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Great Storytelling Network Newsletter – 23 November 2020

How To Tell A Great Story Great StoryTelling Network Newsletter
Volume 16, Issue 20 – 23 November 2020


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CONTEST

What: Contest to WIN A FREE COPY of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
When: From 23 November 2020 to 10 December 2020
How: Please send an email to editor@howtotellagreatstory.com and type ‘CONTEST and BOOK TITLE’ in the subject matter.

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One Book That Changed My Writing Life

My latest novel, The Age of Smiling Secrets was shortlisted for two categories in the Book Award 2020 organised by the National Library of Malaysia. When I reflected on the journey that this book has taken, I acknowledged the enormous influence of one of my all-time favourite books, Joseph Anton: A Memoir (ISBN 9780224093972 – hardcover) by Salman Rushdie. Written in the third person, the memoir is an account of Rushdie’s life during the fatwa that was issued as a reaction to criticism and a widespread controversy over his novel The Satanic Verses (1988). Rushdie used “Joseph Anton” as a pseudonym while in hiding.

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A Lasting Effect

Members of Readers Club of Manav Rachna International School Sector-46, Gurugram

Recently, I accepted an invitation to speak to members of a Readers Club at a school. The topic I was given was to explain the importance of reading and a book that had an impact on me. It seemed easy enough until I found it difficult. In the end, I decided to put myself in these students’ shoes, which meant going back in time and trying to figure out the novel I’d read in school that had had a huge impact on my life. The novel I eventually chose was Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

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Library of Stories – Interview with Maizan Ismail (9 November 2020)

A few months ago, I received an email informing me about an award called the Book Award 2020 organised by the National Library of Malaysia. Within the text of the email was an invitation to submit a publication of my choice to be considered for the award. I thought it was a hoax and wrote back to ask if this was really true. Lo and behold, it was! So began the process of submitting The Age of Smiling Secrets for consideration by the experts. I was very grateful for the support from family, friends, the readers of this webiste and also subscribers to my newsletter. As it stands, my novel, The Age of Smiling Secrets, is now on the shortlist (2 categories) for this award. Unfortunately, like many other events this year, the ceremony to announce the winners of these awards has had to be postponed several times because of the pandemic. Instead of wallowing in this malaise of sorts, I decided to take the opportunity to get to know those behind this award. I wrote to the National Library with a request to interview its Director-General. I am mighty pleased that the Director-General consented to this request. Without further ado, I have much pleasure in introducing you to Maizan Ismail.

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Great Storytelling Network Newsletter – 15 October 2020

How To Tell A Great Story Great StoryTelling Network Newsletter
Volume 16, Issue 19 – 15 October 2020


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Dear [FIRSTNAME],

First of all, thank you very much for your votes for The Age of Smiling Secrets. The winners were originally scheduled to be announced on 7 October 2020. Midway through the competition, it was announced that the awards show was re-scheduled for 27th October. Unfortunately, as of 14 October 2020, most Malaysians are now subject to living under a Movement Control Order for 2 weeks because the number of Covid-19 cases in the country rose in the last month. The upshot of all this is that I have no idea when the winners of these awards are going to be announced.

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Great Storytelling Network Newsletter – 18 September 2020

How To Tell A Great Story Great StoryTelling Network Newsletter
Volume 16, Issue 9 – 18 September 2020


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Dear [FIRSTNAME],

I have some news. Thanks to your vote, The Age of Smiling Secrets made it to the shortlist of the ‘Reader’s Choice Award’ for the Book Award 2020 organised by the National Library of Malaysia. In addition, it’s also on the shortlist for the main award (English-Adult category). This means that the novel is on the shortlist for 2 categories. I’m still shocked!

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Gratitude of a Queen

Buddha Statue – Cambodia (2018)

I recently watched a movie on Netflix about the life of Gautama Buddha and it had a profound effect on me. I was eager to learn about the life of this prince born into privilege who gave up everything and everyone to search for the ultimate truth.

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Great Storytelling Network Newsletter – 14 August 2020

How To Tell A Great Story Great StoryTelling Network Newsletter
Volume 16, Issue 8 – 15 August 2020


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Dear [FIRSTNAME],I need some help, please.

First, I am publishing this newsletter a day earlier than usual. If you recall, I’d sent out an earlier message about the nomination of The Age of Smiling Secrets for the Reader’s Choice Award. The closing date to nominate the novel is tomorrow (15 August 2020). If you haven’t already done so, this message serves as a gentle reminder. Here is the link, once again, to access the webform and following the instructions (for English, scroll down the page) :
Nominate The Age of Smiling Secrest for the ‘READER’S CHOICE AWARD’

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