On the 31st of October, after the NaNoWriMo kickoff, my Sister and I hurried to Dataran Underground to take part in the Malaysian Writers Book Festival Finale!
We first had a cake-cutting ceremony! We sang the ‘Happy Birthday’ song as MYWriters is 1 years old! (Hence the bookfest.) Tina and Gina were part of the opening ceremony, and I loved how they officiated the ceremony not by cutting a ribbon, but by ticking off the venue from the placard.
Tina introduced the purpose of the event which was a BookFest to celebrate the first anniversary of the Malaysian local writing community that transcends genre, language, function, medium and experience levels. On that day, we were placed at Dataran Underground, and we were given space to do a brief Reading!
Look at the crowd!
After the cake cutting, and nomming into the cupcakes, we then proceeded to the speakers. Speakers of that day were: Nadia Khan, Anna Tan, Muhammad Fatrim, Sheena Baharudin, Sayidah Mu’Izzah, Chuah Guat Eng, and Uthaya Sankar SB.
Tina presented the mic to Sayidah Mu’Izzah to give a brief reading of her novel. I confess that I did not hear much of the Reading as I was doing volunteering work, and was in charge of the self-published table. Because of that, I would not be able to tell you what they read out, or how I felt about it. I might have listened to snippets, but I believe that they deserve full attention, and I’m not worthy to write anything about their performances that day when I only heard snippets.
So look at these wonderful pictures by Eileen Lian. She has a short story written in Hungry in Ipoh, so check that out!
The following picture starts with Sayidah Mu’Izzah reading from her book. Check out her blog here.
Anna Tan also went up to give a Reading of her story Codes from the book Cyberpunk: Malaysia. I got a copy of Cyberpunk: Malaysia and I can’t wait to read Anna’s story from it. Please do check out her free novella from this site and her blog from here.
Chuah Guat Eng read from her book and you can check out her thoughtful articles from her blog here. She also helped drew lots for the lucky draw! Yes, that’s right, we also had lucky draw prizes which comprised of books published by various Malaysian authors.
This is a photo of us sitting together with the books that were to be given away.
As you can see, the box containing the books was for the first prize! The books CANNOT BE CONTAINED! In between performances, books were also given as mini-luck draw prizes for those who attended the Finale.
The first prize winner went home with RM1000 worth of books! How very lucky and fortunate! I myself won an ebook of poetry by Leon Wing which can be obtained from here!
Other readers included Nadia Khan, whom I now realized was one of the open mic speakers that day for the penultimate session. The book she’s reading from is called Pakar, and you can check out the Goodreads review here. I also got her book Cerpen and I can’t wait to read it.
Another speaker was Muhammad Fatrim. He read from one of his books Patung, and it is on my To-Buy list! Check out his Facebook page here.
I met Sheena Baharudin there again, and once again I was mesmerized by her poems. Do get her chapbook Memori Gajah! I recommend the chapbook greatly. I also got to hug her and take a photo with her, seriously she is my new idol in poetry. Check out her facebook page here.
Uthaya also came forth and told his story. My sister said this about his performance, “You can truly feel the emotions from the animated way he spoke.” I wish I could’ve heard the performance. You can find information on various books that he sells from his blog here. I got a copy of his book Pulau Pendatang and it is going to be one of my most cherished books. I haven’t started on it yet, but I will, soon!
I cannot say much about the event, only that it was an amazing time for me. I got to meet many prolific authors, and got some advice from them on my writing. It was as if I met stars from my dreams. I am but a lowly aspiring novelist, and they are magnificent people whom I admire. And yet they were all so humble and lovely. They even allowed me to read snippets from their books.
I was thoroughly inspired, and I loved the event.
I’m sorry if this was short and lacked depth. I really cannot bring myself to write about things I did not fully immersed myself in. I loved volunteering at the event, and I wouldn’t change that fact for the world, but I’m also sad that I couldn’t focus on the performances. I was busy chatting away with the customers at the self-published table, and also with the authors that were not doing any readings.
So I apologize greatly to the amazing authors that had read out their stories on that day. I’m sure that they were wonderful, and I do hope to have the chance to listen to you read from your books again.
That day my sister got a CD from Kafayat Quadri and you can check out her Facebook page here. She plays different musical instruments and her songs are to inspire you to study/write/live.
We also got a book of poetry by Michelle Leong! She wrote a beautiful message for us in the book, and when I’ve finished reading the poems, I’ll be sure to write a review on it. This is a book I heartily recommend to friends. Her Facebook page can be found here!
We got some books from Fixi, so yes. Reviews will be written soon! But I’m busy with NaNoWriMo right now so those will have to wait. In fact, despite surpassing my quota of the day already, I’ve decided to push on to reach 10k today! Only 1 hour left to midnight but I will do this!
Thank you for reading this super lame blog post. I can’t help but want to write something to remember the event by. The photos are gorgeous too, thank you Eileen! So yes, forgive me once again for any mistakes I’ve made.
I’ll end this with a group photo. (It is incomplete as most had already returned home after the event.) I love all this people!
Thank you Tina and Gina for allowing me to take part in this event! I had a blast! Kudos to the wonderful Tina and Gina. And everyone else who had volunteered as well. Yay! Happy moments.
Thank you for reading.