Popular local writer, Dr. Chuah Guat Eng, gave a talk on “How to Read and Write Short Stories and Novels” at the Ipoh Swimming Club recently. It was organised by Perak Academy under its Perak Lectures series. The audience consisted mainly of the young and not so young and most were there for a reason. They wanted to learn the basics of writing short stories. Some of the writer’s notable books are “Echoes of Silence”, “Days of Change” and “The Old House” – titles which were familiar to the eager listeners. Chuah’s presentation was packed with details on how to get started and useful pointers, especially for beginners and those who have an aversion to writing. It was laced with jokes and innuendos, which kept the 120-odd listeners glued to their seats. She paid tribute to great novelists such as E.M. Foster, Stendhal and Vladimir Nabokov while alluding to their writing styles and techniques. This inspired the crowd and judging from their mood, they had definitely benefited from the expose. The session ended with Chuah signing her books, which were on sale.