Writing retreat, talks on copyright law and contracts during WAK2019

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(Clockwise from top left) Lawyer and author Tina Isaacs, MYWriters president Gina Yap Lai Yoong and MYWriters Sarawak representative Georgette Tan.

KUCHING: Malaysian Writers Society (MYWriters) is bringing three events to this year’s What About Kuching (WAK) 2019, 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 include ‘Write Now, Kuching’, a four-day three-night writing retreat taking place from Oct 1 to 4 at Singgahsana Lodge, Kuching. This is one of the two writing retreats under #MYWritersFest2019, with the other one happening in Ipoh.

According to MYWriters president and retreat leader Gina Yap Lai Yoong, the idea is to take a few days off from normal routine and concentrate on your personal writing project.

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

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 added, who will be assisted by MYWriters Sarawak representative Georgette Tan.

Yap has written 6 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, visit http://tiny.cc/kchretreat.

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

Speaking 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,” Tan said, 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. 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.

Ticket price for the talks is RM100 each. Attend both and pay only RM160. MYWriters members get 50% off the ticket price. Come in a group of five and pay RM400 (RM80/person) for one talk or RM700 (RM140/person) for both. To sign up, visit http://tiny.cc/kchtalks.

This event is part of What About Kuching 2019. For more information or to download our calendar, visit aboutkuching.com.  Programme booklets are also available for free across Kuching. For updates, find WAK on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under @aboutkuching. Join the buzz by hashtagging #WAK2019, #WAK and #aboutkuching.

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