PEN Cambodia workshop 1, 2013

Capacity building for Cambodian writers training workshop by PEN
Cambodia with Melbourne PEN Center (Australia)

(Committee: Mr. Heng Sreang, the President of PEN Cambodia, in collaboration with Dr. Arnold Zable, and with arrangement of Dr. Judith Buckrich) From 25th to 27th of January 2013, 76 writers who are members of PEN Cambodia and writers from other associations, and 20 school teachers and students, media reporters and journalists from different organizations in the capital city of Phnom Penh and rural provinces Cambodia attended a Creative Writing “Capacity Building for Cambodian writers” organized by PEN Cambodia in partnership with Melbourne PEN Center.

Dr. Arnold Zable, the current President of Melbourne PEN Center, offered to undertake this training workshop. The workshop discussed mainly the techniques of writing literary works, and how to write good works that can get accepted for publication. Aside from questions about how to promote quality of writings, the questions are also about how to write good novels, fiction and nonfiction, short stories and poems in the country with limited freedom of expression like Cambodia. This opened to discussions about ways how to deal with such problem.

This training workshop marks the first successful collaboration between PEN Cambodia and Melbourne PEN Center (Australia) with kind efforts of Dr. Judith Buckrich, who is earnestly working to promote collaboration between PEN Centers in Asia Pacific regions, and expanding networks with literary associations in the region.

To help promote learning activities in this country, PEN Cambodia has initiated a certain literary activities to be carried in 2013 and 2014. The planned activities include „Writer Forums”, “Training Workshops” and “PEN Clubs” in different schools (in a certain community) in order to provide opportunities for writers, authors, school teachers, students, school children and the general public to learn, express their thoughts and exchange ideas with others. In this way, we believe that we can contribute to educational development and the promotion of freedom of expression in this country both today and the future.