KUALA LUMPUR: As a young boy, Cheeming Boey had big dreams of becoming a comic artist. Many people discouraged him, however, telling him that he could never earn a living that way.
Nonetheless, the plucky chap stuck to his guns, and his hard work paid off. His book, the autobiographical comic When I Was a Kid 3, took first prize in the non-fiction category at the recent Popular-The Star Readers Choice Awards (RCA).
“This feels so good,” a visibly emotional Boey said upon receiving the award. “This really means a lot to me,” he added.
“I had, for the longest time, wanted to be an author. I was interested in writing comics. But I was putting it off, because people kept telling me I couldn’t make it,” he added.
Boey took home a cash prize of RM3,000 as well as a certificate of recognition at a ceremony held at the KL Convention Centre yesterday.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was announced as second prize winner for his The Wit and Wisdom of Dr Mahathir, while third prize went to Captain Lim Khoy Hing for Life in the Skies: Everything You Want to Know About Flying.
The RCA is held in conjunction with BookFest@Malaysia, the largest book exposition in the country. It is possibly the only literary awards in Malaysia that acknowledges local bestselling authors.
The 20 contending writers, 10 each in the fiction and non-fiction categories, authored the top-selling titles in Popular and Harris bookstores nationwide last year. Winners are chosen through votes from the public.
In the fiction category, Tunku Halim emerged triumphant with his anthology Horror Stories.
“Thank you very much. I feel very much like I just won the Academy Awards,” the writer joked.
“My book actually started back in 1997, when I wrote my very first story. It’s taken 15-plus years for the book to come out and win an award, and it’s very pleasing.”
One Fine Day by RodieR clinched the second prize in the same category, while Ee Leen Lee’s 13 Moons came in third.
The RCA was held together with the Popular-Berita Harian Anugerah Pilihan Pembaca, which rewards achievements for writing in Malay.
BookFest@Malaysia 2015 will be on daily at the convention centre from now until July 19 (10am to 10pm). Admission is with the purchase of the BookFest catalogue at RM2.50 per entry, or RM10 for multiple entries over nine days.
Catalogues will be available at all Popular and Harris outlets nationwide from today, as well as at the event’s entrance.
Star Media Group Bhd (formerly known as Star Publications (M) Bhd) is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia 2015. For more information, visit facebook.com/BookFestMalaysia.
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