Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Travelling Hopefully

MPH's monthly Writers' Circle meetings are an excellent way to find out about making a career in writing and getting published.

Saturday's meeting was on Travel Writing and the two guest speakers talked from very different perspectives, and the audience participation provided a lively discussion.

Vanitha K. is editor of Plan Your Own Holiday, a magazine which was conceived as a marketing tool for Reliance Travel.

She described how she feel into writing by accident, and said you really need to have the passion for the work.

She says that she likes to feature more offbeat destinations and "back-alley places", and she is concerned to provide quick information for the reader, in an easy to absorb form.

Surprisingly, she hardly travels at all herself - leaving the fun part to her writers. She accepts freelance contributions and articles, and encouraged those in the audience to send in their articles. Her magazine pays RM100 a page, and RM60-70 per photograph. If you have an idea for a story you'd like to pitch to her, you can contact her at

The second speaker was Zhang Su Li whose book A Backpack and a Bit of Luck is an unusual travel book, focusing not just on the destinations, but also on the random kindness of the strangers she meets along the way.
I learned so much getting lost
she says.

She looked for the human stories, and says that there are so many people she wants to thank for touching her life ... but she doesn't know their names. She says she wrote from the heart, stories that she needed to tell.

I've enjoyed the stories I've read so far, appreciating how important this human dimension is to Kim (as she prefers to be known) - she also has a very nice writing style and I'm looking forward to seeing what she will come up with next.


Madcap Machinist said...

"I've enjoyed the stories I've read so far, appreciating home important this human dimension is to Kim (as she prefers to be known)..."


bibliobibuli said...

oopsies indeed! thankies.

Anonymous said...

I learned so much getting lost too. One thing you learn after you get lost is always to plan everything before you leave, and always keep your money and valuables close to you when you travel.

PS. Rm100 will barely cover expenses for 3 days.

lady of leisure said...

RM100 will bearly cover breakfast for two.

bibliobibuli said...

it will if you eat at the mamak!

lady of leisure said...

Dahling, there will be no mamaks left as they are steadily being raided by religious zealots for displaying both hindu gods and quranic verses.

Hezreen Abdul Rashid said...

hi Sharon, I missed the writer's circle meeting as I was at Beth Yahp's creative writing class which incidently was on travel too! I will contact Vanitha for the freelance thingy. Thanks for the info.

bibliobibuli said...

hi hezreen! glad this is useful and hope you're having a good time doing beth's class. i think there are lots of opportunities for freelance travle writing and magazines liked "wings of gold" pay a lot more.

but Vanitha seemed to me a very supportive editor and it would be good way to get a foothold in the market. you already have a good portfolio so i'm sure she would be very interested in having you write.

Chet said...

The last time I had something published in Wings of Gold (many, many, MANY years ago), they were paying in airtickets. If you got enough published in WOG, you could accumulate your payments and fly somewhere grand. I only contributed that one article and it got me a return to Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Very soon writers will be so starved they will accept Rm10 ('cos beggars can't be choosers anyway right ?) and Bib, you can maybe afford the food, but where do you stay ? and how do you get there ? you will end up losing money instead of making it lol :)

su li said...

Hi Sharon! thanks so much for putting this up and for your comments. I did an 'oopsies' too. See, my 2 names are causing a lot of, should you be kind enough to write about me and my book again, could you use Su Li, please? thanks. sorry, my fault entirely for confusing everyone (and myself)


su li

bibliobibuli said...

will do su li. agree it is confusing esp. with around too!