“Look Mama, the moon!” he cried and pointed his little fingers at the beautiful star-lit sky. The moon. His favourite element of life.”
– POV of Eva Somners (Extract from “The Man on the Moon”)
Project Writing Maze was initiated by the Club Relations Avenue, under the guidance of club director, Rtr. Thedini Herath and duly appointed project co-chairs, Rtr. Adeesha Abeydheera and Rtr. Wasana Ratnayake.
The project began with the inspiration from one person’s childhood dream to bring together a roomful of writers to compose one story. Hosted by the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya, Writing Maze began its journey by inviting nineteen other clubs to take part in a massive and long writing process that had one goal, which was to produce a single story at the end of its expedition. Thus, a single chapter was assigned to each club with the expectation of having 20 chapters at the end of the story that would be weaved by many creative minds.
After selecting a prompt from a series of prompts submitted, RACUOK initiated the writing process by starting the prologue and chapter one of the story. Our very own fellow Rotaractors, Rtr. Thedini Herath, Rtr. Rahma Zuhri and Rtr. Januli Bandara took part in the writing process and was successful in producing the first chapter for the rest of the clubs to carry on.
The entire writing process was an adventure that embodied the creative elements of forty-six gifted writers from 17 Rotaract Clubs and 3 Interact Clubs with a passion to compose a story. To keep the story in good shape and order, the project was able to receive the support of external volunteer Pavani Witharana, who chose to act as co-chief editor beside Rtr. Januli Bandara. With their collective efforts, they succeeded in knitting the story together so that each club could pick up from where the previous chapter ended. In order to receive feedback and further improve the quality of the story, a beta reading process too was carried out. Even though bringing on board a group of writers seemed questionable and came with a lot of challenges, the dedicated efforts of the project chairs, chief editors and the project’s organizing team, proved to handle them in a manner that delivered positive outcomes.
Finally, the book that was penned at the end was titled “The Man on the Moon.” It is a sci-fi novel jam-packed with many elements that would please any bibliophile. Due to the high praise and curiosity directed toward the project as well as the novel, the first set of copies got sold out within a short span of time. With the funds received through the profits of the novel, the team was able to set up a fund titled “Furry Tales Foundation” which would provide nutrition and immediate medical treatment for stray dogs. The project received a significant amount of attention and praise from the public and thus attracted the interest of media companies such as the Daily Mirror and Pulse magazine.
The launching ceremony of this project took place on the 29th of May 2023. It was a momentous day that captured the much-awaited science fiction novel “The Man on the Moon”. The event was graced by the presence of the honourable chief guest DRR Rtn. Rtr. PP Ahamed Hussain, accompanied by DDRE Rtr. PP. Sathma Jayasinghe. The debut novel by the Rotaract Club of the University of Kelaniya was launched to the public by these honorable individuals. Further, the event didn’t waste any time in recognizing the talents of the brilliant writers, chief editors, beta readers, project chairs and organizing committee of the project. For their dedicated effort and contribution, they were awarded promptly. Thus, the grand launch of the book turned out to be a moment of significance for many Rotaractors and Interactors.
Writing Maze consequently turned out to be a project that embodied the power of collaboration and creativity. It is the hope of the team that the project inspires creative writers all across the country to showcase their talents by navigating different literary genres. In relevance to the well-known saying “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,” Project Writing Maze was able to craft “The Man on the Moon” that would render a lifetime’s worth of experiences.