Tuesday, June 10, 2014

MyCreative Writers Unleashed

A quest to find the best Malaysian manuscripts of 2014

We have just received this notice from MyCreative, a Malaysian Government investment arm for the creative industry in charge of disbursing an initial fund of RM200 million, about a writing competition called "MyCreative Writers Unleashed", which hopes to "encourage and celebrate the creative juices amongst Malaysian writers".

The objectives mentioned on the website include "To promote local literature industry and to encourage more writers to produce creative contents" and "To reward excellent Malaysian literature contents."

The closing date for the competition is August 5, 2014. The rules stress that the "organiser shall not be responsible for any manuscripts lost or damaged in transit" and that the "results will be announced in October 2014".

Entry must include:
1. An official entry form duly completed (downloaded from MyCreative’s website at www.mycreative.com.my)
2. A soft-copy of the complete manuscript in both PDF and Word format.
3. A soft copy of a recent photograph of the writer (not more than 1mb).
4. A brief biodata of the writer in not more than 200 words.
5. A synopsis of the manuscript in not more than 200 words.
6. A copy of the writer’s MyKad.

The manuscript must be in BM or English, and at least 30,000 words.
5 prizes of RM2000.00, and 5 consolation prizes of RM500.00 will be awarded (although I am not sure if this will apply to BM and English manuscripts separately). This is the first time MyCreative is organising a competition of this nature.

Submissions are to be sent to
By email: writersunleashed@mycreative.com.my
For enquiries: enquiry@mycreative.com.my

Please visit the MyCreative website to read more about the terms and conditions (TOR): http://mycreative.com.my/index.php/writers-unleashed/english-version

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Silverfish Writing Programme -- open for registration

Silverfish Writing Programme for July 2014 

now open for registration




The next intake for the Silverfish Writing Programme will be on Saturday, July 12, 2014, and will run for 10 consecutive weeks, right through fasting month, (except for holidays) from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Registration will open on June 1, 2014. The past few programmes have been extremely popular and we have had to turn away many late inquiries, because the maximum number of participants we can accommodate is 10 (ten). We have, to date, received 30 inquiries already. So we encourage those who are interested to register early and avoid the last minute rush. (Please, tell your friends who are interested, too.) The registration fee will be RM1000.00 per participant for the full ten week programme, but an early bird discount of 10% will apply until (and including) June 30, 2014.

The world is full of stories. Humans are the only storytelling animals on the planet. We may miss meals (ask your teenager buried in a book or your aunt or mum hooked on a television soap) but not our stories. Even in famine-stricken zones, while people wait for the food trucks to arrive, they tell one another stories to keep alive. In war zones, where life is in danger every single minute, people cannot resist telling stories. All religions have tons of stories that are constantly repeated. Stories are part of our very being, our claim to be human.

We are surrounded by stories every waking minute of the day. When we turn on our radio or television to listen to the news, or to watch a drama or sitcom or even a cooking show, when we open our newspapers or surf the net for news, when we go to the movies, to a dance, listen to a song, or look at a painting, when we go to the office, pitch a proposal to our boss, our clients, meet our co-workers when we relax over tea and gossip, or tell them about our day, or listen to their stories. When we read books, we read stories. And stories will make us laugh or cry, or be angry, and invoke dozens of other emotions. We will love characters, or we hate them. Good stories never leave us indifferent. We have a desperate need to tell stories in whatever form. That’s why some of us want to become writers: to tell our stories. But what do publishers want?

That's what the Silverfish Writing Programme is all about: what publishers look for.

READ MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAMME and REGISTER

Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Cooler Lumpur Festival



Countdown to #FAST: 

PopDigital, British Council and BMW Group Malaysia

present
Southeast Asia’s first and only festival of ideas

Date: 20 – 22 June 2014
Venue: Publika, Solaris Dutamas

Kuala Lumpur, 3 June 2014 – The capital is set to become a nucleus of ideas and hub for creative exchange when creative media shop PopDigital, British Council and BMW Group Malaysia present #FAST: The Cooler Lumpur Festival between June 20 and 22 at Publika, Kuala Lumpur.

Last year, The Cooler Lumpur Festival’s inaugural edition, #WORD, celebrated the written and spoken word in all its forms. Founded upon the notion that words are the primary medium by which we transform the world around us, the festival aims to champion expression in all forms.

This year, The Cooler Lumpur Festival is proud to present #FAST. In expanding the scale and philosophy of the festival, #FAST will cast a wider net to include activities ranging from the abstract to the experimental, setting the agenda for Southeast Asia’s first ever festival of ideas; one that is powered by literature and the arts.

#FAST aspires to be a catalyst for Malaysia’s cultural conversation by gathering writers, artists, musicians and thinkers from around the world to create new connections as well as share and spread new ideas. It is rooted in the notion that the best way to fast-forward our cultural agenda is by sharing, engaging, and experimenting with new ideas.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to bring together the best minds for this year's festival. As always, we sought out speakers from diverse backgrounds to bring varying perspectives to the panels. We hope provocative ideas will emerge from this cultural mash-up of sorts,” said the festival’s Executive Director, Hardesh Singh.

Read more (there is quite a lot more) at: www.coolerlumpur.com

Call for Papers for Special issue of Asiatic

Special issue of Asiatic: Narratives of “Unstable homes” in Asian American Literature

Date of publication: June 2015
Co-editors: Chingyen Mayer and Mohammad A. Quayum

The advent of globalization, voluntary and involuntary migration and displacement, technological innovations such as the internet, Skype, satellite TV, and YouTube, and the accelerated speed of modern means of transportation have given the concept of “home” a renewed significance. Stable concepts of home and belonging have become the exception rather than the norm. In Shame, for example, Salmon Rushdie writes, “We pretend that we are trees and speak of roots. Look under your feet. You will not find gnarled growths sprouting through the soles. Roots… are a conservative myth, designed to keep us in our places” (84). For a myriad of reasons, a sizable segment of Asia’s population, wedged between different socio-political and cultural domains, between homes, and between different allegiances, are uprooted and residing in disaporic communities in America. The special issue seeks contributions that engage in the explorations of the “Unstable homes” in Asian American literature. Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

•    Homing and unstable home
•    Home, real and imagined
•    Place, displacement, exile, and homelessness
•    Virtual home
•    Transnational home
•    Uprootedness and re-rooting
•    Nostalgia and the reshaping of home/lands
•    Longing for and belonging to a home
•    The global impact of media and technology on “home”
•    Diasporic spaces
•    Inclusivity and exclusivity, visibility and invisibility
•    Mobility and multiplicity
•    Home-making, migrating, and home/unmade
•    Dislocation, fragmentation, and disintegration

Please send a 300-word abstract to Dr. Chingyen Mayer (cmayer@siena.edu) or Dr. Mohammad A. Quayum (mquayum@gmail.com) by 15 September 2014. If a proposal is accepted, a full draft paper of 5000-7000 words should be submitted by 15 January 2015.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The greatest bookworms of them all

According to NOP World (a leading provider of syndicated and custom market research) individuals globally spent (each week) 16.6 hours watching television, 8 hours listening to the radio, 6.5 hours reading and 8.9 hours on computers/the internet (for non-work related reasons). (Source: PRNewswire)

I can hear it already: some of you are saying, "Is that all?", while some are going, "Oh my God."

Interestingly (Anglophiles take note) the US and UK are below average (5.7 and 5.3 hours per week) in reading, but above the average on TV viewing (19 hours per week in the US and 18 in the UK), listening to the radio (10.2 hours per week in the US and 10.5 in the UK), and just slightly below the global average for computer/Internet usage (8.8 hours per week in both the US and UK).

Thailand spend the most time in front of the television at 22.4 hours per week, followed closely by the Philippines at  21.0, Egypt at 20.9 and Turkey at 20.2 hours.  Mexicans watch the least amount of television at 11.6 hours per week, followed by Venezuelans at 11.9 and Swedes at 12.3.

Argentineans love the radio (20.8 hours), followed by Brazilians (17.2 hours) and South Africans (15.0 hours). The Chinese spend the least amount of time on the radio at  (2.1 hours) a week ahead of Koreans and Saudis (3 and 3.9 hours).

When it comes to the internet, the Taiwanese are tops (12.6 hours a week for non-work related purposes), followed by Thais  (11.7 hours) and Spainiards (11.5) hours. Mexicans (6.3 hours), Italians (6.3 hours) and Germans (6.4 hours) are not so hot online.

And most interesting of all to us: who are the greatest bookworms in the world? Indians spend an average of 10.7 hours per week reading, followed by Thais and Chinese (at 9.4 hours and 8 hours).  Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese (at 3.1, 4.1 and 5 hours) scrap the bottom of the barrel. (US and the UK are at 24th and 27th place in the list of 31.) Fortunately, Malaysia was not in the list of countries studied. Another table-propping position would have been too much for our fragile ego to take!

Top 5 reading countries:
1. India              10.7        
2. Thailand          9.4   
3. China               8.0      
4. Philippines       7.6     
5. Egypt               7.5

Bottom 5 reading countries:
27. U.K.                5.3        
28. Brazil              5.2     
29. Taiwan            5.0   
30. Japan               4.1   
31. Korea              3.1