Sunday, November 25, 2007

Finding Writers

How nice it was to see my good buddy and MPH senior editor Eric Forbes in Starmag talking about the often search for local writing talent. He gives sterling advice about the necessity for writers to make sure their work is carefully proofread before submission - an obvious fact that seems to elude many wannabes:
Not having to plough through bad grammar and poor punctuation helps tremendously. The fact is, the editing process can be very monotonous and people who submit manuscripts are often not open to criticism, no matter how constructive. ...
He adds:
Being good at language is not good enough. You have to stretch yourself further before your writing sings and shines. The great writers of the world struggle every day with what they produce. And they have doubts all the time.
And he once again hammers home that much-repeated piece of wisdom which too many wannabes close their ears to:
Read as widely, deeply and omnivorously as possible, both fiction and non-fiction.
Omnivorously. Got that?

From time to time I've linked to some of Eric's horror stories about wannabe writers. See here and here. I don't think he's got the end of his supply of horror stories yet!

Meanwhile, MPH are inviting submissions for two anthologies:
The first is a collection of short fiction and creative non-fiction tentatively entitled Urban Odysseys: KL Stories. Writers should focus on life in the city, specifically Kuala Lumpur, with works that show images of the new juxtaposed against the old, urban living with contrasting bright lights and shadowy realities and other short fiction or creative non-fiction that best encapsulate the spirit of the national capital.

Stories must be original and between 3,000 and 5,000 words. The deadline for this anthology is Jan 31, 2008.

The second anthology is of short fiction that will be published under the tentatively title Chinese Stories. The theme is Chinese life in Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere, with writings that explore questions of fate and destiny, culture, spirituality, language, human longing and its consequences, ironies of life, identity and family. And love, of course. Stories could be sweet or sour. Or a combination of both. Or they could explore issues that have not been addressed before.

Stories must be original and between 3,000 and 7,000 words. The deadline for this anthology is March 31, 2008.
Guidelines for submission can be found here.


Anonymous said...

An illuminating article!
Tan Twan Eng

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, for an article about editing, Isaac Babel is misspelt...

Yusuf/Martin said...

Re Eric and writing - mmmmmmm I wonder, just what are editors for?

bibliobibuli said...

certainly not to pick up for authors too lazy to get their manuscripts in shape themselves! LOL

Janet said...

Well said, Sharon! I think some writers just have no idea that minimum standards are required. And there're certainly many of those lazy authors you speak of, that treat editors like janitors.

Anonymous said...

Err...I thought the closing date for the KL Odyssey was on the 30th Nov?Has the closing date been extended?


bibliobibuli said...

yes. must have been.