Here’s what some of the people who participated in DWL courses have to say about the courses:
DWL Speculative Fiction Writing Workshop 2014 “The Rising Dust” Participants
Nihal: The critiquing sessions were revelatory. Not only did I understand so much about what I was doing wrong, but also about what I might have subconsciously been doing right, and was urged to qualify and draw upon it. The opportunity to learn the same about other participants was just the icing on the cake. Coming out of that room after a good 6-7 hours, I felt so much heavier with the weight of all the things I learned, the things I wrote down and the things I know I’ll remember, bit by bit, in the times to come.
Asfand: I liked the fact that stories were looked at from so many different angles and important critique was given, along with suggestions for improvement.
Ayesha: (I liked most) The insight brought by the instructor on being a pakistani writer in the speculative fiction world, as well as the feedback provided by him on our writing.
DWL Lahore Poetry Workshop 2014 “Pakistani Poets Writing in English” Participants
Hamayle: Before this workshop, poetry (and writing) were largely on the sidelines for me. This workshop helped me grow this mere hobby into a habit, a passion even. I took away a strong will to write from this workshop.
Hassan: They (the instructors) understood the poems we brought in and were able to point out flaws as well as positive points, and help us improve. I can safely say that I am a better writer with a better understanding of how to go about writing, than before.
Kausar: Be ready to explore yourself as a writer because DWL Poetry Workshop introduces you to various forms of writing poetry and allows you to grow as a poet.
Shahab: The instructor’s moderated the sessions really well, allowing the discussion to move along and inviting comments where necessary. I found their feedback in the workshop sessions to be extremely useful. They also came up with excellent reading material for the sessions.
Sumaya: The sessions were made up of lively discussion and people who did not shy away from speaking their mind and offering constructive criticism. The instructors were both encouraging and eager to offer helpful direction.
DWL Online Poetry Workshop 2014 Participants
Jarri: Finally, the chapbook is done, and there’s this nice, warm feeling of accomplishment. I edited, and in some cases rewrote the whole poem, to make it sound better, more coherent, for this was exactly what I set out to achieve with this course – to close the gap between what I wanted to say, and what ended up on paper.
Samira: So thank you, our mentors Noor, Ilona and Zakia. My chapbook is currently missing the acknowledgement page – (which is one of the numerous changes I need to put in), but I just wanted to tell you how much I’ve learned from this course. It’s been very eye-opening and the criticisms have let me see my own work from a whole new perspective. Thanks to the rest of the team for their wonderful poetry and very insightful critiques.
Azka: The course has been a wonderful experience…I am amazed at how much I have learned in these ten weeks and I feel like I know where to go from here…Thank you so much for being so accessible! I am also thankful to DWL for putting this together. This course has taught me I CAN make time to read and write. It will be hard but it is possible! It has taught me I CAN go back to my poems with chisel and carving knives (or a chainsaw) and that writing CAN happen for me if I sit down with the intention to write instead of waiting for the moment when inspiration hits me. All the best!
Risham: editing these poems was a really good experience, it really made me realize that I’ve learned so much from all of you. I’m going to miss my weekly dose of reading poetry so much. You’ve all been…inspirational!
DWL Online Poetry Workshop 2013 Participants
Raiya: The DWL poetry course not only cured my procrastination but it made me realize that I can write one poem per week if I put my mind to it. Before this course, I didn’t know I had that much potential or ideas. Writing poems to a deadline is very different from writing in general. It also enabled me to experiment with different forms of poetry. I hardly ever wrote rhymed poetry because I thought my rhymes always appear forced and juvenile. However, Noor’s selection of poems in the readings opened my mind to new possibilities and right after finishing this course, I wrote my very first villanelle. The course had become such a regular part of my routine that after its end I felt empty without any readings, and it was great getting to know all the awesome poets through this course. I developed a new kind of bond with my fellow poets as we got to know each other on a more personal level. In short, this course was learning and fun, all rolled into one.”
Hafsa: Wonderful course! I had a great time! Even though I procrastinated my way through it, as much as I could, I agree with Raiya, it made me realise that I can write one poem per week if given a deadline. And the critique and the comments really helped. The readings were great and I think they will help us later with our attempts at poetry as well. Noor, I already knew you were a great mentor, but this course proved that again! It wouldn’t have been the same without you. Waqas and Raiya, you are both exceptional and I am so happy that I got to read your work. I know I am a better poet for it. I would love to continue our workshops after 10/14. I have enjoyed this course thoroughly. Looking forward to more.”
Waqas: I thank Noor for her perseverance with our dabbling in poetic form, and I thank my fellow poets in the course for their attention to each other’s poems. I think we are all the better for it. It still takes a certain form of courage for me to show what I write to the world, but after this course, I am more confident about it, and I am more ready to fling myself to the world through my writing.”