Asian Women Writers Collective

The Asian Women Writers Collective (AWWC), formerly known as the Asian Women Writers Workshop, was formed in 1984 in London by the writer and activist Ravinder Randhawa, author of novels, ‘A Wicked Old Woman’ and ‘The Coral Strand’. The aim of the AWWC was to promote creative writing by Asian women through a supportive environment and make their writing more accessible to publishers. As a result, the AWWC provided a platform for many Asian women writers who later became established authors such as Randhawa herself, Meera Syal, Leena Dhingra, Tanika Gupta, Rukhsana Ahmad and many more. The AWWC was initially supported by Black Ink and funded by the Greater London Council (GLC), which was abolished in 1986. It continued to receive funding at a later stage through Greater London Arts Association and Lambeth Council.

Initially made up by a core group of 8 members, the AWWC grew to forty members in the later years of its existence. Members came from diverse backgrounds and ranged from those who had little or no experience of writing to those who were more established authors. They participated in weekly meetings, took turns in running workshops, which consisted of creative writing exercises, shared their works with the rest of the group and in turn received constructive feedback. The group also invited guest writers such as poet Suniti Namjoshi (see SADAA website) to talk about their work and lead workshops structured around particular themes. Before formal posts were created, key members such as Ravi Randhawa, Rukhsana Ahmad and Leena Dhingra helped organise these workshops.

Continue reading