Well, Joanna Van, the writer of the article, and Ashvini, one of the students mentioned in the article responded to my blogpost.
Actually, the original article had the fellow interviewees state out possible solutions to help the problem. Unfortunately, the 700-word limit got in the way and my editor took that chunk out.Ashvini:
So no, they didn't just "whine" about it. They had solutions and ideas (I would be a complete baffoon journalist for not asking such an important question).
As for not wanting to be aware, many teens/youths (this article was after all meant for that group) have their heads stuck in books and nothing more. This article was spawned by my personal experience that I wouldn't have known about the writing community if not accidentally. And that accident was due to a tiny and small article in the newspapers. If it wasn't for that, I wouldn't even be a journalist nor a writer, just a wannabe.
My point is, most articles related to writing are small and far between. I thought I could help but voicing out what the youth says and in a bigger article.
As you said: I have no problems against you; but what's your contribution to help the scene? At least we managed to create some sort of spark of debate and force people to face the fact that we're "whining" about something that is very real.
...we're not condemning the writing scene either, that was my point. And also the point of the article. To tell those who write and know nuts about getting known for it, that there are other people like them around and it wouldn't hurt to be open about your writing despite limiting factors and what the general public thinks about people who DO write.There was also a lot of name-calling thrown about but I've helpfully edited it out. Hohoho. Visit Ash's blog for the full read (the juicy bits are in the comments).
Well, I participated in a writing competition a few years ago which happens to currently be a project I'm still actively involved in, along with the Irish Embassy, The Star and The National Library. Perhaps you've heard of it, the IMPAC Literary Award for Young Malaysian Writers? Also participated in a writer's workshop which was a project involving writers from several countries by the British Council. Contributed some poetry to the Utusan for teaching English to primary school kids in text books.
The problem is, we don't have a reading community to begin with. So the various measures taken to get people interested sometimes even fails to get noticed. I have from personal experience, met many who are interested in knowing about the scene but due to ignorance about it, they fail to get proactive.
Every now and then, a problem needs to be addressed to keep pushing the people to realise that it's still an on-going problem. It's not that we don't appreciate current measures taken to make things better, it's just that we don't want to live in denial of some things either.
That was merely what it is.