October 21, 2016
By Nazlı İnal
On Friday, October 21, at 7 pm, the second installment of the reading series “Words, words, words” took place in Room 101 of the School of Foreign Languages. There were some fifty plus students in attendance as well as teachers from the English Department. Supported by the Center for English language Creative Writing, “Words, words, words” (Hamlet, II.ii.192) is a reading series that celebrates unpublished student writing, giving a chance to the writers to share their work with a larger audience than their teachers and classmates, and providing the audience with an opportunity to listen to stories solely with the purpose of enjoying them.
The Sun Yat-sen University English majors take a variety of Creative Writing classes in their second and third years, studying and trying their hands at poetry, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and translation both in workshop and seminar settings, which is to say the juniors, among whom the readers are chosen, have already accumulated a small body of work. The six readers on Friday were 陈英 (Janet), 李桔墁 (Vicky), 刘静仪 (Flora), 陈琼娴 (Alice), 李田武 (Bill Lee), 杜佳格 (Cara), and they brought to stage both fiction and nonfiction, reading two short stories, two stories based on or inspired by real life events, and two personal essays.
The reading was a successful blend of funny and emotional stories and was greatly enjoyed by the audience. The readers were nervous, but even so, they too enjoyed the evening. Janet said, “It was my first time to read my story in public. At first, I just thought it was going to be a casual meeting, because I had not known that the reading was held in such a big room. That was why I was really nervous at the beginning. But when I was standing on the stage and sharing my story with my friends, I really enjoyed it. After the reading, one of my classmates told me her friend loved my story and my performance, which made me feel extremely happy, even though I know my story was not so good. But this reading really encouraged me, and I will try my best to improve my writing skills. Besides, I am really looking forward to the next “Words, words, words” reading.” Like her friend, Alice experienced a mix of apprehension and joy. “As a reader, I was so glad and honored to read my story on the stage. It was fantastic to see so many people in the audience listening carefully to my story. At the beginning, I was a little bit nervous, but I became totally engaged in my story and spoke more fluently later on. As a member of the audience, I was amazed to see my classmates read with real passion and I enjoyed their stories very much. I am looking forward to more excellent stories from my classmates,” she said.
If you have missed us this time, do not worry! There will be at least two students readings both in Fall and Spring semesters, and many other reading and writing events sponsored by the Center for English language Creative Writing. Most notably The Sun Yat-sen University International Writers’ Residency and The Asia Pacific Writers and Translators China Program are coming up in November. We hope to see you then!