Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Publishing Your Story With MPH

Picked up the following ad from the mywordup egroup:
[Writers Circle] Publishing Your Story With MPH
Posted by: "Esther" estcl
Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:35 am (PST)

Some news off the press.

95% The Writers Academy is now working in partnership
with MPH Publishing to increase the pool of our local
talents. We are encouraging our writers to write their
stories. Aspiring writers out there, once you have
completed your stories with us, you stand a chance to
publish your stories.

Come for the talk on Wed 18 Oct and find out more. In
the meantime, here are the other details of this talk.

We will be featuring three speakers who will speak
about three different areas, namely:

• Juliah : The difference between writing a short
story and a novel

• David Byck : How difficult is it writing a fiction
as opposed to non-fiction

• Dzoff : Is there any money and glory in writing for
the screen, right here in Malaysia.

Fee : RM50
Date : 18th October, 8.30 pm – 10.00 pm.
Venue : 95% The Writers' Academy, Wisma Dicklin, 80A
Jalan Bangsar, 59200 Kuala Lumpur.

Call 03-2287 7095 or email to askme@95percent.
to book your seats.

I am happy to see a commitment to publishing short fiction and developing writers and well done to MPH and 95% for collaborating.

I have been fortunate to be invited to 95%'s end of course presentations a couple of times and know that the speakers have been working hard on a novel and I'm sure they learned about themselves as writers from the course. David Byke is of course the author of It's a Long Way to the Floor, a book which I hear is now selling well (even in my local mamak newsagent!) and deserves to.

But at the risk of being considered a bit of a spoiler, may I ask why whether it is really ethical to charge RM50 for a session like this when the speakers are not really any better qualified to talk about their topics than many members of their audience may be?

If you are going to charge for a talk, surely it is better to get in writers with a respectable track record in the area they are expected to talk about?

MPH's credibility is also on the line here.


the kimster said...

Was all excited to attend, until I saw the RM50 fee. Pardon me for saying this, but while the amount is not an issue, I do think that it is a bit of as turn-off. I mean, the pool of writers is VERY small as it is, so we should probably work on getting the critical mass first. It is supposed to be a community/fraternity thing, no?

Oh well - what do I know anyway?

bibliobibuli said...

i'd pay a fee if there was a buffet dinner included (!) or if some kind of expertise was being conveyed in a workshop.

but this just doesn't seem right to me

Lydia Teh said...

Sharon, your concern is well-founded, both in fees and speaker choice. For 3 speakers to share their experience in a 1 1/2 hour slot is merely skimming the surface, not worth the fees at all. If they're literary household names, mmm.. then just maybe.

Chet said...

Toni Morrison came to UEA as part of her book tour to launch Beloved and it was free. Even if I had to pay to see her, I would. Or Maya Angelou.

bibliobibuli said...

and several writers of note have made it to these shores recently and talked about their craft and there's been no charge.

animah said...

Why don't you convey the comments here to the organisers. Otherwise they will wonder why nobody turns up.
I would wonder where the money is going to. Probably for the venue - in which case they should rethink about having the talk where no costs are involved.
Many organisations have talks on matters of far more substance for free. This talk sounds more like the speakers giving their opinions, which is hardly worth paying for.

bibliobibuli said...

it's being held at their own place, animah.

i replied to the orig post on the e-group so they will read that

Anonymous said...

I guess it's also not good becasue it looks as if finding out about the short story collection is only open to those who pay their RM50 and go along to the session. Is it fair on the rest of us who don't go? I'd like to write for this collection and hope it's open to the rest of us. I am also puzzled because I don't know what talks about script writing and non-fiction have to do with short story writing. They seem a pretty confused bunch!


John Ling said...

This is very close to a vanity press; a publisher that charges writers a fee in return for publishing their work.

Let's keep James D. Macdonald's famous dictum in mind: "Money should always flow toward the author."

We should be wary of anything that deviates from that.

namra said...

and I read about this a day...too late. *sob*

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to look in on your blog the other day. So if you don’t mind, here are my comments regarding the 95% fee of RM50.00.

In the course of business, my company has sponsored free events as well. We publicized them in the newspaper, we stood on the corner giving out handouts and flyers and tried to fill in the gaps by word of mouth. But time and time again these events were not well attended. I guess at the end of the day most people feel that if it’s free, it can’t be any good and is surely not worth our time.

I don’t know. Maybe this is why 95% charged for the event. I suspect they didn’t do it for the money. But who knows … maybe they’re more clever than we give them credit for. Maybe they did it to get people talking about the event. In which case, it worked!

bibliobibuli said...

hmmm ... it could just be a badly worded ad. which i've misinterpreted ...

Anonymous said...

Nope they're still charging Rm50.. aren't they ? and that's David _Byck_ I think :)

bibliobibuli said...

*sigh* no, about the MPH connection.