Category: News

Flying High with Koyal Writers

It has been a fabulous couple of months for Koyal Writers, the virtual writing group of which I am a member. After delivering an event for South Asian Heritage Month in August, we went on to be featured in Writing Magazine in September. It is quite fitting that our group is named after a bird, because it really does feel like we have taken flight!

I have mentioned the Koyal Writers elsewhere but not really said very much about the group, so that would be a good place to start today. My fellow members (or, as I like to refer to them, my sisters-in-writing) are Anita Goveas, Mala Schneider, Nabeela Ahmed, Sarah M Jasat, Sidra Ansari, and Sujana Crawford. We met in 2018 on the Becoming a Writer course from The Asian Writer and stayed in touch via WhatsApp once the course came to an end. Individually, we write on a wide range of subjects in a variety of forms, including novels, short stories, flash fiction, plays, poetry, and non-fiction. Since January 2020, we have been working more collectively through a virtual journal that we call The Travelling Notebook, which we are aiming to develop into an anthology. We are on Twitter (@thekoyalwriters) and are working on setting up a website and developing our other social media accounts.

Our first event as a formal collective was the video for South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM), which I spoke about in my previous post. To recap, our event, which was broadcast on 6th August, was a pre-recorded video titled ‘The Travelling Notebook; a conversation about connection with Koyal Writers’ in which we shared insight into the workings of a virtual writing group. In the first half of the video, we talk about how we met, how we maintain our connection, and how we collaborate as a writing group through The Travelling Notebook. The second half of the video then features readings from all of the Koyals of pieces that they have contributed to The Travelling Notebook. The video was warmly received and it is still available to view on the SAHM YouTube channel. 

Moving onto the Writing Magazine article, I get the magazine every month and love reading about the different groups showcased in their regular Writers’ Circles feature. With many of the writing groups talking about how they had to adapt their mode of operation due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, I thought that readers might be interested to learn about how Koyal Writers manage connection and collaboration as a virtual group. I contacted Writing Magazine and asked if they would like to feature us. Much to my delight, they wrote back with an enthusiastic ‘yes’, and the next thing we knew, Koyal Writers were under the WM spotlight. Our feature is in the October issue of the magazine, which is out now and available to buy here.

Writing Magazine (October 2021)

It was a real spine-tingling moment when the magazine dropped through the letter box and I opened it up to find our story in print. It makes me proud to see how far our little group has come since our paths happened to converge on the same writing course less than four years ago, and it makes me excited to see how much further we will travel in the next four. Whatever the future holds, I’m so grateful to be on this journey with these amazing women by my side.

Peace and blessings,

Nazira