Love thriller writer a crystal clear winner

After a six-month search, crowned the winner of the inaugural edition of Mencari Kristal on Dec 9 at the SPH News Centre Auditorium.

Pioneer Junior College English teacher Yazid Bin Hussein, 49, penned the gripping tale Sang Pembunuh (The Killer) to take home the top prize of $5,000 and the coveted crystal trophy.

Mencari Kristal is a short story writing competition and talent development programme organised by in collaboration with the National Arts Council (NAC) with the goal of uncovering emerging talents in the Malay literary scene.

With the theme set as love thriller (Debar Cinta), response for the one-month open call for entries from June 1 was overwhelming, showcasing the richness of the talent pool.

The 35 shortlisted finalists attended a series of six workshops conducted by literary experts from Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

They then submitted their work for the final round of competition, which was judged by a panel comprising journalists, writers, poets, and art practitioners — Dewani Abbas, Hamed Ismail, Juffri Supaat, Hanim Mohd Salleh, Jamal Ismail, and Noor Effendy Ibrahim.

The top three spots were rounded out by Clarissa Nathania Goenawan, 28, who took home the second prize of $2,000 for her work Retak, and Mohammad Farihan Bahron, 37, who won $1,000 for his entry, Bulan Jingga. The other five finalists received $200 each.

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