Tunku Halim

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Tunku Halim has been dubbed as Asia’s Stephen King and by delving into Malay myth, legends and folklore, his writing is often regarded as ‘World Gothic’. His novel, Dark Demon Rising (1997), was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award whilst his second novel, Vermillion Eye (2000), was used as a study text in The National University of Singapore’s Language and Literature course. He has also won first prize in a Fellowship of Australian Writers’ short story competition and has had three consecutive wins in Malaysia’s Popular-Star Readers’ Choice Awards between 2015 and 2017.

His short-story collections include The Rape of Martha Teoh & Other Chilling Stories (1997), BloodHaze: 15 Chilling Tales (1999), The Woman Who Grew Horns and Other Works (2001), 7 Days to Midnight (2013) and The Rape of Nancy Ng – 13 Nightmares (2018). His other novels include Juriah’s Song (2008), Last Breath (2014) and A Malaysian Restaurant in London (2015).

His non-fiction books include A Children’s History of Malaysia (2019), History of Malaysia – A Children’s Encyclopedia (2013) and a biography of his late father A Prince Called “Charlie” (2018).”

Judge’s Tips:

  1. To write, you need to spend time alone and undistracted. If you have your phone beside you then you’re not alone. So, when writing, switch your phone off. Silent mode is not good enough. It’s best to switch it off and put it in another room. Now, you’re alone and you can write.
  2. When writing fiction, write without rules. Don’t worry about what your mother, father, teacher or friends will say. Just write and allow your thoughts to flow. You can edit your writing later when your piece is mostly done.
  3. When writing, don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Worrying about this will stop the flow of your creative energies. When your piece is finished, you can then fix your spelling and grammar.