UnRepresented KL Writing Programme: I’m in it!

ImageI don’t know which lucky star I have to thank but somehow, I managed to snag a spot in Poskod.MY‘s writing programme, UnRepresented KL!

This entire programme is really cool:

“Currently in its first year, UnRepresented KL is on the lookout for writers who would like to spend ten weeks exploring themes of ‘being unrepresented’ and unrepresented narratives in and around KL … Held over eight sessions across ten weeks, UnRepresented will be a mix of small group workshops (from writing exercises to group walkabouts) and talks by guest presenters who will help us explore KL through their lenses. These talks will span different disciplines such as documentary, photography and anthropology.”

There are ten participants and I’m one of them! Tempted to online-stalk the rest.

I’ve always wanted to be a part of something like this, even before I knew something like “this” exists. To be exposed to the underbelly of Kuala Lumpur, to peek behind the tourist backdrops, to know all these people from different walks of life. And the best part is that we’re not just being let loose in the middle of the city and commanded to go crazy. For every week, there will be a guide who will introduce us to different aspects of Kuala Lumpur. It’s really important to me that it’s somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about. It’s so easy to simply label KL and Malaysians from your own perspective and leave it at that.

And I get to write about it! There’s even a proposed reading at the end of this programme so I’m jittery with nerves at the moment.

When the invitation email popped up in my inbox, I was really surprised. I was only aware of this programme two days before the closing deadline, thanks to my friend, Mijah. To enter, we had to write a 100-word essay on whose narrative we believe goes unrepresented, a 100-word personal statement and a 20-word answer to a question. All of this seems very simple except for the fact that I actually started my application on the day of the deadline. I like to live on the edge. So, I had to whip up something quick.

And if I’m being honest, I didn’t think I was going to be accepted. I’ve always had this feeling of insecurity when it comes to my writing and all these tiny paragraphs that represent my application just didn’t seem enough. So, I figured I might as well have fun with it. Be cheeky about it; at least it might get a second glance or two.

Can you believe that I actually sneaked in the words “sexual organs of plants” for my personal statement? My personal statement started with this line: “I have always been enamoured with the written word and despite painstakingly memorising the sexual organs of plants in high school, I knew that writing would be a big part of my future”.

And I got accepted? In fact, I think that’s the reason I got accepted; I had them at genitalia of plants.

Tomorrow, I will meet the organisers and nine other participants. I am incredibly nervous right now, which is why I hardly talk about this programme all week because I am trying to keep all of it under a manageable invisible container. In my mind, all the rest are probably Malaysia’s answer to Stieg Larsson and I’m… Dan Brown.

I will definitely try to blog about this 10-week experience if I can. So, watch out for this space!

Wish me luck!

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