Tuesday, May 14, 2013


The Education of Laura Jean

Writing is the way to help me record and remember the world”- said Laura Jean in Bali Emerging Writers Festival 2013 (#BEWF13), road show to Singaraja on the 12 of April in Auditorium SMA Lab Singaraja.

It was the second day of #BEWF13 in Singaraja. I missed the first day because of the business I had. I went there at the minutes past ten, so I thought I was late for the event. But, when I arrived, it hadn’t been started yet. After registering myself, I took a snack and had a seat. I saw a foreigner, who I guessed as the main speaker Laura Jean McKay and I wasn’t wrong, sitting and talking with my lecturer, Ibu Sonia.

At first, I was really shy to be there. Having no art related talent, I was surrounding by people who have and like it. I just kept my head down and shut my mouth up. But it changed when the event started. I felt better while hoping I could learn from these people about art.

At about 10.30, the event started. Ibu Sonia as the moderator accompanying Laura Jean sat down in the couch in front of the audiences. The event was organized into two: talk and discussion with Laura, and workshop about “character in prose”. Ibu Sonia facilitated the medium of the two sessions, since not all the participants master English.

In the talk and discussion, Ibu Sonia and also the audiences asked the several questions about Laura’s experience in writing such as her current work: Holiday in Cambodia, about memoir, how to find ideas, and so forth.

Here are the tweets about the talk and discussion:

Before beginning the workshop session, Laura asked several audiences to say their name as well as the meaning goes with it. It was done to show that every person has their own story since they were born.

Afterwards, she taught us about character sketch. She invited us to give our opinion about what character sketch is. Some of the audiences, including me, participated in that discussion.

Then, she showed us a picture of a woman. We had to decide her character. In the end, the character was named Raisa, an old woman who lived alone in the hill. She told us that from the character we could write a story.  So, we were also asked to decide her character when she was young. The audiences agreed that young Raisa was beautiful, and she was a dancer.

After deciding the character of the woman when she was young and old, we were asked to decide how Raisa could change from a young beautiful dancer into and old lonely woman. Then we got a story from a character.

She did another similar activity; to guess the character, but now she showed us through her performance. She read a monolog and performed it. Now, we should guess the character she was playing.

After that, we got some exercise. We had to think of a character then we were asked to walk around the hall as if we were the character. Then, we were asked to write a letter, describing ourselves, to a person we love that have forgotten us.

In the end of the session, Ibu Sonia and some of the youth from Komunitas Mahima sang a musical poetry to close the event.

Update (28/5):
I just found the video created by the committe, and here it is: