Writing retreat, talks on copyright law and contracts during WAK2019

Tina Isaacs

KUCHING, Aug 26: Malaysian Writers Society (MYWriters) is bringing three events to this year’s What About Kuching (WAK) 2019 programme, which also falls in conjunction with MYWritersFest2019.

MYWritersFest, which began in 2015, is a month-long festival celebrating Malaysian writers and their writing.

The first of their three events is ‘Write Now, Kuching’, a four-day three-night writing retreat taking place from Oct 1 to 4 at Singgahsana Lodge here. This is one of the two writing retreats under MYWritersFest2019, with the other happening in Ipoh.


According to MYWriters president and retreat leader Gina Yap Lai Yoong, the idea was to take a few days off from normal routines and concentrate on one’s own personal writing project.

“Writers are encouraged to work on their writing with minimal distraction from others. They can also communicate with other writers on the premises to discuss about their writings,” she said in a media release today.

Gina Yap

The daily group session, facilitated by Yap, is compulsory for every participant as it is to keep everyone accountable in their writing progress.

“You will get some leisure time but do not treat this as a cheap holiday. Our venue Singgahsana Lodge and its owners are offering us their venue because they believe in supporting the arts. So set your writing goals and expect to work hard,” she advised participants.

Yap will be assisted by MYWriters Sarawak representative Georgette Tan.

Yap has written six books and co-written many more. Her trilogy ‘Ngeri’ is a bestseller with more than 10 reprints since 2012. Known as a Story Doctor, Gina is a book consultant and has been mentoring writers since 2014 in their writing journey.

Retreat fees are RM210 per participant, which includes accommodations and meals. For more information go to http://tiny.cc/kchretreat.

The other two events are talks by litigation lawyer specialising in copyright law Tina Isaacs. She is also a MYWriters committee member and a fiction writer. Taking place on the afternoon of Oct 5, Tina will cover an ‘Introduction to Copyright Law for Creatives’ and ‘Contract and Payment Terms for Freelance Creatives’.

On the talks, MYWriters Sarawak representative Georgette Tan said that while Kuching has no shortage of artistic talent, the lack of knowledge on matters of copyright and contracts often leave unwitting creative freelancers wide open for exploitation.

“As creative people, we usually don’t even think about matters of copyright or contracts until something happens to us. Alternately, we also don’t think about how our casual usage of other people’s intellectual property can hurt them,” said Tan, who is a former journalist.

In ‘Introduction to Copyright Law for Creatives’, participants will learn how to protect their work and control how it is used commercially, while ensuring that they don’t infringe the work of others.

In ‘Contract and Payment Terms for Freelance Creatives’, Tina will walk participants through the legalese of contracts and how to protect their rights as an independent creative contractor.

Both these talks are not limited to writers.

Georgette Tan

Tan added that these topics are relevant to all members of the creative community whether they are painters, dancers, photographers, designers, publishers, scriptwriters, or whether they make music, movies or handicrafts.

“With more and more Sarawakians embracing their artistic side as their primary or alternative income stream, it is worth understanding the legal side of the creative industry so you know where you stand and where you can go,” Tan said.

Tickets for the talks are priced at RM100 each. Those wanting to attend both would only have to pay RM160.

MYWriters members would get 50 per cent off the ticket price. Those coming in a group of five would be charged only RM400 (RM80/person) for one talk, or RM700 (RM140/person) for both. To sign up, visit http://tiny.cc/kchtalks.

For more information or to download the WAK calendar, visit aboutkuching.com. Programme booklets are also available for free across Kuching City.

For updates, visit WAK’s Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter under @aboutkuching. Those interested to be part of WAK may hashtag #WAK2019, #WAK and #aboutkuching. — DayakDaily