First inaugural Literary Festival of
Writers International Network (WIN)
held Saturday, March 24 at Richmond Cultural Centre.
This event brought together over 150 people including writers of diverse backgrounds and genres. The objective of this event was to recognize talent and to bring writers of all Colours into mainstream Canadian literature, and to provide an opportunity to network.
Ashok Bhargava, founder of Writers International Network says:
‘WIN will strive to unite the hearts and souls of writers to bring creativity, knowledge and joy to them. An artist’s gift to the world is a poem, story, painting, sculpture or dance. WIN will seek, nourish and recognize all sorts of artists so that together they can make this world a better place to live. Writing is an art that is deeply rooted in self-reflection. Self-reflection is the human capacity to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about our fundamental nature, purpose and essence. In other words, self reflection is who we see when we look in the mirror. Self reflection is also about taking the time to figure out who we are, both as individuals and as leaders. WIN is created to fulfil the need of an environment where the work of an artist is appreciated and recognized no matter what background, what language or what cultural heritage that artist belongs to.’
Mr. Bhargava’s personal conviction is to create an organization where poets, writers and artists can connect with each other and with the community at large. ‘If you are a writer you belong here’, he says. ‘There is no membership and no fees and WIN is there to recognize and appreciate your creativity. Wow, that sounds great! The essence of writing is in giving to the world something to read. We write without knowing if someone would read it or not. It doesn’t matter if they love or hate it; you are going to write it anyway. If we appreciate a writer’s work and recognize it on its own merit, it would lift an incredible weight off his/her shoulder and make him or her happy.’
Bhargava’s greatest dream is to see the results of his creative work and everyone else’s work to realize their utopia in this world. To realize that a writer’s immediate environment is the training ground for the soul and the spirit of his or her writing world. Every day there’s work to be done to improve thoughts, actions and writing skills. He says, ‘If WIN could inspire just one person through appreciation and recognition that would be a true moment of miracle for it’s existence.’
WIN believes that we must write what we want to write not what others want us to write. Writing is self expression and must not be driven by commercialism though of course being successful commercially does not hurt at all.
WIN awards are to recognize, appreciate and understand the author. These awards are not based on comparing one’s work with others and determining the winner but understanding what a writer is saying and recognizing the message the author is trying to convey. In other words, writers are recognized for the real merit of their work.
Award categories are – Published writers and poets, Unpublished writers and poets, Emerging Artists (poets, writers, artists, dancers, painters etc), People’s Laureate, and Outstanding Citizens.
This year’s award recipients are: Evelyn Lau, Ariadne Swayer, Ashok Bhargava, Joanne Arnott, Ahn Bong Ja, Manga Basi, Fauzia Rafique, Janet Kvammen, Brajinder Dhillon, Tomothy Shay, Alan Hill and Mahendra Kwatra.
WIN’s First Literary Festival was hosted by Writers International Network in collaboration with India Club of Vancouver. WIN is also thankful for support provided by:
Indo-Canadian Association of Abbotsford
South Asian Literary Society of Canada
Hindi Literary Society
Panjabi Lekhak Munch
Kendriya Lakhari Sabha Uttari America
BC Kavya Kendra
Group of Poets International
Tagore Society of Vancouver
Nepali Writers Group
World Poetry Reading Series
Poetry Beyond Cultures
Short biographies of 2012 winners will follow.
Contact Ashok Bhargava at: