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 email@example.com
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 lostshe 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.