Sunday, July 12, 2009

Writing Travel Pieces Workshop

I would love to be a writer someday. When I saw an advertisement in the NST about the workshop called Writing Travel Pieces, I signed up to attend. The workshop was conducted for 2 days, on July 4 and 5. There were 39 aspiring writers who attended the session. We were lucky to have a very knowledgeable and experienced facilitator named Padma. The guess speaker was Putri Zanina. There was an article written on the workshop in the Monday NST.
An NST article written about the workshop (Monday July 6)

The first day we covered the following topics:

  • What it takes to be a travel writer,
  • Writing travel stories
  • Tips on effective travel writing,
  • Travel photography,
  • Getting published, and
  • What editors look for in articles

A field trip to China Town was scheduled for the second day and we got to choose one of the three subjects to write on: the Central Market (CM), shop houses near or around Central Market, or the Sze Ya Temple. We were paired together to work on the assignment and my partner was Maimun, a lady from Johore.

We took lots of pictures, observed the activities in and around CM, and interviewed a few shop owners. I took the opportunity to visit the Temple although I was not writing about it. It was a really nice experience because that was the first time I entered a Buddhist temple.
The field trip lasted for 3 hours. When we got back to the “class room” we had to produce our story based on what we have learned. The stress level was high. It felt like I was taking an exam! We were given a certificate of attendance before we took a group photo.

We gained a lot of knowledge and useful tips on writing travel pieces but my most favorite tips are “leave your temper at home and take your sense of humor with you” when we go traveling. We were also told to “fire on our five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound” in order to be a great writer. As usual it was hard to say goodbyes to all my newly acquainted writers wannabes. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses. I have contacted a few of them, some responded and others kept silent. Oh well, I guess they are busy with other things, or they were out of credits.

Pictures of my newly met friends

Hmm... This is no ordinary friend
Below are some of the friendliest and very helpful NST personnel


Rozella said...

Such a nice post about the workshop. :) Perhaps next time you will feature a travel article here. Hee hee

Life Goes On said...

I will try. Wish me luck. Your posts are incredible. You got so many comments! Never knew you have so many fans :)