“This might be philosophical, but I think storytelling is one of the more essential parts of being human,” Matt Moore, the founder of SQR tells us over the phone.
SQR is a writing-focused group founded by Moore along with his friend David Bilicky, a student from Poland. Although Bilicky has since focused on his studies, the two initially connected over bouldering in Shenzhen. “He also did a bit of journalism on the side while studying and we were both interested in telling stories.”
SQR stands for square, and in particular, a reference to ‘public square,’ an open place of assembly where anyone could come talk and listen in ancient Greece.
Moore continued, “I think my idea was that everyone has a story to tell, but [we] would like to help them to tell it better. If you think of things that have been passed down from generation to generation – it’s stories.”
Last summer, SQR hosted their first event and had since branched out to game nights, writing workshops, and poetry nights. In addition, they’ve now been hosting a monthly poetry night since the start of this year at Drip Lab in Futian district.
Moore graduated with a major in history from Southern Methodist University and currently works in the video game industry, crafting character backstories and game development. With his background in history and interest in storytelling, it’s been exciting for him to be able to combine both skills in his career. Although he ultimately wants to give back, “part of the thing I want to do is also give people a chance to connect with opportunities.” He’d like to help foreigners who can’t speak Chinese, find more writing English work and make those connections.
They will be hosting a writer’s panel this week on Sunday, August 8 at Afloat Rooftop Bar, with seven other writers in the city. The panelists all work in various fields, writing music reviews, short stories, poetry, novels, creative copywriting and more. This would be an excellent event for those looking to network and learn about the publishing industry, the writing process, and the like.
See below for their August lineup of events:
[All images courtesy of SQR]