Wednesday, December 30, 2009

City of Stories : The Workshops

Long awaited news from British Council :
City of Stories is a project under the British Council’s Creative Cities programme, with the aim of demonstrating through the arts how a city is inclusive of many different voices, with the city at the heart of the innovation and creative process. In February 2009 we ran a series of creative writing workshops in partnership with MPH and London based Spread the Word, and are back again with a second series of workshops and events to further bring out the best of new Malaysian writing.

13 January 2010, 8:00pm – 9:30pm, MPH Bookstore One Utama

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional writer? Harbouring ambitions of being the next Booker prize winner? This talk by Sarah Butler will inform a curious audience on the process of creative writing and to inspire budding writers and expose them to the life of a professional writer.

Sarah will talk about her experience as a writer; from what inspired her to go down this path to how she got to where she now. She will be sharing some examples of various kinds of writing projects she’s involved with including residencies and public art commissions.

Deadline for application is 10 January 2010

15 January 2010, 10:00am – 4:00pm, MPH Bookstore One Utama

Get started, keep going…

A fun informal day for people new to creative writing, and those wanting to refresh their creative energy. We will look at how to generate ideas, how to silence our internal critics, and how to keep going once we’ve got started. Come prepared to write, experiment, meet other local writers and have fun; leave with a wealth of new ideas.

Sarah Butler writes novels and short fiction. She has been published in anthologies (Route, Tindal Street Press, Pen and Ink Press, Monsoon Press) and journals (including and Litro), and has held various residencies, including writer-in-residence on the Central line, for Art on the Underground. Sarah lives in London and runs UrbanWords , a literature consultancy, which specialises in projects using creative writing as a way to explore and question our relationship to place.

22 January 2010 , 10:00am – 4:00pm, MPH Bookstore One Utama

Come to this day with no expectations of who you are, what you will achieve or whether you have any talent as a writer. Expect only to participate strenuously in a range of stimulating activities that require you to write, talk, listen, read and think. We will be looking for where transformation might be possible. This course aims to send you away, full of yourself and full of new ideas about who you are in the world.

Ardashir Vakil was born in Bombay and now lives in London. He was educated at The Doon School in Dehradun, India and at Cambridge University. He has taught English at several London comprehensive schools and currently teaches Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. His short stories have been anthologised and broadcast on BBC Radio. His first novel, Beach Boy (1997), charts the adventures of 8-year old Cyrus Readymoney who lives in Bombay. It was translated into eight languages, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the 1997 Whitbread First Novel Award. His second novel, One Day (2003), is set in North London and was shortlisted for the Encore Award.

Application criteria for both workshops:
 First time writers who are writing for pleasure or/and just starting
 Might be in a class or writing group
 Workshop fee is RM30 (including lunch)

Terms & conditions:
* Workshops are open to participants aged 18 years old and above
* All workshops are limited to 15 participants only

Deadline for application is 10 January 2010
MPH Bookstore One Utama

12 January from 7:00pm – 9:00pm with Sarah Butler
14 January from 7:00pm – 10:00pm with Sarah Butler
16 & 17 January from 10:00am – 4:00pm with Sarah Butler
20 January from 7:00pm – 9:00pm with Ardashir Vakil
21 January from 7:00pm – 10:00pm with Ardashir Vakil
23 & 24 January from 10:00am – 4:00pm with Ardashir Vakil

A two week course for people who have begun writing or who have been writing for some time. The course will start, both in week 1 and week 2, with looking at where you have got to with your writing and sharing what you have done so far with the group.

Please come prepared with a short extract (2-4 pgs) of your best work. You should be prepared to allow time to develop new ideas, experiment with form and voice, and be keen to gain skills in constructive criticism. We will look carefully at each other’s work, but we will also take a careful look at examples of other people’s writing to see how voice, structure and language can be used to maximum effect.

For week 2 we will require you to bring along a text that has been an inspiration to you as a writer (2-4 pages long), to introduce and share with the group. You will work alongside other motivated writers to push your writing to the next level. We aim to enrich your repertoire as a writer by generating new ideas, working on drafts and finding routes to your true voices and your strong subjects.

Application criteria for all both workshops:
 Published writers (short stories, articles, )
 Trying to improve specific aspects of their writing
 Trying to get to the next stage in their careers
 Workshop fee is RM200 ((including refreshments and lunch)

Terms & conditions:
* Workshops are open to participants aged 18 years old and above
* All workshops are limited to 15 participants only

Deadline for application is 10 January 2010

22 January 2010, 8:00pm – 9:30pm, PJLA

From any background to showcase their work through a public “audition” process to help popularise writing and literature while providing a relaxed, informal platform to receive feedback.

It’s time to bring out your manuscripts or grab fresh pen and paper and give us your best work to see if the public and our panel of judges think you have what it takes. This is your chance to get honest feedback from those in the industry as well as your future readers.

Your work will be read on stage by professional actors –our friends from Instant CafĂ© Theatre– there’ll be drinks on hand, a relaxed and supportive atmosphere, and fame possibly waiting round the corner. If that isn’t enough, there’s even a prize for the best work…

Manuscripts are to be submitted in advance for the panel of judges to read.

Award for the Winner!
 Professional Development Planning with Spread the Word (UK) that gives you the space to step back, review your priorities and devise a route forward to get to where you want to be

Terms & conditions:
* All manuscripts must be submitted are limited to 1500 words only

Deadline for application is 10 January 2010
You will need the application form from British Council to apply for the workshops, so please drop an e-mail to to ask for it. (I also have a copy of it I can forward to you so contact

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