Over the weekend, I attended a writers’ seminar held at The Art’s House, organised by the National Book Council Development of Singapore. It was a free seminar open to all young writers from junior colleges, polytechnics and the universities. While I may be at least a decade older than the youngest of those who attended the seminar (which means that I’m not all that young), I’m still a university student (I have a matriculation card as proof), so I qualified for the seminar.
Registration was open at 9.30am, so Avariel and I went to sign in and collect our seminar folders while we waited for Seriously Sarah. Not long after she arrived and registered, we were ushered into the Play Den.
Due to the lack of seats at the back of the hall, we ended up at the front row, right under the spot lights. The first Plenary Session was supposed to be Writing and the New Media: Redefining the Author / Reader / Text Relationship. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the speaker was unable to attend.
After a quick breakfast that was kindly provided for by the organisers, the seminar quickly started with the concurrent sessions. We stayed in the Play Den for the The Age of Blogging: A Generation of Writers session, some of the attendees moved to the Blue Room to attend the Comics session. The session I attended was very informative, which is no surprise as the speakers, Ivan Chew (@ramblinglib) and Lucian Teo(@lucian), are bloggers themselves. They talked about some things that I already knew about, eg. Creative Commons, and some that I didn’t, eg. Podiobooks and Scribophile. It was a very interesting talk, covering collaborations with other people and the fear that your work will get stolen online. They’re very encouraging and after a few interesting questions by the audience, we broke for lunch.
After lunch was another plenary session, followed by another concurrent session. I attended the Publishing and the New Media talk, where the speakers talked about self-publishing and publishing education material, and what publishers expect from writers. I thought that it was a very informative for wannabe-writers and what they need to do when they want to publish their manuscript. Also, what to expect if/when their manuscripts do get picked by the publisher.
The day was rounded up by a forum, Career Options for those with Writing Skills and Aptitude to Write. The speakers reiterate from other sessions that being in the writing industry isn’t all about being a writer. Well, not just a fiction/non-fiction writer, since there are so many different occupations that require one to write creatively.
Overall, I found that it was interesting and rather informative. Though I must say that because I’m older than most of the participants, some of the questions asked made me roll my eyes but that’s because I’m old, crusty, grumpy and cynical as hell. Anyway, I hoped that the kids who went found it as informative as I did.