Hi there! I'm Ted Mahsun and I'm a Malaysian writer of science fiction.
I have recently been accepted to the super awesome and extremely prestigious Clarion West Writers Workshop, an intensive six-week course taught by world-renowned authors and editors designed to not only improve a promising writer's skillset but to also prepare them for a professional writing career.
This is a Huge Deal! Every year hundreds apply from all over the world to be a part of this workshop yet only 18 students are accepted. This is not the sort of thing you turn down if given the chance to attend.
So now I am asking your help to make this real.
Who am I?
Hello! I’ve been writing since I was a child but it was only about ten years ago that I took my writing more seriously and started submitting to publications. It took me a while but eventually I managed to get published in various Malaysian short story anthologies such as Readings from Readings 2, Everything About Us, Cyberpunk: Malaysia, Hungry In Ipoh, and TRASH. I was also published in Australia’s Griffith Review in their New Asia Now edition. Last year, two of my SF novels (written in Malay) won the Third and Consolation prizes respectively in the biannual Science Fiction and Technology Novel Writing Competition organized by the Technology University of Malaysia.
What will I use this money for?
Attending Clarion West is an expensive ordeal, especially if you’re a Malaysian like me. However, thanks to several generous donors, I'll be able to attend the workshop, and my travel will be partially covered, but I still need some extra funding to cover the following:
$1500: Debt Commitments. This is to help cover my debt commitments back home while I’m away at the workshop.
$500: Flight and Travel Insurance. While my travel expenses are partially covered, I will still need to cover the balance and also pay for travel insurance.
$1000: Miscellaneous Expenses. This is to cover any expenses incurred while I am at the workshop.
An extra $200 is to cover processing fees.
Any amount you donate will gain you my eternal gratitude. No, really! Even after I die, and a meteor crashes into Earth and wipes out all life but the roaches, I WILL BE GRATEFUL TO YOU.
Having said that, if you want a little more than just me being grateful, you can also gain the following cool rewards!
$50 A personalized postcard by me from either Kuala Lumpur or Seattle (your choice!) and my eternal gratitude.
$100 Not only do you get my eternal gratitude and a personalized postcard, but you also get an ebook that collects the following previously self-published short stories: The Secret Operation in the Matriarch’s Kitchen, The Dangers of Growing Air-cooled Volkswagens in Your Backyard, Zombies Ate My Muslim, and a fourth brand new unreleased story. Formats will be epub, mobi, and pdf.
$500 Not only do you get my eternal gratitude, a personalized postcard, and an ebook that compiles four of my short stories, but you also get a signed copy of Malaysia's first science fiction anthology in English, Cyberpunk: Malaysia, edited by Zen Cho and also includes a story by yours truly. And since I also know many of the other writers from this anthology, I will try to get them to sign your copy too! Sure, you might be able to get the ebook online for cheap, but have you seen the deadtree version (which happens to be out of print by the way)? It’s gorgeous! (Image shamelessly stolen from fellow Cyberpunk: Malaysia writer, Zedeck Siew.)
$1000 If you are crazy enough to donate this amount of money then in return I offer an equally crazy reward. I will dance for a full minute with my shirt off backdropped by the famous Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur which will start with me holding up a placard engraved with a message of thanks to you. I will then upload this video to my personal YouTube account. If for some weird reason this reward receives multiple donors (why???) I will choose a different yet equally notable landmark in the Greater KL region for each donor. YES! $1000 is all it takes to make me embarrass myself in front of the world!
(Disclaimer: my dancing credentials are limited to waggling a Wii remote randomly to get a perfect score in Just Dance.)
And of course you get my eternal gratitude, a personalized postcard, an ebook that compiles four of my short stories, and a signed copy of Malaysia's first science fiction anthology in English, Cyberpunk: Malaysia, edited by Zen Cho and also includes a story by yours truly.
Other ways you can help
Want to help in other ways? Can’t afford to pay me to dance shirtless? No problem! Help spread the word of this fundraiser! Tell your friends and family. Tweet it, share it on Facebook, let everyone know! A little goes a long way.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to everyone who can help and support me, in any form or capacity. I’ve been wanting to attend Clarion West since I first heard about it almost ten years ago and now it’s finally happening.
Thank you all for your generosity. THANK YOU ALL FOR HELPING ME REALIZE MY DREAM. 😍