TAre you an avid reader? An excellent writer? Or just someone who enjoys the intricacies of English Literature? If yes, Lit: Literacy Ablaze, aimed at honing the literary skills of the audience, would have been just your cup of tea.

We couldn’t resist having a bit of a play on words for the project name itself, considering the nature of the project; “Lit” is the shortened form of “literature” and is, at the same time, slang for “exciting or excellent”. Literacy is said to be “the ability to read or write”, and “Literacy Ablaze” represents taking this ability to the next level through literature.

The first phase of the project, a Google Meets webinar held on the 14th of November 2020, was conducted by Ms. Maryam Azhar, a teacher with years of experience instructing learners on the art of analysing and dissecting any work of writing. She is also the co-founder of the Lit Academy, an online institution that aims at educating learners on the subtleties and untold secrets of literary texts.

Ms. Maryam spoke about literature and its impacts, after which she delved into writers’ craft, i.e., the devices of literature & language, with illustrative examples, followed by activity texts for the participants of webinar, which they actively and enthusiastically answered.

This phase was a great success with its huge turnout!

At the end of the webinar, the details of the second phase were released. This phase was a short story writing competition where participants were free to write a story consisting of 750 – 3000 words on any topic of their choice in the interest of emphasizing the freedom of thought literacy affords people.

The entries were required to be emailed in before the deadline, 18th of November, which was then extended by a week upon the participants’ request.

With a number of delightful stories pouring in, it was a close race. Yet, one entry rose to the top as the victor: Paper Boats by Pasan Haritha Perera from the Rotaract Club of Kelaniya.

We congratulate Pasan on a truly amazing piece of writing!

All participants were provided with certificates of participation, while Pasan, the winner, also received a certificate of achievement.

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make project Lit a success. A special thank you goes to Ms. Maryam Azhar, who not only conducted an exceptional webinar, but also selected the winning story.

For those of you who would like to read Paper Boats, here it is!

Written By – Amshika Hameed