‘Thank you for your support, I will continue writing’

I started my writing journey in 2019, when I first met my soon-to-be mentor Brigitte Rozario at one of her writing workshops, ‘Just Write’.

At the end of the workshop, she encouraged all of us to sign up for her Junior Writers Programme, where 20 selected writers would be given the opportunity to learn, and be given guidance on writing non-fiction, and fiction stories, over seven months.

At the end of the programme, students must submit their own short stories, and all the stories would be combined into a book that would be published and sold at MPH bookstores around Malaysia.

After a stringent application process, I was so excited, yet nervous, when I was selected to join the 2020 Junior Writers Programme. My first class with Brigitte was at the beginning of January 2020.

Four classes later, the Malaysian government declared a total lockdown following the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown was declared not only in Malaysia but worldwide, and forced all of us to switch our fortnightly physical classes to online Zoom classes.

This became the routine until the book was launched. Once the book was printed and published, the writers of the 2020 Junior Writers Programme went their separate ways. I never got to know the other writers on the programme well. As for me, I decided to continue with Brigitte’s Teen Writing classes in 2021.

In addition to attending her classes, I was also given the opportunity to write for Kuala Lumpur based news website, Twentytwo13, under its Young Voices section, in 2021. I set myself a goal to write and submit at least three articles a year, while juggling school and extracurricular activities.

My first article, which I wrote for and published on Twentytwo13, was on Apple’s technology. To my surprise, the article was read by a very kind woman who was impressed with my writing. She contacted the editor of Twentytwo13 to reach out to me, and when both parties connected, she gave me an Apple watch.

Her generous gesture fuelled my desire to continue to write. As I continued writing for Twentytwo13, those who read my articles commented that they enjoyed reading my pieces. I felt so honoured.

Three years on, I am still writing, although not as often, due to my studies. I would like to thank the team at Twentytwo13 for giving me the space to express my views.

Will I still be writing? The answer is yes!

I would also like to dedicate this article to my wonderful mentor, Brigitte, who has helped me throughout this journey.

I would also like to urge readers to continue supporting the other Young Voices writers featured on Twentytwo13. For those who have followed me throughout my writing journey, I would like to thank you for your support.

To give the younger generation an avenue to express themselves, Twentytwo13 now has a dedicated space called Young Voices. If you are a young writer (aged between 12 and 17) and would like to have your article published on our news website, send your contribution to editor@twentytwo13.my.

All articles must be accompanied by the young writer’s full name, MyKad number, contact number, and the mobile number of the young writer’s parents/guardians for verification purposes.