Language Teaching Materials, and a plenary speaker at the AETCWC. His practical, easy-to-follow, instructive writing may serve as a cure-all to most of psychology-hindered teachers for a jump-start to unveil their vast potentiality as writers and better teachers.

The next one is a reflection on the conference by Dr. Vishnu S Rai, an Associate Professor of English at TU and a leading ELT educator of creative writing in Nepal, and another plenary speaker at the same conference. His reflection seems to be directly from the pages of his diary that may plunge you deep down to the insightful thoughts inspiring how simply we can enjoy expressing ourselves in poetry that is often frowned at in our Nepalese context, as if it is one the most tedious parts of writing.

The fifth one is another reflection by Konokon Opasmongkonchai, a freelance Thai and English language teacher from Thailand, who had a presentation at the conference. Her writing flavoured by a couple of pictures may get you to have a writing aspiration and let it take wing to its fulfillment.

The sixth entry is a blog by Li Wei from China, an English lecturer at Guizhou Normal University, China with her main research interests in creative approaches in language teaching and intercultural communication, who also presented a paper at the conference. In her blog, she has shared her experience of how to overcome ‘writer’s block’ and how our writing can journey from rough, shapeless one to well-shaped, refurbished one as a natural process.

And, a special entry is by another plenary speaker Professor Dr. Govinda Raj Bhattarai, a renowned, reverend academician with various contributions to Nepalese ELT and literature. His plenary on ‘You cannot Create until Your Heart Longs for Singing’ has a distinctive taste to serve creativity lovers.

Now what I would like to request you to do is feel words that are ALIVE, not dead, and are always visualizing the wonder of capturing the universe in lines and verses.

Here are the links to the entries to get connected to:

  1. Creative Writing for Students and Teachers by Alan Maley
  2. Writers Teach, Teachers Write by Kirk Branch
  3. What Writers Need to Know about Starting and Then Getting Better at Writing Jayakaran Mukundan
  4. Birgunj Truly Represents Nepal by Vishnu S Rai
  5. My Reflection on Birgunj Conference by Kanokon  Opasmongkonchai
  6. Blog on Creative Writing Workshop and Conference in Birgunj, Nepal by Li Wei

“Before getting down to the end, let me extend my heartfelt thanks to all the respectable creative writers, who inspire us to cherish something ordinary to add an extraordinary dimension to creative writing and to share with all, for managing to make their unforgettable contributions to the issue. The entries here are purely practical and immensely implemental for us to feel the pulse of language in a new direction, so they are worth reading, re-reading, feeling and flaring in one way or another, whether here in three steps mentioned below or there taking them to classrooms to count radiant smiles at language and literature!”

The last but not least, here is how we can make our visit to CHOUTARI memorable –

We have three things to do, but feel free to do one or all at your will.

They are:

First, like the post(s) of your choice – an aesthetic move!

Second, share it or them on facebook – a hopeful preparation!

Third, sketch a comment – a commendable commencement of your creativity!

Best of Reading and Writing!

Suresh Kumar Shrestha


NELTA Choutari

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