Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blow by blow account of a book project

This is a new strategy of the Silverfish Writing Programme. We are often asked if there will be a second (or advanced) module, and our answer has always been that they should start writing first. This new system is to end the Writing Programme with a book project. This new system  is to set them on each other. Let them decide what is good enough and what is not. And it seems to be working. Can you feel the enthusiasm? We can. As YM says: Awesomeness!

Can't wait to read the stories.Let these guys inspire you; they have the same problems you have: motherhood, jobs, social commitments, etc. Any of the former SWP students can get together and see us at Silverfish Books for suggestions and support. (BTW, surprisingly, we still have places for next month's intake of the Silverfish Writing Programme -- we are normally booked up within the first week!)

Below: a blow by blow account
YM: ... The task is for us to each come up with 5 stories that he will publish as a group compilation.
So if you are keen to be a part of this group publication..drop me a line so that we can clue you in for meetg dates etc..to kickstart things, we are each to write a story a week. (September 25, 2013)

TS: I would love to be a part of this. Let's discuss soon.

AZ: Thanks YM. Count me in!

VD: Hi all, Apologies, I wont be able to make it again tomorrow and im afraid wont be able to commit to the writing project.

LW: Count me in! I am so sorry as I am still in Singapore currently (last min interview today) and I won't be here tomorrow as well. But do keep me in the loop for future meetups. I do want to be a part of this.

YM: Hi, all, as follow up to last saturday's discussion...Dec 31st is deadline to submit min 5 articles and more..
Please create dropbox and share the logins later so that we can all access each other's dropbox and read the articles..or maybe (pls let me know which is better way) we can one dropbox which we share..( haha i hv never used dropbox before) Addil, pls advise us.. Later when AZ n TS are back we make a date (maybe just before CNY) when LW woudl be ard to meet upop , discuss n critique the articles...
This is an open forum, pls feel free to respond, suggest, comment etc...
Lets be committed to the objective and also to get the best out of all of us and be open to all possibilities..

YM: Thanks for taking the lead on organising this Yet Mee. I'm excited! Teja (October 01, 2013)

SAK: Hi YM, Thank you. By the way, I wont be available from beginning of March onward as I am pregnant and have a baby due at that time. Hopefully we can get things done by then :).

TS: All, Congratulations Shazwani! I also need to wrap things up by March. I think we can do this if we are disciplined.

YM: Ok people..we hv a new deadline for completion n publication. .congrats Shazwani!

YM: Hi, all , how are yous doin'? Been almost two months since we last communicated, hope things are going well and creative juices are flowing, and putting pen to paper hehe (confession, a bit struggling here hehehe, got idea no 3 and now need to write it down.) But nonetheless, (hear the crack of the whip people? :-) dont forget our date on 31st december..btw, anyoen know how to create dropbox acct for all of us, I am a bit of a comp dunce, am afraid..
Cheerio.. (November 06, 2013)

LW: Ill help create it tonight !

YM: Awesomeness.

TS: Hi guys, Was out of town and didn't have email access. The deadline is getting closer and closer but I can't wait to read all your stories.

LW: hi guys, I've sent all of you a dropbox invite. please let me know if you have not received any (November 12, 2013)

TS: Just downloaded it. Thanks for setting this up!

SAK: Received it. Thanks Liwun.

YM: Thanks so much..

SAK: Hi guys, How is everyone?
As the deadline is approaching, just want to catch up with you all on how your writing is going :)? (December 14, 2013)

YM: Heya..SAK..I hv 3.5 pretty stories which i m still fine tuning. Hope to drop into dropbox by next weekend. ..oh pressure. .hehe

SAK: hehe...just started my 4th one. hope can meet the deadline.

YM: Hi, all, yes last minute rush as well..

AZ: hi guys! so we just put in the files in the dropbox folder right? correct me if i'm wrong :). i've already put in 3. i'm leaving for somewhere today and might not have internet connection til 1 jan. so maybe you'll only see my other 2 on 1 jan. happy new year everyone!

YM: Ok..yes..awesome. ..
Gotta finish up mine. ... How r the rest doing?
Happy new year btw...

Malaysia: Theme Nation at Tokyo International Book Fair 2014

Tokyo Book FairA Bernama report carried in the mainstream newspapers (but largely ignored online) says that Malaysia has been chosen as the Theme Nation for the Tokyo International Book Fair 2014 from July 2-5, 2014, apparently "in recognition of the nation for achieving the status as Asia's largest book hub." Really? Larger than Japan, India, China, Singapore ..? Biggest in what way?

To most people in the Malaysian book industry the Tokyo International Book Fair is not very well known -- Frankfurt, London, Bologna, Delhi and Beijing are the famous ones. But Tokyo must be huge, and it's our loss that we do not engage with them more.

The official 'showcase' website says: "The largest international book fair in Japan, organised by the TIBF Executive Committee, which is comprised of major publishing associations and Reed Exhibitions Japan. Ideal platform for rights negotiations, co-publishing projects, and direct exports." At least they are not bragging that they are the biggest in the world, or Asia, or whatever. Guess they don't have an inferiority complex. The official website has very little by way of information, except that Malaysia is the 9th theme nation, and the coming fair appears to be the 21st event.

There is very little news about the TIBF in general, but the following is culled from the internet:

1. A 2-year-old Publishing Perspective report: "The TIBF used to be popular because if offered consumers the opportunity to buy books at a discount, typically 20% off the catalog price – this is more important in Japan because of its fixed book prices in bookstores." Ah! so it is a consumer fair.

2. A current Biztradeshows report: "Tokyo International Book Fair will be visited by exhibitors and visitors coming from different parts of the world. They will come from more than 25 countries such as Japan, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark and many more." This sounds like boring sales talk.

But it is easy to guess what the Malaysian stand will look like. It will be well designed (ie., expensive). Food will be served every day (as much for the Malaysian staff as for the visitors.) There will be wau bulan, bunga mangga, gasing spinning, wayang kulit, makyong, and tourism brochures. Books will be a sideshow, with the usual suspects exhibiting.

Why does anyone think we have a vibrant book industry? We must be the most anti-intellectual nation in the world!