Tuesday, November 29, 2005

LIME Time: Writing workshop for Youth.sg volunteer bloggers

Last Saturday, the good folks at Youth.sg invited me to sit in their Writers' Workshop they organised for volunteer writers for their blog.

"A writer is like a manager", said Stella Thng, editor of LIME magazine who shared her experiences and writing tips with about 10 to 15 young adults. Stella published her first article for a local paper at age 15, and freelanced for a teens magazine at 17. Then she went on to do her Business Diploma from a local Polytechnic.

Goes to show young aspiring writers that you don't necessarily need to take specialised courses to be a writer. I believe it's more important to have a passion for reading and writing and practicing those reading and writing skills.

Stella shared her personal Five Rules of Writing (but first qualifies that all writers should form their your rules):
  1. Are you making any sense? (i.e. Keep to main points)
  2. Any glaring spelling/ grammar mistakes?
  3. Are you writing as a Reporter or a Writer?
  4. Are you writing for your audience?
  5. Are you boring?
She rounded up her 5 tips with this advice: "Don't be controversial for the sake of it."
I thought this could be an important 6th tip of writing.

Stella carries a notebook (the paper kind) everywhere, to jot down notes whenever she get ideas -- when flipping a magazine at the hair dresser; coming across a poster or shop

I had some very good conversations with Stella and the teen volunteers after the talk. Interesting bunch of young people. There's subdued energy behind them. I'm confident we'll see some sparks fly.


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