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From Self-editing course to Shortlist AND a Request

Hello everyone, 

I have some happy news I'd like to share with you about my novel The Age of Smiling Secrets.

Some background: a few years ago, I approached Writers Workshops (as it was then) for help with my novel. Cut long story short, I worked with Debi Alper, Andrew Wille and others. I also signed up for the self-editing course and this changed EVERYTHING. When the novel was ready, I submitted the novel to agents, but this was a half-hearted effort because my father was ill and needed me. After he passed away, I picked up the pieces of my writing life and started thinking about this novel again. As luck would have it, in 2018, the Commonwealth Writers included an edited chapter of my novel in an anthology called We Mark Your Memory: Writing from the Descendants of Indenture. With this, I figured that the novel was ready to be published and decided to self-publish here in Malaysia. Since the largest publishing house, MPH Publishers, was already publishing one of my collections of short stories at the same time, they agreed to help me publish the novel as well (meaning, they helped me with cover design, typesetting and so on). The novel was launched/published in Malaysia (on 20 October 2018) and, later, as a Kindle eBook

Now, for the exciting bit: The Age of Smiling Secrets is on the shortlist for the main award (English-Adult category) in the upcoming Book Award 2020 organised by the National Library of Malaysia (in Bahasa Malaysia it’s called Anugerah Buku 2020 Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia). In addition, thanks to the nomination made by many readers here, the novel is also on the shortlist for the Reader's Choice Award. This means that the novel is on the shortlist for 2 categories. I’m still shocked! 

A REQUEST - 20 September 2020

I have a request to make, please. To make sure that The Age of Smiling Secrets wins in this ‘Reader's Choice Award’ category, would you be willing to vote for the book as well? If so, please click the link below and enter the relevant details (scroll down the page for the English translation of the text, please)? 

Google Form: https://rb.gy/i7aamx 

*Note*: You will find that it is compulsory to choose books in the other categories/languages as well. Please just click the title that appeals to you or else this nomination for The Age of Smiling Secrets will not go through. 

The library has also listed information about this award on its social media platforms. Here are links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/172548049440558/posts/3734826719879322/ 

YouTube: https://youtu.be/PD7hDbXp3RY  

(I have tried to upload it to this page, but am not sure if it'll come through).

The deadline to vote for this novel is 20 September, but the faster this is done, the better. 

In advance, I thank you for voting for the book and sharing the link with others. I would be deeply obliged if you could share this message. 

The library tells me that the final results will be announced on 27 October 2020. Who would have thought two years ago that the novel would reach this level of success? 

As I mentioned to Debi, I couldn’t have done this without the help and guidance from everyone at Jericho Writers. The story in this novel is what it is because of all I was taught. I still cry reading parts of it and sometimes feel silly when I'm overwhelmed by merely looking at the cover design. Everyone played an enormous role in this journey that my novel has taken. So, many, many, many thanks to all at Jericho Writers, MPH Publishers and all who have been part of The Age of Smiling Secrets.

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Comments (4)
  • Huge congratulations. What a lovely journey to success. Debi and her self edit course are in a league of their own.

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    • This is so wonderful, Aneeta! I couldn't be more delighted for you. What a long way you've come since completing the self-edit course in 2013. I wish you loads of luck with the next stages but, whatever happens, this is all an incredible achievement. Be proud.

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      • Kate and Debi,

        Thank you for these responses. Much, much appreciated. 


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        • This is so wonderful! 

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