Unleash the writer within you! A young writers’ workshop


Aliran invites young people aged 18 to 35 to participate in our Young Writers Workshop with the theme “Youth aspirations and the 14th general election” this weekend 21-22 October 2017 in Penang.

The 14th Malaysian general election is coming soon.

The signs are apparent as opposition political parties start to squabble over seat allocations and coalition partnerships while the BN-controlled government begins to ramp up development aid to rural areas and other strategic constituencies.

In recent years, both sides of the Malaysian political divide have engaged in crass populism as a way to win electoral support. The Pakatan Rakyat manifesto in the last election was replete with promised populist goodies such as abolition of student loans and highway tolls, reduction of car prices and free education. The BN government similarly engaged in populist campaigning such as providing BR1M cash assistance.

Even though young people (aged 15-29) make up about a third of the Malaysian population, both sides seem to pay scant attention to their needs and aspirations, besides making unclear token promises of free education and abolition of student loans. No wonder we can see the rise of political apathy among this age group as these young people feel neglected and unappreciated by the political elite on both sides of the divide.

Political apathy does not mean that young people have completely shunned politics. They can be acutely aware of the issues we face as a society but do not see engaging in party politics, even voting, as a means of tackling these issues.

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This workshop will focus on stimulating discussions and ideas about what young people can do to be heard and to effect changes in the upcoming general election.

Workshop participants will spend the first day honing their writing skills and techniques including how to tailor their writing to a particular readership and get their ideas across in a clear and coherent manner.

Participants will spend the second day writing while facilitators will be on hand to guide them. The first drafts will then be presented to the other workshop partipants for their views, before they are further amended. An experienced writer will also review the drafts and provide constructive ideas on how they can be improved. Polished versions will then be published on the Aliran website, subject to editorial clearance. Have a look at the work of the young writers from our previous workshops.

Workshop details:

Date: Sat/Sun 21-22 October 2017
Time: 9am – 5pm
Venue: Aliran, 103 Medan Penaga, 11600 Jelutong, Penang
Facilitators: Azmil Tayeb, Mustafa K Anuar, Henry Loh and Anil Netto
Language: Malay/English
Age group: 18-35
Registration fee: RM15 (Payment can be made on the day of the workshop)

To register, fill up the online here.

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  1. Before you can write good articles you must be able to think. But our young generation today mostly cannot think critically due to the education policy and one-sided mainstream media. No questioning skills partly due to blind faith towards politics and religion, accept things as they are.

  2. Hopefully the youth cherish freedom more than anything else.
    Freedom of the mind, association , creativity (science) and not to be muddle with religious dogmas and racial stigmas.
    Science and technology are able to propel and both are the drive engines needed for prosperity and business.
    Hopefully they or at least some will write as intellectual instead of following the style of current politicians.
    To be straight , both the BN and Pakatan have silly and obnoxious politicians.

    Youth of today are exposed to the World Wide Web(internet) at an early tender age compared to many of us old uncles and aunties who tasted such freedom at mid age.
    Aspiring young writers ought to know that Malaysia have draconian law/s.
    Teach them and coach them on what words/sentences and jargon suitable for usage in order to avoid the Seditious and Lese Majeste dragnet.

      • Yes, can write about the rising cost of living.

        The cost of goods and services increasing faster than income is one reason why feelgood sentiments are not being felt on the ground, despite economic growth of 5.6% and 5.8% in the first two quarters of this year.

      • We have replaced large pool of high income tax bracket professionals with low wage workers who do not contribute to the tax coffer; result is clear- reduced government revenues means more taxes. Every year the large pool of useless graduates we produce which do not meet the skill requirements of the private sector is absorbed into the civil services; result is a bloated civil service, Ever wonder our civil service is one of the largest in the world, and here is the pain; because it is the largest block of votes based on race and religion, the government dare not down size it. It takes up the largest part of government expenditure, so when the government is squeezed, others have to give way such as universities and hospitals have to suffer cut back. Why can’t we see all these problems are the result of incompetence and failed policies in management of the country resources?

    • It’s a rare opportunity for someone to unshriek!
      And become a better writer to command respect & discard trolling habits.


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