“To respond!” – an online workshop for young writers by the Gratiaen Trust


The Gratiaen Trust, in association with the John Keells Foundation, commemorates World Children’s Day with “Write Back! – a workshop organized for young writers. The Trust invites young, aspiring writers aged 14 to 17 to participate in this two-day online workshop on the nuances of writing short stories in English, to be held October 19-20.

Three Gratiaen Prize-winning authors – Lal Medawattegedara, Prashani Rambukwella and Delon Weerasinghe – will be the mentors.

The Gratiaen Trust places great importance on engaging and training the literary readers and creative writers of tomorrow. “To respond!” is the Trust’s second initiative targeting children and young writers.

In October 2020, the Trust organized “Story Time” at the Sarasavi bookstore for the youngest. This time his event is designed for an older group of young writers who will have the opportunity to unleash their creativity by writing short stories in English and receive useful information on how to bring their stories to life and connect with the reader.

The Gratiaen Trust would like to thank the John Keells Foundation, the CSR entity of the John Keells group, for its support in carrying out this workshop as part of its main sponsorship of the Gratiaen Trust since October 1, 2019.

Established in 1992, the Gratiaen Trust has worked closely with authors, academics, readers, editors and other professionals in the literary world of Sri Lanka to promote better works of creative writing in English and translations of Sinhala and Tamil literature in English.

“To respond!” is part of a series of workshops he has organized to achieve these goals.


Lal Medawattegedara is the author of The Window Cleaner’s Soul (shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize in 2002) and Can you hear me running; and two novels, Playing Pillow Politics at MGK (Laureate, Prix Gratiaen 2012) and Restless Rust (shortlisted for the Prix 2021).

His work has been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio and Khaleej Times.

Prashani Rambukwella has written two novels, Mythil’s Secret, her first Gratiaen Prize-winning novel in 2009, and her thrilling sequel Asiri’s Quest on the adventures of a young protagonist who returns to Ceylon during WWII.

Delon Weerasinghe has written professionally for stage, print, screen, web and radio.

Better known as a playwright, his play Thicker than Blood won the Gratiaen Prize in 2005. Since then he has written plays for the Royal Court Theater in London and BBC World Service radio. Over the past few years, he has facilitated numerous workshops on creative writing.

How to participate

Applications to participate in “Write Back! »Must be sent by e-mail to [email protected] by October 1, 2021. Participants must have a good command of English, digital literacy and have access to uninterrupted internet connectivity.

All applicants must be Sri Lankan citizens residing in Sri Lanka. For more details on how to apply, visit www.gratiaen.com. Places at the workshop are limited and participants will be selected by the Trust on the basis of a written sample.


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