The Commonwealth Writers – Projects Promoting Creative

Creative expression is the harmonic voice of a peaceful society. Promoting excellence in creative literary expression is the mission of the Commonwealth Writers. The Commonwealth Writers is an initiative created by The Commonwealth Foundation.

Since 1987, each civic-minded organization has worked to promote civic participation between people and those who govern them. Without civil discourse between society and governments, we would soon resemble something more reflective of totalitarianism.

When people neglect their responsibility to participate in the governing process, leaders begin to assume authoritarian control. It begins slowly, but history has proven it gains momentum, often leading to a suppressing of cultural expression. There have been horrific periods where this led to a collapse of society.

The Commonwealth Foundation has supported creative civic discourse since 1966. Through The Foundation and the Commonwealth Writers, there are a number of projects specifically dedicated to aspiring written expression. Let’s take a look at a few of these projects supported by The Foundation and offered via its literary initiative, the Commonwealth of Writers.

Translation Symposium

While native Chinese and Spanish-speaking peoples number more than those who designate English as their native language, English is still the predominate language in the world. This is especially true for literary works.

By translating creative works from other languages into English, other cultures can be exposed to a variety of literature. English is a global language phenomenon that offers a sort of literary bridge between cultures.

The Commonwealth Writers Translation Symposiums help to promote this vital tool for world literature. These stories can be reverse translated from English into other native languages as well.

Frequently, this important tool offers literary excellence to people who would never get the chance to read these works. The Commonwealth Writers supports international translation efforts through workshops and symposiums.

They strive to maintain context so accurate story details can be shared across various languages. Most recently, the Commonwealth Writers Translation Symposium focused on creative works from South and Southeast Asia.

Too often, literature from this region is relegated to non-dominant languages. The Commonwealth Writers works to encourage accurate translations from original languages to English. This helps improve visibility and circulates creative stories through depressed regions of the world.

Craft Development

The Commonwealth of Writers endeavors to help aspiring-writers develop their craft. Through Craft Development workshops held around the world, experience literary experts share their experience.

These workshops are designed to help enhance storytellers’ tell their stories and share their personal culture globally. This helps writers from across the world strengthen their skills as writers, helping to expand cultural connectivity.

The Commonwealth Writers believes that improved creative literary expression can be an invaluable tool for productive civic discourse. The Craft Development platforms offer writers’ tools, tips and suggestions to improve their writing and enhance their freedom of expression.

Festival of Commonwealth Film

The Commonwealth Writers have not restricted themselves to books and short stories. In 2018, they held the inaugural Festival of Commonwealth Film at the British Museum in London. During the two-day festival, seven exciting international films were shown.

The festival was coordinated as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which expanded the exposure of this new project. The Festival of Commonwealth is an evolution of the original Commonwealth Shorts.

Since the first round of short films was released in 2013, regional events have been added. Filmmakers from Canada, the Bahamas, Barbados, Kenya and New Zealand were instrumental in the success of the first project.

Subsequent Commonwealth Shorts have provided a chance for emerging screenwriters and directors to receive notoriety for excellence in films that spotlight problems in their home communities. The larger Festival of Commonwealth Film now encompasses all films from the Commonwealth Shorts and is an annual event.

Commonwealth Writers Anthologies

Great literature needs to be shared so the creative originality that they express can make a difference in the world. That is the ambition of the Commonwealth Writers., plus produces anthologies literary excellence.

Through a partnership with publishers, editors and language translators, the Commonwealth Writers helps to expand the opportunities for writers around the world to be heard. These anthologies can be shared in multiple languages to help erect a bridge for civic understanding and appreciation of cultural differences.

The Commonwealth Writers coordinates these four important projects, plus other individual regional events to expand the horizons for aspiring writers. As an initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, the Commonwealth Writers works to support democratic participation through projects promoting excellence in creative literary expression.