“There is no surer foundation for a beautiful friendship than a mutual taste in literature.” ― P.G. Wodehouse
Keeping the spirit of the above quote in mind, the English Literary Society (ELS) is a student run club under the Cultural Council, IITK, that seeks to promote literary activities in the campus. There are no explicit members of the ELS, just like most other clubs under the Students' Gymkhana, but for management purposes, there is a team of coordinators (usually 3-4 people) and a group of secretaries that help in handling the regular activities of the club. The ELS conducts various events like Creative Writing, Word Games, Just-A-Minute and Dumb Charades, many times throughout the year. Unconventional events are also tried at times. Indian authors have been invited for judging some of our events and conducting workshops and informal sessions in the past.
The ELS boasts of hosting core literary activities / competitions like Creative Writing, Literature Quizzes, Poetry Slams and Read Meets, as well as fun activities and games like Dumb Charades, Word Games and Just-A-Minute or JAM. The events are held over the year, wherein all members of the student community are encouraged to participate and let their words speak for them (quite literally).
Some of the major events conducted by the ELS include:
Treasure Hunt: It is an annual, all night event, usually held in August, wherein the freshers form teams of up to six people and participate in a fast-paced, nerve-racking hunt, searching for clues one after the other in the whole campus. The event is conducted in association with the Quiz Club  and the Hindi Sahitya Sabha, and acts as a campus tour for the incoming batch. Many students from the senior batches also participate as clue holders at the various locations, and make the teams do some fun activities before handing them the clues. This event sees a participation from around 600 freshmen every year.
Freshers' Frolica: It is a series of four competitions held around August - September: JAM, Dumb Charades, Creative Writing and Word Games. These are supposed to introduce the freshers to the kind of events that the ELS conducts, and also to win some prizes in the process.
Galaxy Literary Events: Galaxy is IITK's inter-hall cultural competition, which is fiercely fought in the month of February / March every year. ELS conducts its traditional events, as well as one or two new events. The pool of Mauryans has been winning the English Literary Events at the Galaxy for the last three editions.
Summer / Winter Creative Writing: Prompt-based / format-based writing events are held in the vacations, as these are the times when the students are free from the hustle-bustle of the campus, and can let their minds run free and come up with creations in the form of prose / poetry / comic strips / drama or any other literary form deemed convenient.
LitFest: It is conducted annually as part of CultFest, the internal cultural fest of the campus. New ideas are usually tested here, and Poetry slam came out of one such experimentation.
Run up to Antaragni : As the name suggests, this is a pre-Antaragni event, held to warm up the participants so that they can exhibit their literary skills in the actual events and win some prizes.
Meander and Blog
Meander is the annual publication of ELS. The best entries from the summer creative writing competition, as well as other entries, get featured in a four page publication which is circulated in the campus.
The ELS blog (https://elsiitk.wordpress.com/about/) is the place where the campus residents can showcase their creative works, be it prose, poetry, drama or even a comic strip.
ELS is known for having a distinctive culture, which would be tough, if not impossible, to summarize in a few words. There is a two layer administrative structure, but the heirarchy is only for the proper functioning of the club. Books, authors, articles and even philosophical topics are discussed at length when members of the society meet formally or informally, and the club tries to maintain a family-like relationship that is prevalent among the members.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/elsiitk/?fref=ts