One of our favourite writing exercises is to use Joe Brainard’s epic poem, “I Remember,” as a structural tool to collect memories, secrets, stories, and warm up our writing muscles. Here are “I Remember” excerpts from some participants of Birds of a Feather: Stories of Home & Migrations, a writing workshop in collaboration w/ Queens Memory Project, July 29, 2016:

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© KathaSatha

I remember when I arrived [in] this country and everything called my attention.
I remember when I went to Time Square to look at tourists watching me.
I remember when my sister talked to me about life and what we could do with ours.
I remember my grandmother making orange juice and scolding her grandchildren for riding bikes for miles when she had breakfast prepared for us.
I remember making a mud cake in a place house in the lilac bushes.
I remember sneaking upstairs in my grandparents’ farmhouse and putting on wooden Dutch clogs– how they swallowed my tiny feet.
I remember finding the Dutch clogs years later, after my grandmother came home from the Haitian mission, and expecting them to swallow my feet. To my amazement they didn’t fit.
I remember tearing the pages out of my journal that weren’t happy enough.

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3rd PrizIMG_2098 - Version 2e (Rs. 1000 + Publication):
Saturday Afternoon, Elen Turner

2nd Prize (Rs. 2000 + Publication):
Tea At Mangalbazar, Yukta Bajracharya

1st Prize (Rs. 3000 + Publication):
Souls and Stones, Sneha Shakya

Honourable Mentions: 
Ashok Hall, Saayad Ashok
Elegy, Samyak Shertok

CONGRATULATIONS to all our “Walk With Me: Patan Edition” winners!

A few words from Prajwal Parajuly:

“This was exciting. I was looking forward to reading the entries. Some pieces, however, needed time. When a prompt demands that your entry be 500 words, it’s okay for it to be 550. It’s maybe even okay for the piece to be 600 words. I wasn’t prepared for some of the pieces to be double the required length. That, unfortunately, disqualified a couple of entries. But I am happy about the list we have come up with and look forward to reading more Nepali writers!”

***Thank you for your submissions! It is because of your submissions that we can have more competitions in the future. Bigger and better ones! If your piece has been selected for publication, we will reach out to you shortly. Keep your eyes peeled for the next Walk With Me!***

Our judge, Prajwal Parajuly, has sent a shortlist of titles and names for the competition. CONGRATULATIONS!

(In alphabetical order by first names):

THE GIFT OF MEMORY, Byanjana Thapa
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, Elen Turner
ELEGY, Samyak Shetok
UNTITLED, Sarju Shrestha
ASHOK HALL, Sayaad Ashok
SOULS AND STONES, Sneha Shakya
TEA AT MANGALBAZAAR, Yukta Bajracharya

We will finalise the winners in the next couple of days. So stay tuned!

KATHASATHA announces its first writing competition, WALK WITH ME.

We are soliciting *non-fictional/ personal stories* specifically from PATAN area for our initiative GalliSalli that maps Kathmandu with personal stories. These can be narratives of events that took place in Patan; or memorable characters who still roam its streets; or myths & folk tales that ring through its courtyards; or unforgettable songs that live in the clinking of bangles, tea cups, and metal, all in all, a story only YOU can tell.

© Uttam Bahadur Shrestha/Nepal Picture Library

© Uttam Bahadur Shrestha/Nepal Picture Library

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Every Dashain, Kathmandu empties out. The skies open up to a brief blue as it breathes–no longer choked by dust and smoke. You can hear each metallic shutter of every shop grate down to loud bang at a padlock: closed for the holidays. When you walk down a street, you realise that you can actually be heard moving about this city. Your steps hold a rhythm against the squeals of boys and girls flying kites, killing kites, finding kites, learning the ropes. Suddenly, it feels natural to smile to strangers and they smile back at you.

Or so they say.

Although I visit home every year, I haven’t been back for Dashain for 11 years. This will be my 12th. I have forgotten what the air feels like, what the city sounds like– all I can do is work from memory, which now plays itself in a cliched-repetitive manner. I borrow words from others. I ask my mother to hold the receiver outside our window. None of it works.Continue reading

We are lucky to say that on August 23, 2014, The Kathmandu Post published a group of 12 stories from our Primer workshop.

Take a closer look at the text.

Share YOUR stories with us from Kathmandu’s GalliSalli.
Send submissions to: kathasatha@gmail.com.

Submission Guidelines: 
1) GalliSalli is currently focusing on Kathmandu, so your personal story has to take place in Kathmandu.
2) Your story CANNOT be fiction. It CAN, however, be “fictionalised,” i.e. it can be told creatively for the purpose of luring your readers, but it has to be grounded on something that happened.
3) Your story can be your own experience or the experiences of others. It can be an observation. Something you heard. Something you saw. Etc.
4) Your story can be in flexible forms: prose, poetry, epistolary, dialogues, a scene (We will slowly move to audio and video when we have the capacity).
5) Your story should be UNDER 350 words.
6) You should include your full name/ writerly-storytellerly name and the area of Kathmandu you are writing about. It can be a street, building, river, cafe etc. etc.
7) LET’S GO!