Inside the soul of many working adults is a frustrated artist and often the form of art they aspire to create is creative writing as it does not require any additional expense for supplies or training before you begin. However, once the joy of writing has taken root, the burgeoning writer profits from guidance and instruction as well as peer interaction during instruction. To share one’s work with others, no matter the nature of honest criticism, is almost always a net positive experience.
To that end, QIUP and Multimedia University (MMU) jointly collaborated in presenting a Creative Writing Workshop on April 21st and 22nd at restaurant/art gallery 22 Hale Street located in old town Ipoh. The arty ambience of the room used for the workshop, with its historic photos and varied paintings and rustic furnishings, provided continuous inspiration for the attendees.
The first day consisted of three facilitation sessions. The first on poetry was conducted by Mr. Raj Dronamraju, Senior Lecturer and Head of Programme – Communication at QIUP and the author of three collections of poetry. The second session was on creative non-fiction and was conducted by esteemed local journalist Mr. Jaspal Singh. The third session was on short story writing and was conducted by Associate Professor Elizabeth Marshall of MMU, herself a published and noted writer and poet.
What all three sessions had in common was providing a comfortable environment for the attendees to present their work without fear of criticism or ridicule. Many of them delved into their actual life stories for inspiration.
The second day featured a short training on prompts to begin creative writing regardless of what form it is you are writing in from Ms. Shamanee Murthi, QIUP English Lecturer. This was followed by sharing sessions of the participants’ writings for each of the three facilitators.
Mr. Raj Dronamraju, Mr. Jaspal Singh, and Associate Professor Elizabeth Marshall all provided honest feedback and ample advice to the participants. In the process, some discovered for the first time a love of writing and that they were in fact writers.
In the words of Ms. Noor Elena Noordin QIUP English Lecturer and a participant in the workshop “I learned to use all five of my senses and take nothing for granted and how to bring to the surface what I was feeling. This is an important first step for me as a writer and I hope to write more consistently now.”