Art Literature News

Nation’s most prestigious lit fest offers prize for outstanding pandemic prose and poetry

Malaysia’s biggest celebration of world literature, George Town Literary Festival (GTLF), announced a call for submissions for lockdown-themed prose and poetry. In a competition titled Wake Me Up When This Is Over, residents of Malaysia are invited to send in their writings for a chance to win RM500.00 cash. Setting the competition apart is its openness to non-citizens: anyone who resides in Malaysia and has a Malaysian home address is able to participate.

The competition will be judged by Pauline Fan and Sharaad Kuttan, who are both returning as co-directors of the festival, alongside co-curator Izzuddin Ramli and National Laureate Muhammad Haji Salleh. Eight winners will be selected, and there’s a possibility that these writings will be published in a future GTLF project.

Syahbandi Samat‘s “Self Portrait” features in promotional images of the competition. Syahbandi, a Kuching-born artist known for his use of the ballpoint pen, was scheduled to premiere his first solo exhibition with Artemis Art this year but plans were shelved due to the COVID-19 crisis. His artworks can currently be viewed at Artemis Art’s digital exhibition Monochrome¬†which is hosted on Artsteps.

While most of Penang state’s arts and culture events have been cancelled, GTLF’s status is still unclear as it takes place towards the end of the year. News on whether the literary festival will proceed is expected to be announced by the end of July.


For more information on the competition, visit the George Town Literary Festival website. Featured image showcases “House: Preserved Past” by Syahbandi Samat.

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