Participants at ‘Bridging Cultures’, Singapore 2014
AP Writers is a networking organisation. Consequently, this list of more than 130 writers from nearly 20 countries includes not only the speakers and workshop leaders but also those who have registered to join as part of the participating audience for our 2014 gathering.
Martin Alexander is Editor-in-Chief of the Asia Literary Review and a Trustee of the UK’s Poetry Society. He is a prize-winning writer based in Hong Kong and Oxford and his poetry, short stories and travel writing have been widely published. In 2009 he was awarded the Orient-Occident International Grand Prix for Poetry and was a finalist in the Bradt /Independent on Sunday Travel Writing Competition.
Zafar Anjum is a journalist, writer and filmmaker based in Singapore. He is the author of a collection of short stories, The Singapore Decalogue: Episodes in the Life of a Foreign Talent (Red Wheelbarrow Books, Singapore, 2012), a collection of essays, Kafka and Orwell on China (Samshwords, 2011) and a bestselling business book. Last year, his work of translation, Urdu Poetry--An Introduction (published by Kitaab) was released at the Singapore Writers Festival. His early literary efforts include a novel and a volume of translated poetry. His short stories and journalism have been published in a variety of publications in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia, Bangladesh and the US. He is the founder-editor of Kitaab, a website dedicated to Asian writing in English. He also mentors Singapore’s ‘gifted students’ under the Ministry of Education’s Creative Arts Programme. (www.zafaranjum.com).
Meena Arivananthan is a consultant facilitator/trainer in the area of knowledge sharing and communications. A closet blogger and citizen journalist, she began writing professionally as a science writer for the Popular Science franchise 15 years ago. Now, she writes about research developments and technology for scientific journals, newsletters and social media. Based in Malaysia, she is working on her novel and translating a book on the history of Indians in colonial-era Malaya.
Anuj Bahri is CEO & Principal Agent of Red Ink Literary Agency at New Delhi, India. He graduated from the University of Delhi with Bachelors in Commerce and, after a few small but good management courses, joined the legendry booksellers – Bahrisons at Khan Market, New Delhi. After having worked with the bookstore for 20 odd years under the tutorship of Balraj Bahri, he added a small publishing division (Tara-India Research Press) to the existing line of business as a bookseller. In 2008 he added a new platform that gave voice and opportunity to the young and talented writers in India to showcase their talent across the globe – starting the Red Ink Literary Agency at New Delhi, India. Anuj now heads the Bahri group. He is also the head of affairs at Red Ink and the principal agent to Amish Tripathi (India’s biggest and most popular author), Shrabani Basu, Amarendra (Bob) Swarup, Shobha Nihalani, Pranay Gupte and others in the small family of Red Ink authors.
Laurinda Bailey is a writer, translator (Indonesian) and teacher from NSW, Australia. She has published a collection of short writing, Dozing on a Warm Rock, and was the Open winner of the 2011 RiAus Sciku poetry competition. She is currently teaching in the English Faculty at Shoalhaven High School and is responsible for the school’s developing creative writing program.
Sharon Bakar was born in the UK but has lived in Malaysia for the past 31 years. She wears several hats including teacher-trainer, freelance writer, editor/book doctor, creative writing teacher, and most recently, independent publisher. Her articles, reviews, and short fiction have appeared in a number of Malaysian publications. She organizes Readings, a monthly event for local writers, at Seksan Gallery in Bangsar, KL, and is the co-editor (along with Bernice Chauly) and publisher of Readings From Readings: New Malaysian Writing, and readings From Readings 2: New Writing from Malaysia, Singapore and Beyond a collection of pieces by writers who have read at the event. A third volume will be launched in 2015.
Isabela Banzon teaches and currently heads the creative writing program at the University of the Philippines. Her next book of poems Maybe Something is forthcoming.
Ilaria Benini is based in Yangon (Myanmar) where she develops cultural projects with her organization Flux Kit, in partnership with local and international partners (http://www.fluxkit.org). She has been working as copy-writer and project manager for her own video production company, realizing commercial works and documentary projects. She is now scouting for fiction and non-fiction literatures from Asia for sirius edizioni, recently established Italian publishing house aiming in creating bridges among disciplines and regions of the world through books. Her main interests lie in sociology, communication, contemporary art and, of course, literature.
Andrea Berrini is a writer and the founder of publishing house Metropoli d’Asia, dedicated to Asian writing and writers. Andrea has published four books: L'Animadei Bulldozer (a report on the slums of Kenya's capital town, Nairobi); Storie Africane (a collection of short stories about people in villages and cities in Tanzania, a country where he lived for almost two years); Quattrini (portraits of people engaged in microcredit projects around the world); and Noi Siamo La Classe Operaia. The English translation (A Far Better Thing I Do) has been published by Ethos Books in Singapore. Andrea's participation has been sponsored by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
Tony Birch was a judge on the AU$50,000 2014 Stella Prize for fiction in Australia. He was born into a family of Aboriginal, West Indian and Irish descent and experienced a challenging upbringing, depicted in his semi-autobiographical Shadowboxing. His novel Blood (2011) was shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin Award. Tony's short fiction is also widely published. He teaches in the Creative Writing program at Melbourne University and also runs community writing programs. His most recent book is The Promise (May 2014). Tony's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts and CAL's Cultural Fund.
Alfred Birnbaum (writer/translator/artist) first came to Japan as a child in 1960 and has lived mostly in Tokyo for well over half his life. Alongside activities with the Kyoto-based media art performance group Dumb Type and writing in Japanese magazines on contemporary Asian culture, he translated seven early novels of Haruki Murakami along with more recent works by Ikezawa Natsuki, Kazushige Abe and Toshihiko Yahagi. He has also lived in Myanmar and co-translated the Burmese novel Smile as They Bow by Nu Nu Yi Inwa, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Asia Literary Prize. He is currently writing a novel based on The Tale of Genji. Alfred's participation has been sponsored by the Writers' Centre, Yale-NUS College, Singapore.
R K Biswas is the author of a novel called Culling Mynahs and Crows (Lifi Publications, India). In 2012 she won first prize in the Anam Cara Writer's Retreat Short Story Competition 2012. She was long listed for her poem ‘Cleavage’ in the Bridport Poetry Competition 2006. ‘Cleavage’ was also a finalist in the 2010 Aesthetica Creative Arts Contest. Her poem ‘Bones’ was a Pushcart and Best of the Net Nominee from Cha: An Asian Literary Journal in 2011. "Ahalya's Valhalla," a short story published in The King's English (USA) was among the notable stories of 2007 in Story South's Million Writers' Award. More on http://about.me/RKBiswas.
Merlinda Bobis is an award-winning Filipino-Australian writer, performer, and academic. She has published three novels, a collection of short stories, five poetry books, a monograph on creative research, and scholarly essays on creative-critical production, migration, postcolonial writing and the transnational imaginary. Her awards include the Prix Italia, the Australian Writers’ Guild Award, and the Ian Reed Radio Drama Prize for Rita’s Lullaby; the Steele Rudd Award for the Best Published Collection of Australian Short Stories, the Philippine National Book Award, and the Judges’ Choice Award (Seattle Arts Festival) for White Turtle/The Kissing (US title); the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature for her poetry; and the Philippine Balagtas Award, a lifetime award for her fiction and poetry in English, Pilipino and Bikol. Her poetry book Summer Was a Fast Train Without Terminals was short-listed for ‘The Age’ Poetry Book Award, and her novel Banana Heart Summer, for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. Her latest novel Fish-Hair Woman received the 2013 Most Underrated Book Award. She has performed her dramatic works in the Philippines, Australia, US, Canada, Singapore, France, China, and Spain. She teaches Creative Writing at University of Wollongong, Australia. She is working on creative-critical projects on rivers (Philippines, Canada), and on the transnational imaginary (Australia, Spain). http://www.merlindabobis.com.au. Merlinda's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts and CAL's Cultural Fund.
Andrew Bond is a travel writer, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In addition to contributing to magazines and guidebooks he manages his company Virtual Travel Guides - a content supplier to major travel sites and publisher of Gulliver's Guides (apps). He's currently studying towards a second degree at Goldsmiths, and constantly 'removing commas and replacing them' in his own evolving stories. He is also AP Writers' webmaster.
Sally Breen is a writer and lecturer in creative writing and publishing at Griffith University. She is fiction Editor of the Griffith REVIEW and judge of Australia's richest short story prize the Josephine Ulrick prize for literature. In 2010 she signed a two-book deal with Harper Collins. Her memoir The Casuals was released in 2011 and Atomic City, a literary noir, in 2013. Sally's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts and CAL's Cultural Fund.
Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a teacher, writer, researcher, and translator. She is the author of six volumes of poetry (Cyborg Chimera, Under the Ash, Voices of the Elders, Harps Upon Willows, The Lined Palm, and Unnatural Selection) and a pair of travel guides for the cities of Suzhou and Shanghai. Her translations include Sheng Keyi's novel Northern Girls and Li Na's memoir Li Na: My Life for Penguin Books, a collection of short stories by Chew Kok Chang (Epigram Publishing), a collection of Khoo Seok Wan's poetry for the National Library Board in Singapore, Sheng Keyi's novel Death Fugue (Giramondo Books), Fan Wen's Land of Mercy (Rinchen Books), and numerous short stories, poems, and essays that have appeared in various magazines and websites. Shelly's poetry has appeared in journals, magazines, and websites around the world, as well as in several art exhibitions, including dark 'til dawn, Things Disappear, and Studio White • Exhibition 2011. You can visit her website at shellybryant.com.
Judith Buckrich is the author of numerous books about Melbourne people and places. She has worked as a translator, written her own one-woman shows, short stories, feature articles and edited several anthologies of prose and poetry. She was Chair of the International PEN Women Writers’ Committee 2003-2009 and is Vice-President of the Melbourne Centre of PEN. She is an Honorary Research Fellow in Melbourne University’s Historical Studies Department and a Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation. She is at present working on a memoir and on a history of drama, media and dance at Rusden College.
Helen Burns is an Australian travel writer, poet, part time book reviewer and gypsy. Her Spanish travel memoir, The Way is a River of Stars (2013), was first awarded a Varuna LongLines residency and then short-listed for the Varuna Harper Collins award. She is currently working on a cross-genre travel narrative based around the life of an eighth century South Indian poet. Her research has included interpretive translations of Tamil verse. Four decades after studying Hindi and Asian Studies at the Australian National University this project is in many ways a homecoming.
Jane Camens is the current Executive Director of AP Writers and one of its founders. She works pro bono for the organisation while still trying to write her own fiction. Back in 200, while living in Hong Kong and working as the Books Review editor for the Far Eastern Economic Review, she co-founded (with Nury Vittachi and Shirley Geok-lin Lim) the first writers’ festival in Asia to focus on writing from and about Asia. She lived in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Macau for nearly 20 years before returning to her native Australia. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia (UK) as well as an MFA in Fiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, USA. In the UK she worked for the forerunner of the Writers'Centre Norwich (the New Writing Partnership) - the original model for AP Writers. Jane's short fiction has been broadcast on the BBC World Service and published in literary magazines in Asia, Australia and the UK, including Griffith REVIEW, Dim Sum, Concertina (a UEA graduate anthology), 2010 Fish Publishing Anthology and Terra (a bi-lingual English/Bahasa Indonesian anthology from the Wordstorm Writers' Festival). She was the winner in 2010 of the international Fish Publishing Short Story Prize.
Maria Krisette Capati is a Philippine-based freelance writer. As a B2B writer, she offers content and digital marketing services for startups and SMEs, such as content marketing, social media campaigns and web copywriting. With thousands of published articles all over the web, you’ll see her name in blogs under topics like technology (her expertise and favorite!), travel, online business and e-commerce, faith and spirituality, China market and business. Her two-fold mission has inspired her to become a better writer and service provider. When she’s not curled up in a book, coffee shop hopping, running or traveling, she writes. Whether it’s a short story, a technical article or a creative blog post, she knows it’s the only thing that keeps her sane and fulfilled.
David Carlin is a Melbourne-based writer and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at RMIT University. David’s recent work includes the widely acclaimed memoir Our father who wasn’t there, and leading the collaborative Circus Oz Living Archive project. His creative nonfiction, essays and articles have appeared in Griffith Review, Overland, TEXT, Newswrite, Victorian Writer, Continuum and other journals. He has previously written and directed for theatre, film and circus. David is co-director of RMIT’s nonfictionLab research group and of the WrICE (Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange) Program. He co-chairs the international NonfictioNow Conference (Melbourne 2012; Flagstaff, Arizona 2015).
Mridula Nath Chakraborty completed her doctoral work on “Hotfooting Around Essentialism: Feminisms of Colour” at the University of Alberta, Canada. Trained in a classical English literary canon at Delhi University, India, Mridula’s research interests include postcolonial literatures, studies in nationalism, feminism and diasporas, translation theory, culinary cultures, public intellectuals, global English and Bombay cinema. She has worked at the intersection of English and regional language publishing in India with Penguin Books and Katha. In 1997, she won the A. K. Ramanujan Award for translation from two Indian languages and has translated and co-edited, with Rani Ray, A Treasury of Bangla Stories (Srishti 1999). Mridula's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Farheen Chaudhry holds a Masters in International Relations from Quid E Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan. She is the author of five books, two of which are currently being published. She is a poet, short story writer, and playwright, and was awarded the 2013 Literary and Cultural Award from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). She is now the chief coordinator of the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Intellectuals in Pakistan. She has worked for as a director of Top Ad agencies in Pakistan and as head of two television channels in Islamabad, i-e Punjab TV and Star Asia. She has written TV drama serials on burning social issues and also produced social-cultural documentaries. She writes occasional columns and is currently working on a travelogue. Farheen has presented talks for many years on literature at Sufi conferences in Pakistan and internationally.
Felix Cheong is the author of nine books, including four volumes of poetry and a collection of short stories, Vanishing Point, which was longlisted for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Award. His latest book is a collection of satirical flash fiction, Singapore Siu Dai. Conferred the Young Artist of the Year for Literature in 2000 by the National Arts Council, he was named by Readers Digest as the 29th Most Trusted Singaporean in 2010. Cheong, who holds a master’s in creative writing from the University of Queensland, is currently an adjunct lecturer with Murdoch University, University of Newcastle, Temasek Polytechnic and LASALLE College of the Arts.
Peter Cher has been in the advertising, publishing and education industries for over ten years. He assumed roles of a copywriter, an English coach, and an editor at reputable companies such as SNP Publishing Pte Ltd and First Media Pte Ltd. He was also engaged as an assistant manager (publications) for the inaugural Youth Olympics Games, and the appointed writer for the 28th SEA Games. In addition, he is an official translator and a transcreator of Hogarth Worldwide, and an appointed copyeditor of SIM University; both on a freelance basis. Of noteworthy, he won a Gold and a Bronze award at the International ARC Awards (Category: Non-traditional Annual Reports); for two of his projects a few years back. He is currently working on his first book, Pull -- Effective Writing that Attracts Clients, which will be published in the third quarter of 2014.
Josephine Chia is currently Writer-In-Residence at Gardens-By-The-Bay, in conjunction with Singapore’s National Arts Council. She is a Peranakan author who writes both fiction and non-fiction and is internationally published with eight books. Her most recent books are Kampong Spirit, Gotong Royong, Life in Potong Pasir, which is about her growing up years, which followed her memoir, Frog Under A Coconut Shell. Also in 2014, her revised novel, My Mother-In-Law’s Son, was released. Josephine was short-listed for UK’s prestigious Ian St. James awards for short fiction in 1992 and her story was published by Harper Collins in an anthology. Several of her short stories are published in UK, USA, Singapore & Malaysian anthologies.
Christine Choo, historian, social researcher and social worker, has a special interest is in Western Australian history, particularly Indigenous people, migrants of Asian background, missions and women. She has published in these areas. Christine has appeared an expert witness (historian) before the Federal Court for Native Title Claims in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Murchison districts of Western Australia.
Simon Clews has been the Director of Melbourne University’s Writing Centre for Scholars and Researchers since 2005. In that capacity he supports academics as they transform their research into writing for non-specialist audiences. He also works with writers and academics around the world to help them improve their writing and develop their careers as creators of creative, well-written non-fiction for a commercial market. He is Creative Program Director of Crime & Justice, a celebration of crime writing and social justice that takes place in late November and, before this, was the CEO of the Melbourne Writers’ Festival for fourteen years. He is a regular book reviewer, writes for newspapers and magazines and once even ventured into the world of guidebooks with Let’s Go Shopping, a very tongue-in-cheek mail order shopping guide. Most recently, Simon has just established ideePOP, a digital publishing house that will specialise in interesting, creative and even quirky non-fiction between 3,000 and 10,000 words in length. For more information visit www.simonclews.com and www.ideepop.com.au.
Nithin Coca is a world traveler who aims to tell stories that connect us through our common human culture. Infected with the travel bug at a very young age, he has already visited 44 countries and lived in Spain, France, Nepal, and Indonesia. Nithin received his undergraduate in Communications from the University of Southern California and worked for more than four years in public relations. More recently, his writing has been featured in Al Jazeera, Matador, and Tripatini, and he contributes regularly to 8Asians, Quartz, and Bootsnall. Nithin recently finished his first book, Traveling Softly and Quietly.
Jessie Cole grew up in an isolated valley in northern New South Wales, Australia. In 2009 she was awarded a HarperCollins Varuna Award for Manuscript Development, leading to the publication of her first novel Darkness on the Edge of Town, which was shortlisted in Australia for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal and longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. Her next novel, Deeper Water, will be released in August 2014. Jessie's work has also appeared in Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, Island Magazine, Big Issue, Daily Life and the Guardian. Jessie's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Sophie Constable is an Australian author whose fiction has been awarded in the NT Literary Awards and short listed in the Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize. She is currently working on an alternate historical novel exploring what might have happened if an Australian Intelligence officer had tried to work with a Japanese Australian woman in World War II.
Jennifer Crawford is the author of five collections of poetry, including Bad Appendix, Napoleon Swings and Pop Riveter. She was raised in New Zealand and the Philippines, and earned her PhD in Creative Arts (Writing) at the University of Wollongong, Australia. She has been in Singapore since 2009 as an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, coordinating the Creative Writing Programme. Her current projects include short fiction works and a new collection of poetry.
Isagani R. Cruz (Ph.D. English, University of Maryland) was chair of the Asia Pacific Writing Partnership, the forerunner to the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association. He is the President of The Manila Times College. He is a former Philippine Undersecretary for Education. He is a Professor Emeritus and a University Fellow of De La Salle University in Manila. Dr Cruz chairs the Manila Critics Circle and various other professional organizations. He writes plays, essays, biographies, and short stories in Filipino and English, for which he has won numerous national and international awards, including the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards in Literature Hall of Fame, the Southeast Asian Writers Award, and The 2010 Outstanding Filipino Award. He writes a weekly column on education for The Philippine Star.
Jhoanna B. Cruz is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines-Mindanao, where she teaches creative writing. She has won several major awards (including the prestigious Palanca) for her fiction and drama, and her book Women Loving, focused on lesbian relationships, is the first of its kind in the Philippines.
Bob D’Costa. Poet, author ‘educationist’ and maverick, Bob is the author of four books of poetry, A Brutal Sunset, The Ten Commandments, Gods on Earth, and Dark Roots on love, protest, social issues and quest into philosophy. His novel Love and Life in a Changing City is published in paperback and his other novels, No New Mail but Mail from a New Girl and Bruce and Rachnee… diary entry of lovers after death and Love Story of Bruce and Rachnee are e-books. He teaches English to students from Classes IV-XII, English for SAT.
DAI Fan writes in both Chinese and English. She has four collections of essays in Chinese, and a novel Butterfly Lovers in English. Her work in English has appeared in Drunken Boat and Asia Literary Review. She is a professor of linguistics and Director of the Center for Creative Writing of the School Foreign Languages at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou where she teaches one of the few creative writing courses in English as a second language in China. She was a 2012-13 Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar in the Nonfiction Writing Program at University of Iowa.
Jose Dalisay (aka “Butch”) teaches English at the University of the Philippines and has published more than 25 books of fiction and nonfiction. He has been a Fulbright, Hawthornden, Rockefeller, Bellagio, David TK Wong, and Civitella Ranieri fellow. His second novel, Soledad’s Sister, was shortlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize in 2007.
Dayaneetha De Silva is an editor, writer and bibliophile who works with writers, designers and publishers to shape ideas into books. She has worked professionally in publishing and the book trade since 1987, the greater part of this while living in Australia and Singapore, but more recently in Malaysia. In late 2012, she set up Saga Seed Books, in Petaling Jaya, to help publish more original narratives from or about ‘this part of the world’ for a wider audience.
Vanessa Deza Hangad was born in the Philippines and grew up California. She left the corporate world after 15 years to return to her writing roots and start a family. A UC Berkeley grad and long time SF/Bay Area resident, she is currently living in Singapore with her husband and their young son. Her work has been published in an anthology called The Very Inside (Sister Vision Press) and maganda magazine (UC Berkeley). She is working on her first novel and putting together a manuscript of poems.
Bronwyn Duke is a translator at Komnas Perempuan (Indonesian Commission on Violence against Women). She is also the author of numerous short-stories and opinion pieces published across Asia and Australia, including Japan Times, 34th Parallel, Subliminal Interiors, River Poets Journal and the Drum-ABC. Originally from Melbourne, she has worked most of her professional life in Japan and Southeast Asia.
EU Yoke Lin is from Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, though she was educated in London (UK) and in Melbourne (Australia). She a life member with the World Congress of Poets (WAAC) and a member with the United Poet Laureate International (UPLI). As such, she has given recitals locally and internationally. Her first book of poetry was When Footsteps Merge and she is now working on a second collection. Her poems are also published in an anthology called Our Voices On The Winds 2014. Her passion is writing poetry on humanity, with an aim to promote world peace and brotherhood. She works as Director of Nursing, administrator and educator. She is actively involved in Ethics in her workplace.
Heidi Emily Eusebio-Abad is an Associate Professor at the Department of English & Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines, Diliman. She handles workshops on writing for children and young adults. Among her books for children are Abot Mo Ba ang Tainga Mo?(Can You Reach Your Ear?) , Ball of Wax, Magnificent Pearl, Colorless Rainbow, Polliwog’s Wiggle, The Grease Man, and Faye, the Always Angel. She also wrote four stories in the HSBC-commissioned storybook, Of Jars and Weaves, Terraces and Beads: Icons of Our Living Culture. She has a Gintong Aklat (Golden Book) Award for Children’s Books and a Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Poetry for Children. Her award-winning collection of poetry for children will be launched this year. She is a member of KUTING (Kuwentista ng mga Tsikiting), an organization of Filipino writers for children.
Kelly Falconer is the founder of the Asia Literary Agency, which represents Asian writers, experts on Asia and writers living in the region. She has contributed to the Financial Times, the Times Literary Supplement and Spectator magazine, and has worked as an editor in London for a variety of publishers including Weidenfeld & Nicolson and Granta magazine. In 2012, she was the literary editor of the Hong Kong-based Asia Literary Review.
Steven P.C. Fernandez is a professor at the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology in Mindanao, Philippines, where he founded the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG) and where he continues to serve as its Artistic Director. Steven is a multi award-winning playwright, and has toured his works with IPAG to more than 100 cities in Europe, North America, the Pacific, and Asia. He is also a music composer and arranger, multi-media artist, performer, and a cultural researcher. He is author of The Human Image in the Arts and Making Theatre: The Craft of the Stage.
Fong Hoe Fang graduated from the University of Singapore in 1979. He spent 10 years as an administrative officer with the Singapore Airport Terminal Services. In 1988, he left to start Pagesetters Services, which is involved in advertising and communication design work. In 1997, he started Ethos Books as an imprint of Pagesetters to give voice to emerging writers and to help foster a lively literary environment. Today, he continues his quest to help writers tell compelling social stories.
Damyanti Ghosh is an experienced freelance writer for non-fiction magazines and journals. Her short fiction has been published in Birkbeck Writer's Hub, UK, Cigale Literary Magazine, USA, the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Muse India and in print anthologies by Twelve Winters Press, USA, Marshall Cavendish Singapore, Monsoon Books Singapore, and MPH publications Malaysia. She’s working on her first novel.
Susie Gordon is a British-born Shanghai-based writer and journalist. Her first poetry collection, 'Peckham Blue', was published in London in 2006 by Penned in the Margins. She is the author of a series of China city guides for Moon handbooks, and her short stories and essays have appeared in anthologies such as 'Unsavory Elements' (Earnshaw) and 'Middle Kingdom Underground' (HAL). Her second poetry collection, 'Harbourings', will be published in Singapore in 2014.
Romi Grossberg is an Australian writer who currently lives in southern Thailand, where she is working on her first non-fiction book based on recent work with street kids in Cambodia. In 2013 Romi began teaching creative writing workshops and conducting one-on-one counseling sessions. Her counseling is a unique blend of verbal dialogue and writing, teaching creative expression and journaling. Romi had her first short story published in 2014, ‘The Boy Who Loved Bubbles’ in Imprint 13; The Annual Anthology of Women in Publishing Society, in Hong Kong. She was also published in 2013 in India’s Rupkatha Journal with her article “Healing Through Hip Hop.” Romi has a background in counseling, community development, and management. Her passion now is writing.
Stefania Hartley. Born and bred in the Italian island of Sicily, Stefania has lived in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong before arriving in Singapore in 2012. Previously a science teacher, Stefania now writes articles for scientific magazines for teens and for parenting magazines. She is currently working on a YA adventure novel set against the background of the Sicilian mafia and a UK boarding school.
Ken Hickson. Singapore-based Ken Hickson has been communicating climate change, conservation and sustainability for years, through his work with WWF, consulting and lecturing, which culminated in two of his books, “The ABC of Carbon” (2009) and “Race for Sustainability” (2013). He was a journalist and communications specialist in New Zealand for 20 years, where he produced his first two books, “The Future South” and the best selling account of the Antarctic aviation disaster “Flight 901 to Erebus”. Last year authored “Forty: Building a Future in Singapore” and this year comes out with a biography of one of Singapore famous sons, Lim Chin Beng, who got Singapore Airlines off the ground and went on to seve as the country’s Ambassador to Japan.
Susanna Ho is a Hong Kong-based writer who also teaches English full-time at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Her first novel Mother’s Tongue: A Story of Forgiving and Forgetting shows how language use and one’s destiny can be intertwined with each other. Susanna holds a PhD in applied linguistics. Her research interests are writing, reading and learner autonomy. In the process of exploring her subjects’ writing practices and writing experiences, it was found that each of them has a story to tell. It was through recounting their stories that her passion for writing was rekindled, which was a strong feeling she had since the age of five but was somehow not consciously nurtured. Now writing her next novel and two more in the pipeline, she has made a new world for herself—a whole new world of literary creation.
Judy Horacek is an Australian freelance cartoonist, illustrator and writer. Her cartoons can be seen on fridges and toilet doors all over the world. Seven collections of her cartoons have been published. Judy also creates children’s picture books - both on her own, as writer and illustrator, such as Yellow is My Colour Star, and in collaboration with the writer Mem Fox. In 2004 Mem and Judy created Where is the Green Sheep? which was an instant children’s classic, and has now sold over a million copies world wide.
Susan Hornbeck is Associate Publisher at Griffith REVIEW, Australia's leading literary quarterly. She has worked in Australian publishing for sixteen years: she was Publicity Manager at Melbourne University Publishing and Scribe, and worked as a freelance publicist with clients including University of Queensland Press. Susan has a Masters of International Development and was awarded the Orica Prize for the highest achievement in a Bachelor of Business at QUT. Susan's participation has been co-sponsored by Griffith REVIEW and CAL's Cultural Fund.
Joshua Ip has the attention span of a poet and the love for poetry of a Singaporean. His first collection, sonnets from the singlish, was published by Math Paper Press in 2012. His second selection of erotic verse, making love with scrabble tiles, will be released in Nov 2013. He is also working on a graphic novel, tentatively titled After The Flood.
Linda Jaivin is an internationally published author, cultural commentator, essayist and translator (from Chinese). She has published seven novels and four works of non-fiction; her latest novel, The Empress Lover (Fourth Estate, 2014), features a protagonist who is a translator of Chinese film subtitles. (Linda herself has translated films by directors Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar Wai among many others.) Linda's recent non-fiction includes her recent Quarterly Essay Found in Translation: In Praise of a Plural World (Black Inc, 2013) and a new book on Beijing (Beijing, published in June 2014 by Reaktion Press). In 1992, she and Geremie Barmé co-edited the acclaimed anthology of translations from the Chinese, New Ghosts, Old Dreams: Chinese Rebel Voices (Times Books). Her own novels have been widely translated - her first novel, Eat Me, into more than a dozen languages alone. She is a visiting fellow and editorial consultant at the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University. She lives in Sydney. Her participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Adan Jimenez, Assistant Director, Awards Management & Programmes, National Book Development Council of Singapore, graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature. He has worked with and around literature his entire adult life as a bookseller, critic, writer, and teacher. He also worked in a sandwich shop once, which you would think has very little to do with books, but actually provided ample opportunities to discuss reading and writing. In his spare time, Adan writes children’s books, short stories, and reviews.
Melody Kemp is a writer with a background in health. She has lived in Asia over 20 years working in labour education and lately in reporting on development and environment. She currently lives in Laos.
Shelley Kenigsberg is a freelance editor, writer and trainer. She runs S K Publishing and edits for publishing houses and private clients, in fiction and non-fiction. In 2009, Shelley started Editing in Paradise offering writing and editing retreats (long and short) in paradisiacal places (Bali and Australia). The programs cover Life Writing and Memoir, creative writing and self-editing masterclasses. She also trains editors, and editing and writing for trade, corporate, academic and educational, government and private clients. Shelley is Head of the Macleay Diploma in Book Editing and Publishing and has delivered the course for the past 23 years. She is writing her own book; it’s taking some time.
Bhavna Khemlani has published three works of fiction: The Wisher’s Well (2010), Maples: Rejuvenating Cocktail (2011), and The Wagging Tail of Bliss (2012). Her articles, short stories, and poems have been published online and in magazines. She participates as a member of various author websites (poetry soup, bookblogs.ning, AuthorsDen, Goodreads) to share her work globally. She is a founding member of the Bangkok Women’s Writing Group and the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association. Born in India and raised in Taiwan, she now lives in Thailand. She is a Lecturer in Principles of Marketing, Academic Writing, Creative Writing, Management, Human Resource Management, Business English, English and other IGCSE Subjects. www.bhavzparadise.com.
Lydia Kwa was born in Singapore and now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She has published two books of poetry The Colours of Heroines (Toronto: Women's Press, 1994) and sinuous (Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2013). Her first novel This Place Called Absence (Turnstone, 2000) was nominated for several book prizes included the Lambda Literary Award and the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her second novel The Walking Boy (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 2005) was nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction award. Pulse is her third novel (2010), now published by Ethos Books in 2014 in a new edition. Her art work has been shown at Centre A gallery in Vancouver in Spring 2014. She works in private practice as a psychologist.
Smita Lall recently relocated back to her homeland, Singapore, after 14 years of in Perth, Western Australia. After graduating with a BA (Literature and Cultural Studies), she worked as a high school English and Literature teacher for 10 years. She has taken a pregnant pause to focus on her young family and is enjoying writing. As an aspiring writer, she is working to turn her private musings into a published manuscript some day...
Agnes S. L. Lam retired as Professor from the University of Hong Kong in 2012. Representative works include: Woman to woman and other poems (1997), Water wood pure splendour (2001) and A pond in the sky (2013). Some of her poems have been translated into German, Italian and other languages. In 2008, she was made Honorary Fellow in Writing by the University of Iowa and was awarded the Nosside International Poetry Prize. In 2009, she received a Commendation from the Home Affairs Bureau, Hong Kong SAR Government, in recognition of her outstanding achievements in international arts and cultural activities. Her new book, Becoming poets: The Asian English experience (2014), was published by Peter Lang in Switzerland.
Tran Thi Lan works at Hanoi University. She has translated a number of English and Russian poems and songs into Vietnamese and is interested in learning from others.
Aaron Lee is a prize-winning poet, writing mentor, community organizer and banking lawyer. His first poetry collection A Visitation of Sunlight (1997) was voted one of the year’s best books by The Straits Times. He co-edited several poetry anthologies including the best-selling No Other City: the Ethos Anthology of Urban Poetry. Lee's work has been published internationally and performed at festivals and readings in Australia, Malaysia, Germany, the Philippines and the US. His 2007 poetry collection Five Right Angles was a finalist in the Singapore Literature Prize awards. Lee and his artist wife Namiko Chan Takahashi are based in Singapore.
Alice Leong was born in Singapore where she worked for six years in the financial industry before she realised that being passionate about her work was more important than a pay check. She is now studying a masters in creative writing at Deakin University. She is currently working on a few novellas and hopes to publish a novel in the future.
Suchen Christine Lim, award-winning Singapore author, has written five novels, a short-story collection, a co-written play, a non-fiction work and fourteen children’s books. Her latest novel The River’s Song was launched in Singapore & London. Other novels by the winner of the Southeast Asia Write Award & the inaugural Singapore Literature Prize are Rice Bowl, Gift From The Gods, A Bit of Earth, and Fistful of Colours. Other works include The Amah: A Portrait in Black & White, The Lies That Build a Marriage, Hua Song: Stories of the Chinese Diaspora, and fourteen children’s books. Awarded a Fulbright fellowship, she was an International Writing Fellow and Writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa, and a Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing in the Technological University of Singapore. She has also been awarded writing residencies in UK, Australia, S. Korea and the Philippines.
S. Mickey Lin holds a Master of Arts in Critical Studies from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Prior to living in Singapore, he resided in various parts of Asia: Bangkok, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei. He writes screenplays and graphic novels.
Gerardo Los Baños teaches Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines (UP) Department of English and Comparative Literature. He is the author of "Playing it Safe," a novel for young adults published by Cacho Publishing House, and co-editor of "Diliman: Home and Campus," published by UP Press. He is currently Deputy Director of the UP Press.
Angelo Loukakis has worked as a writer, teacher, scriptwriter, editor and publisher. He is the author of the fiction titles For the Patriarch, Vernacular Dreams, Messenger, and The Memory of Tides. His most recent novel is Houdini’s Flight, published in 2010. Angelo has also written a number of non-fiction works, including a book for children, The Greeks, and a book of the SBS television series, Who Do You Think You Are? His collection of short stories, For the Patriarch, was winner of a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award. Angelo has worked as a publisher and publishing director (HarperCollins Publishers and Simon & Schuster Australia) and has taught writing, publishing and editing subjects at various Australian universities. Angelo has a doctorate in creative arts and is a past member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and Chair of the New South Wales Writers’ Centre. In 2010 he was appointed Executive Director of the Australian Society of Authors. Between 2010-11, he was a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Book Industry Strategy Group, reporting to the Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research. Angelo's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts and CAL's Cultural Fund.
Shirley O. Lua teaches literature at De La Salle University in Manila. She specializes in Philippine literature, diaspora studies, and genre studies. She is a member of the Philippine Center of International PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists); UMPIL (Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas); the Alon Literary Collective, a Manila-based poets’ group; and the Manila Critics Circle, which hands out the National Book Awards annually to the best books published in the Philippines. She serves as the Field Bibliographer of Philippine journals for the Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography. She wrote the introduction and the texts for 44 Cineastas Filipinos, a coffee-table book on Filipino filmmakers photographed by Spanish artist Oscar Fernandez Orengo. She is the director of the DLSU Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center.
Okky Madasari won a major Indonesian literary prize, the Khatulistiwa Literary Award (KLA), for her novel Maryam (2012) which revolves around people who are displaced due to their beliefs and then banned into exile. Maryam has been translated into English under the title The Outcast (2014). Her first novel, Entrok (2010) which tells a story about military dominance during Indonesia's New Order Era, has been translated also into English language with the title The Years of The Voiceless (2013). Her other novels are 86 (2011) which raises the problems of massive corruption in Indonesia today and Pasung Jiwa (2013) which touches freedom of the individual within the contemporary Indonesia. The common thread running through these works is the fight against injustice and the struggle for the values of humanity and freedom. http://okkymadasari.net/about/
Jayanthi Manoj is the pen name of Mary Jayanthi. She is a poet, short story writer and Assistant Professor of English at Holy Cross College, Trichy in India. Her areas of interest include Indian Writing in English and Canadian Literature. She has submitted her doctoral thesis on a New-Historicist study of Mordecai Richler’s selected novels. Her anthology of poems SKETCHES: From the pages of my Diary (2008) was published by RPH, New Delhi. She is a staff poet of Literary Magic Magazine, New York. Her poems and short stories have been published in national and international journals, including The Journal of the Poetry Society, Creative Writing and Criticism, The Journal of Indian Writing in English (India), Reese Taylor (S. Korea), Writer’s Café.org (USA) and Sarabha (Nigeria). As a facilitator and trainer in Creative Writing, Group Dynamics, Communicative Skills cum Soft Skills, her focus is to cater holistic development through skill-based education, spiritual anchor and emotional intelligence in learners. She also works on and evolves innovative strategies and creative teaching methodologies for regionally backward and first-generation learners. She was the Member of the Core Committee for organizing SPLASH (Stage Poetry Literary Arts SHort-story ) a two-day international workshop on Creative Writing and Theatre Arts in February 2013 at Trichy. She was awarded the title ‘Thinking Woman’ in a Reality Show in June 2010.
Victor Marsh. After earlier careers in theatre and television in Australia and California, Victor Marsh gained his doctorate in English from the University of Queensland. In 2010 he published a critical biography of the British writer Christopher Isherwood (Mr Isherwood Changes Trains) that focused on Isherwood's relationship with his guru, a Swami in the Ramakrishna Order, in California. During the 1970s and ’80s Dr. Marsh taught meditation on behalf of his own guru in a dozen countries around East Asia and the Pacific, and his account of that time, The Boy in the Yellow Dress, was published in April 2014 (Clouds of Magellan Press, Melbourne). He is working on a follow-up memoir, titled Victor Goes to Hollywood, as well as a novel. In 2011 he compiled and edited a collection of essays titled Speak Now, offering various perspectives on same-sex marriage in Australia. Recent short memoir pieces include 'A Touch of Silk: A (post)modern faerie tale', in Griffith REVIEW #42. He has also recorded an audio CD and is preparing a book of his poetry, Shakti Rising. Victor's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Jennifer MacKenzie is an Australian poet and the author of Borobudur (Transit Lounge, 2009), republished as Borobudur and Other Poems (Lontar, Jakarta, 2012).
John H. McGlynn is a long-term resident of Indonesia, having lived in Jakarta almost continually since 1976. He is the translator of several dozen publications under his own name, and through the Lontar Foundation, which he established with four Indonesian authors in 1987, has brought into print more than 150 books on Indonesian literature and culture.
Nexus Mina is an aspiring writer, artist, and he hopes someday a teacher. He is currently pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at UP-Diliman. He is a keen reader of fantasy, science fiction, horror, histories, politics and other matters. He is an adherent of science and of faith.
Dipika Mukherjee made her debut as a novelist with the publication of Thunder Demons (Gyaana Books, 2011), long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize. She won the Platform Flash Fiction competition in April 2009. Her second novel, Finding Piya, is being currently edited and she is working on her third novel. She has edited two anthologies of Southeast Asian short stories: Silverfish New Writing 6 (Silverfish, 2006) and The Merlion and Hibiscus (Penguin, 2002). Her first poetry chapbook, The Palimpsest of Exile, was published by Rubicon Press in 2009. Her short stories and poems have appeared in publications around the world, including the Chicago Quarterly Review, World Literature Today, Asia Literary Review, The South Asia Review, Del Sol Review and Postcolonial Text among others, and have been widely anthologized. She is the Associate Editor of Jaggery (A Desilit Arts and Literature Journal) and a member of the Chicago Writer's Association. Her academic research focuses on the language patterns of diasporic communities and she holds a doctorate in English (Sociolinguistics) from Texas A&M University. She has taught language and linguistic courses in China, India, the Netherlands, United States, Malaysia, and Singapore for the past eighteen years.
Farheen Mukri has worked as an editor on several trade publications in industries including environment and environmental technology, Islam and spirituality, social sciences, community awareness and travel. She is completing a book on her father’s maritime adventures. Earlier this year (Feb 2014), she co-authored a book entitled Faith & Nature: An Eco-Guide to Greening Faith Communities, available at her co-author’s blog (http://thegreenbush.wordpress.com/faith-nature-guide/). Besides her writing passions, she offers workshops in the areas of self development and leadership, sustainable project design, humanitarian missions and community assistance.
Marc Nair is a poet and photographer from Singapore. He has published three volumes of poetry, Along The Yellow Line (2007), Chai: Travel Poems (2010) and Postal Code (2013). His work and writing has been featured in numerous publications and anthologies both print and online. He teaches creative writing with Word Forward, a non-profit arts organisation, and also does satirical podcasts with blogger mrbrown on the mrbrownshow. Marc has also been part of the poetry slam scene in Singapore since 2003, and has represented Singapore competitively at international slam competitions in Malaysia, Reunion Island and France. He also performs spoken word and songs with his band, Neon and Wonder. He is currently artistic director of Lit Up Singapore, an annual multidisciplinary arts festival.
Liz Packer coordinates the Professional Writing Program at Adelaide College of the Arts with her colleague Sue Fleming. Liz looks after the online program, elearning and print resource development, curriculum development, and supports the workgroup and students to solve online learning issues. She’s a Learning Technology Mentor. She teaches in the program, both face-to-face and online. Prior to working at ACArts, she ran a professional writing consultancy business with a range of international and local clients.
Cris Barbra Pe teaches literature and art in De La Salle University. She finished her undergraduate and master’s degrees in the same university. For her master’s thesis, she wrote about Filipino children’s picture books. She is currently working towards a Ph.D. in literature. For her dissertation she is writing a biography of the first female National Artist for Literature in the Philippines.
Carlo Venson Pena, Assistant Director, Festival Management & Development, National Book Development Council of Singapore, has more than a decade of experience in media education and publishing. He was a former associate professor for Media Arts and holds a Masters in Development Studies. A facilitator by training, Carlo has working experience of, and has trained others in, radio and television broadcasting, film, distance-based education and journalism.
Glen Phillips is an Honorary Professor of English at Perth’s Edith Cowan University. He is Director of the University’s International Centre for Landscape and Language. He has co-edited a dozen poetry and essay collections and student textbooks. His own poetry has won prizes and appeared in more than 70 American, British, Italian, Thai, Singaporean, Chinese, Korean, Indian and Australian journals and periodicals and his work has been selected in some 26 anthologies. The more recent of more than 20 collections of Glen’s poetry include: Heilongjiang Summers (MNU and ECU, 2013), Gold in Granite (Harbin Engineering University, 2013), A Suite of Rooms: 18 Poems of Houses I Have Lived In (ICLL, 2013), Dryandra Dreaming: Poems of the Great Southern (ICLL, 2014) and Dugite Country (ICLL, 2014). His joint-edited anthologies of poetry and prose (particularly of WA authors) include, the poetry component of Lines in the Sand: New Writing from Western Australia (FAWWA, 2008). Glen has judged many literary competitions at state and national levels. He has completed a number of joint projects with other writers, translators, photographers, composers, choreographers and painters and has received awards and commissions for his work. In 2000 he co-edited Fremantle Press publication: Fairly Obsessive, a collection of essays on the work of John Kinsella. In 2008 was co-editor of Contrary Rhetoric: Lectures on Landscape and Language by John Kinsella.
Sugu Pillay was born and raised in Malaysia. She has postgraduate degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and the University of London. She has taught ESL/ESOL in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Christchurch. Awarded a Creative New Zealand Grant (1997), she completed a collection of short fiction, The Chandrasekhar Limit and other stories, which was published by the Auckland Writers Group in 2002. In 2009, her play, Serendipity, premiered in Wellington. Her second play, Salaam Pukekohe, was co-winner of Playmarket’s 2010 Write Out Loud award. Her collection of poems, Flaubert’s Drum was published in 2012 by Interactive Publications in Australia. Sugu lives in Christchurch.
Liz Porter is an Australian author of two forensic science books: Written on the Skin: an Australian forensic casebook, joint winner of the 2007 Ned Kelly award for best true crime book, and Cold Case Files: past crimes solved by new forensic science, winner of Sisters in Crime’s 2012 Davitt award for best true crime book. Her 1995 novel, Unnatural Order, will soon be re-issued as an e-book and she is now working on a crime novel. Liz is former award-winning legal affairs reporter with The Sunday Age and now a freelance journalist.
Kenneth Quek. With a keen interest in children’s literature and young adult books, Kenneth is Festival Director of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. He also serves as Regional Advisor of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Singapore.
Francis Paolo Quina is a faculty member of the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman where he teaches classes in composition, literature and creative writing. He has published his fiction in several Philippine magazines and anthologies. He is concurrently the Deputy Director of the UP Institute of Creative Writing.
R Ramachandran (Rama) is the Executive Director of Singapore's National Book Development Council, a co-host of Bridging Cultures. He has long been associated with the promotion of reading, writing, publishing and library development. He has been Director, National Library, Deputy Chief Executive, National Library Board and subsequently Secretary-General International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). He has been a member of the National Book Development Council of Singapore since 1969, serving in various capacities as Hon. Secretary, Vice-Chairman and Chairman.
Mani Rao is the author of eight books of poetry, and two book translations including the Sanskrit Bhagavad Gita as a modern poem (Penguin India, 2011), and a forthcoming Kalidasa for the 21st century reader (Aleph Books, 2014). Her poems and essays are published in journals including Wasafiri, Meanjin, Washington Square, Fulcrum, West Coast Line, Interim, and in anthologies including W.W.Norton’s Language for a New Century, Penguin’s 60 Indian Poets, and the BloodAxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets; she is listed in the 2013 Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry. Translations of her poems have been published in Latin, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, French and German. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Iowa International Writing Program in 2005 and 2009, and the 2006 University of Iowa International Programs writer-in-residence. Mani worked in advertising, marketing and television for nearly 20 years, in India, Hong Kong and New Zealand. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, and is pursuing doctoral studies in the USA.
Sharavana Rao is a Singaporean determined to publish his work. He is working on his first piece for publication. Though full of self-doubt, nerves and fear about his writing, he is determined to keep going because of his dreams.
Francesca Rendle-Short is an award winning novelist, memoirist and essayist based in Melbourne, Australia. Her most recent book is the critically acclaimed memoir-cum-novel Bite Your Tongue shortlisted for the 2012 Colin Roderick Literary Award. Recent short memoirs appear in The Best Australian Science Writing 2013 (NewSouth) and Just Between Us: Australian women writers on the fraught, funny world of female friendships (Pan Macmillan); recent poetry appears in Rabbit #6 and Killing The Buddah. Francesca is an associate professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. She is the Co-Director of the nonfictionLab Research Group and the WrICE program (Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange). She has a Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and in 2013 was a writing fellow at the Nonfiction Writing Program in the Department of English at the University of Iowa. Her website is http://www.francescarendleshort.com.
Cheryl Robson is an Australian-born writer, translator, editor and publisher. She completed an MA in playwriting with David Edgar at Birmingham University and has won the International Play Festival at Croydon Warehouse, received both Arts Council Commission and Option awards and had several plays produced in London. She has edited over 50 books for Aurora Metro Books in the UK, most recently: ‘Celluloid Ceiling, women film directors breaking through’ with co-editor Gabrielle Kelly and has won awards for innovation and a special Peace prize for ‘The Arab-Israeli Cookbook.’ As a publisher she is seeking to build a new Asian writers list, and has recently published ‘The River’s Song’ by Suchen Christine Lim and ‘Women of Asia’ a play by Asa Palomera.
Dinah Roma is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, A Feast of Origins (UST, 2004) and Geographies of Light (UST, 2011). She teaches with the De La Salle University’s Department of Literature (Manila). Her most recent collection of poetry Naming the Ruins (Vagabond Press, 2014) will be launched in May 2014 in Sydney.
Alfian bin Sa’at was born in Singapore in 1977. A Malay-Muslim of Minang, Javanese and Hakka descent, he is regularly referred to as his country’s "enfant terrible", known for his provocative works that span the genres of poetry, fiction and plays. His first collection of poetry, One Fierce Hour, was hailed by The Straits Times as "truly a landmark for poetry (in Singapore)" and the author was described by Malaysia’s The New Straits Times as "one of the most acclaimed poets in his country … a prankish provocateur, libertarian hipster". Corridor, a collection of short stories, was a Singapore Literature Prize Commendation Award winner. His second collection of poetry, A History of Amnesia (2001), which was shortlisted for a Kiriyama Asia-Pacific Book Prize. At 24, Alfian won both the inaugural National Arts Council-Singapore Press Holdings Golden Point Award for Poetry, as well as the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award for Literature. His interests range from gender politics, to Malay identity, to strategies of resistance to censorship as well as hegemonising discourses.
Bharti Sadarangani, a budding poet of Sindhi, is a high school teacher of English at Delhi Public School, Gandhidham. She is done her Master in English and Education. She enjoys creative writing, music, dance, drama and travelling. She started writing in 2010. She has participated in various state and national level poetry events in India and has presented her poems and talks at All India Radio.
Vimmi Sadarangani, a noted poet of Sindhi from India, is an Associate Professor of Sindhi at Tolani College of Arts and Science, Adipur-Kutch (India) since 1995. She has done her Ph.D. on ‘Problems of translation with special reference to Sindhi and Hindi’ in 2010. Her main research areas are Sindhi language and culture, Sindhi Diapora, Sindhi Sufi Poetry, Partition literature in Sindhi, Translation, Women studies etc.She has two collections of poems in Sindhi, a collection of poems in Hindi, six books of children literature and five books of learning Sindhi in her name. She has also done few translations. For her literary contributions, she has been awarded by Sindhi Academy, NCERT and Gujarat Sindhi Academy. She has taught Sindhi language and culture course at Singapore Sindhi Association in 1995 and fall course at University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in 2000. She has participated in various national and international literary and research conferences including two International Sindhi Conferences held at Sindh (Pakistan) in 2004 and 2013, and Jaipur Literature Festival 2010. Vimmi is a member of National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language (Min. of HRD, Govt. of India) and Expert committee for fellowships, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India). She was also a member of Sindhi Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi. She is Adipur coordinator of ‘100 Thousand Poets for Change’ the global movement of BigBridge-US since 2011.
Hope Sabanpan-Yu is the director of the USC Cebuano Studies Center and a professor of comparative literature at the Department of Languages and Literature of the University of San Carlos. She teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in literature, creative non-fiction, theory and criticism.
Sarah Salmon is a freelance writer who majored in journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney. An Australian expatriate, she has lived in South Korea and India. She now lives in Singapore with her husband and two children adopted from Cambodia. Sarah is currently working on her infertility/adoption memoir, The Chilli is Not the Whole Curry: One Woman, One Prophecy, and One Child, which was selected for the Hachette Manuscript Development Retreat 2012. She has written feature articles for The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, and she posts a weekly blog, www.sarahpsalmon.com, covering adoption, infertility, motherhood, and expat life.
Anna Felicia Sanchez is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, where she teaches literature and creative writing. As a short story writer she has attended national writing workshops and won prizes for her fiction. Her full-length play, In Search of the Storybook Dragon, won a place in the Palanca awards in 2004. Her chapbook Frog Leap and Other Stories was published as part of the first UBOD New Authors Series under the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Since then, in addition to having had stories and essays printed in magazines and anthologies, Sanchez has worked on collaborations with other writers, one of which is a young adult novella in Filipino entitled Loyola High. She has also written three chick lit novellas published under the byline Anna Ishikawa. Among her works-in-progress are two collections of short stories and a literary novel. Mother to a child with special needs, Sanchez's most recent project is research in disability studies.
Han Sann is a short story writer and columnist with two magazines and two weekly journals. He also uses the pen name Han Zaw for his nonfiction. His first short story, Gandawin Sakarlone Kaung Kin Maung Yin Nyo , is a satire of Myanmar celebrity. It was published in The Ray of Light weekly journal in January 2007. He later wrote about technology in various magazines and journals. Presently, he writes short stories and submits the manuscripts to local magazines.
Maria Carmen Sarmiento (aka ‘Menchu’) writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her first short story collection: Daisy Nueve (Anvil Publishing) won a Manila Critics Circle Award. Her 2nd collection: Ukay-Ukay, Cuentos & Diskuwentos (Anvil Publishing) is now available. She is a 2014 Rockefeller Writing Fellow at the Bellagio Center to work on her novel SIETE PECADOS. She is also a visual artist and a social activist. She is involved with the PEN Writers In Prison Committee and moderates their Writers Against Impunity page.
Caitlyn Sarkar was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She now lives in Singapore with her husband. She splits her time between being an art psychotherapist by day and a writer by night. She enjoys delving into her imagination and works from the belief that stories are weaved through the timeless practice of translating experiences into words so as to give meaning to an otherwise prosaic existence. Caitlyn holds a BA in psychology from the University of Otaga, New Zealand and an MA in Art Therapy, awarded by Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Neville Sarony is a practicing QC in Hong Kong, author of the novel The Dharma Expedient published by Vajra Books, Kathmandu, it was a best seller in Hong Kong. His memoir Counsel in the Clouds to be published by Sweet & Maxwell in June, covers his years as the first foreign lawyer in Nepal in the psychedelic years. He is a contributor to the South China Morning Post and composes topical satirical lyrics which he also performs regularly in one of Hong Kong’s most popular bars. Currently engaged in writing the sequel to The Dharma Expedient.
Qaisra Shahraz is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a prize-winning, critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter. Born in Pakistan, she has lived in Manchester (UK) since childhood and gained two Masters Degrees in English and European literature and scriptwriting. Qaisra was recognised as being one of 100 influential Pakistani women in Pakistan Power 100 List (2012). Previously she was nominated for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and for the Muslim News Awards for Excellence. Her novels, The Holy Woman and Typhoon, are translated into several languages. The Holy Woman (2001) won the Golden Jubilee Award, was 'Best Book of the Month' at Waterstones and has become a bestseller in Indonesia and Turkey. Her award-winning drama serial Dil Hee To Hai was broadcast on Pakistani Television in 2003. Qaisra recently published her third novel Revolt, two volumes of short stories, A Pair of Jeans and Train to Krakow, and she is now working on her fourth novel The Henna Painter. Her work is studied in schools and universities. A critical analysis of her work has been done in a book entitled The Holy and the Unholy: Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz’s Fiction (2011). Qaisra Shahraz has another successful career in education, as a consultant, teacher trainer and inspector.
Menka Shivdasani is a Mumbai-based writer, with two collections of poetry. Her first book, Nirvana at Ten Rupees, was published by XAL-Praxis in 1990. Her second poetry collection Stet appeared in 2001, and has recently been reprinted under the imprint of Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women (SPARROW). Menka is also co-translator of Freedom and Fissures, an anthology of Sindhi Partition poetry, published by the Sahitya Akademi in 1998, and subsequently republished by the Akademi in Marathi and Gujarati translation. She has edited an anthology of Indian poetry for the US-based e-zine, www.bigbridge.org, and an anthology of women’s writing for SPARROW. Menka is currently Mumbai coordinator of the global movement, 100 Thousand Poets for Change. In 1986, she had played a key role in founding the Poetry Circle in Mumbai.
Liz Sinclair. Originally from the USA, Liz has lived in the UK and Australia and now makes her home in Indonesia. She has been a freelance feature, travel and essay writer for over 10 years. She contributes to The Melbourne Age, The Australian, The Washington Post, The Jakarta Globe and others. She also creates guidebooks for Ubud and Melbourne. Her stories have been selected for a travel anthology (The Best Women's Travel Writing 2010) and for performance in a one-woman show (Dear Mother). She is currently working on a memoir. She works as a social media consultant and facilitates training workshops on Social Media. She writes a column on Social Media for The Bali Advertiser.
Charu Singh grew up in Chandigarh and spent her holidays in Kathgarh, in her grandparents' fort in the Shivalik hills. The forests and fields surrounding the fort became her haunt for many adventures and exploration of local legends. She studied at the Punjab University in Chandigarh and after completing her education left for the North East where she worked as a freelance researcher for Unicef. She has since worked with The Asian Age, Frontline and Tribune. She is also a classical dancer, trained in Odissi and Kathak. She is deeply interested in the spiritual and has explored Buddhism and Hinduism as well as other religions. She has lived for a substantial time in India's north-east including Sikkim, Assam and Manipur and has also lived in Kashmir and Moscow. She is now based in New Delhi where she lives with her husband and son.
Phina So is the director of the newly established Women Writers Committee in Cambodia. She will be working with writers in the whole country to organise a PEN international workshop on Women Writers in Cambodia in 2015. She holds a Master degree of Social Work from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, and currently works as a researcher at the Cambodia Development Resource Institute. In her blog (www.dare2write.com) she writes about reflections on her childhood and useful information about study and scholarships for students.
Rosemarie Somaiah, storyteller, teacher and writer is a partner at Asian Storytelling Network, Singapore’s first professional storytelling company. Rosemarie has led workshops and told stories in local and international schools, over the radio, in libraries, and even on the MRT. In addition to other writing, her books in print include a comic for the Singapore History Museum, the children’s book, Gateway to Singapore Culture (Asiapac Books, 2004), as well as Colours of Harmony (2005), Colours of Love (2006) and A Giving Heart (2007) published by the Inter-Religious Harmony Circle, supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, to promote Racial Harmony. Her popular Indian Children’s Favourite Stories is available online and at all good bookstores. Rosemarie currently leads The Storytellers’ Circle of the Society for Reading and Literacy (SRL). She is a member of the Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA).
Iwan “Bung Kelinci” Sulistiawan is currently the Chair of the English Dept.of Sekolah Tinggi Bahasa Asing LIA Jakarta. In 2006 Iwan won the second runner up in the competition of private university/college lecturers held by Kopertis Wilayah III DKI Jakarta. Iwan is actively involved in art and literature activities. He writes and stages plays, acts, sings and plays music with his students. He writes short stories in Indonesian and English and has published two books, Miskin Tapi Sombong (Ufuk, 2009) and Kupu-Kupu Pembunuh Naga (Ufuk, 2011). He attends Sastra Reboan and Milis Apresiasi Sastra events and co-founded Kedai Ilalang literary community with senior prose writers, Kurnia Effendi and Saut Poltak Tambunan. Iwan is now preparing to write his third book, a novel in action genre entitled Jurus Babu Terbang as well as planning to get his PhD on ethnicity studies in literature.
Xuefen Sun graduated from the Beijing Foreign Languages University (“BFLU”) with both a Bachelors Degree in French, and a Masters in Translation. She followed that up with a Ph.D from the Ecole Supérieure d'Interprètes et de Traducteurs (ESIT, Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III), in Paris, where she completed her thesis “Legal Translation from French to Chinese: Elements for Reflection.” She was also a Lecturer at BFLU while completing her Masters, teaching French, and also at ESITwhile doing her Ph.D, where she was a Lecturer in Chinese language and translation.
Antonette Talaue-Arogo is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature and holds an M.A. in Language and Literature from De La Salle University Manila, where she teaches literature, stylistics, and theory and criticism. She was Writing Fellow for Literary Criticism of the DLSU Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center from 2010 to 2011. Her research interests include postcolonial theory and cosmopolitanism.
Verena Tay has produced three volumes of plays: In the Company of Women (2004), In the Company of Heroes (2011) and Victimology (2011). Nowadays, she deals with fiction. During 2012, her first collection of short stories, Spectre: Stories from Dark to Light was published. To date, she has edited four anthologies of short stories, Balik Kampung (2012), Balik Kampung 2A: People and Places (2013), Balik Kampung 2B: Contemplations (2013) and A Monsoon Feast (2012). www.verenatay.com.
Paul Tan, a former journalist, has published three volumes of poetry. The first two, Curious Roads (1994) and Driving into Rain (1998), won the Commendation and the Merit Prizes at the Singapore Literature Prize competition respectively. His third volume First Meeting of Hands was published in 2006. His poetry, fiction and journalistic writing have appeared in various anthologies, newspapers, magazines and literary websites. He currently works in the National Arts Council as Director of the Literary Arts department and the Singapore Writers Festival.
Gassanee Thaisonthi is an author, interpreter and translator. In the past three years she completed four books including her novel Only God Will Judge Me. She works at a data security company and is now a regular columnist for Wow magazine, Slim Up magazine and CBCT Catholic Youth section. She lives in Bangkok , Thailand.
Renee Melchert Thorpe. Since 2003 Renee has been a staff writer for the Ubud Writers Festival. Her reviews and interviews with writers have appeared in Indonesian publications. Her performances in flash fiction contests and poetry slams have won her top prizes. She established herself as a writer in Hong Kong, where her travel pieces and short stories were published. She twice received First Place in the American Women’s Association annual fiction contest. Her short stories have appeared in Dim Sum and the Asia Literary Review.
Tim Tomlinson is a co-founder of New York Writers Workshop and co-author of its popular text, The Portable MFA in Creative Writing. His stories and poems have been published in numerous venues including Asia Writes, Blue Lyra Review, Caribbean Vistas, Citron Review, The Dirty Napkin, Extracts, The Missouri Review, The New York Quarterly, The North American Review, The Silliman Journal, The Tule Review, United Verses, Unshod Quills, and in the anthology Long Island Noir (Akashic Books). He teaches in New York University’s Global Liberal Studies program.
Sarah Tooth is the Director of the South Australian Writers Centre. She has worked in the arts for more than 20 years, as an administrator, manager and creative producer, working most recently for the ABC’s international television service (Australia Network) as an arts producer, and then on the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (2009 – 2011). She is a member of Writing Australia, the network of state-based writers centres in Australia, and sits on a number of arts industry and tertiary advisory committees, including the Advisory Committee of Adelaide Writers Week. She is the recipient of a 2014 Australia Council Artistic Leadership Grant to spend time with writers and the literary sector in Singapore and Malaysia.
Lily Rose Tope is a professor at the Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines. She is author of (Un)Framing Southeast Asia: Nationalism and the Post Colonial Text in English in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines as well as several articles on Southeast Asian literature in English, Philippine Chinese literature in English, and ethnicity in Southeast Asian literature.
Tse Hao Guang (Singapore) is interested in form and formation, creativity and quotation, lyrics and line breaks. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Ceriph, QLRS, Softblow, Prairie Schooner, LONTAR, and Third Coast, as well as in anthologies and visual art exhibitions. His chapbook is hyperlinkage (Math Paper Press, 2013).
Shreekumar Varma. Shree’s novels are Lament Of Mohini (Penguin, 2000, longlisted for Crossword Prize) and Maria's Room (Harper Collins, 2010, longlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Prize and Crossword Prize). His books for children include Pazhassi Raja: The Royal Rebel, (Macmillan, 1997), Devil's Garden (Puffin, 2006) and The Magic Store Of Nu-Cham-Vu (Puffin, 2009, shortlisted for Crossword Prize). His forthcoming novels are The Axe Of Parashurama, Gayatri Club and Indian Scotch. He has also written seven full-length plays, one short play and two mini plays. His poems, articles, reviews, short stories and interviews have appeared in several publications including The Hindu, Indian Express, Deccan Herald, Seminar Magazine, Aesthetica Quarterly, A Hudson View and Pulse-Berlin Magazine. His stories, articles and poems have appeared in many Indian and international anthologies. He has translated poetry and fiction for the OUP Anthology of Malayalam Dalit Writings in Translation (Oxford University Press). He was an adjunct professor in Creative English at the Chennai Mathematical Institute for 13 years and taught English Literature and Journalism at the Madras Christian College. In 2004 Shree was awarded the Charles Wallace Trust fellowship, and was Writer-in-Residence at Stirling University, UK. He was on the jury of the inaugural The Hindu Best Fiction Award as well as several short story and poetry competitions. He lives in Chennai, India. (www.shreevarma.com).
Michael Vatikiotis is a writer and journalist working in Southeast Asia since 1987. He was formerly editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review and a correspondent for the Hong Kong-based news magazine for 16 years. He currently lives in Singapore and is the Asia Regional Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, a Geneva-based private foundation that facilitates dialogue to resolve armed conflicts. In addition to his novels Vatikiotis regularly writes opinion pieces for international and regional newspapers and is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera and the BBC.
Nury Vittachi is one of Asia’s most widely syndicated columnists, with columns printed weekly in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Macau, Sri Lanka and on the internet. He is the author or co-author of many books, including The Feng Shui Detective series (St Martin’s Press) and the Magic Mirror series (Scholastic). He founded the Asia Literary Review in 1999.
Lisa Walker is the author of the romantic comedies Liar Bird and Sex, Lies and Bonsai’(HarperCollins, 2012 and 2013) and the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Radio National play ‘Baddest Backpackers’ (2008). She is also an award winning short story writer and freelance journalist. Her third novel Arkie’s Pilgrimage to the Next Big Thing, will be published by Random House in 2015. She is currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland and lives on the far north coast of New South Wales, Australia. Lisa's participation has been sponsored by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Christine Williams is the author of four biographical works. She is currently the Director of Sydney School of Arts & Humanities. She has won a NSW Ministry for the Arts History Fellowship and shared a National Trust of Australia (NSW) Cultural Heritage Award. In 2008 Christine spent three months as writer-in-residence at the University of Madras, followed by a writers’ residency at a Queensland resort. Reviews of her work have appeared in a range of media, including The Times Literary Supplement, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Age, The Courier-Mail, The Canberra Times & Australian Book Review. Dr Williams is a specialist on the lives of the novelist Christina Stead, and the philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurti. Her books are available on Amazon Kindle and the Sydney School of Arts & Humanities website www.ssoa.com.au/
Kulpreet Yadav is the Founder-Editor of Open Road Review, a literary journal. Kulpreet’s own writings have appeared in various magazines and newspapers in India and elsewhere. India Unlimited – Stories from a Nation Caught between Hype and Hope, his first collection of short stories, was released during the World Book Fair at New Delhi in Feb 2013. Kulpreet lives in New Delhi.
Jade Yong, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, at the National Book Development Council of Singapore, graduated with a Master in Marketing from University of Newcastle, Australia and has worked in Malaysia and Australia before joining the NBDCS.
Kyoko Yoshida. Her first collection of short stories Disorientalism (2014), comes from Vagabond Press in Sydney. She was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan, studied at Kyoto University for seven years and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for five, before she started her teaching career in Yokohama. She was a participant of the 2005 International Writing Program at University of Iowa and a visiting scholar at Brown University in 2006-07. Her stories have appeared in various American literary journals. She also translates Japanese experimental poetry and drama. Kiwao Nomura’s Spectacle & Pigsty, translated with poet Forrest Gander (OmniDawn, 2011), won Rochester University’s Best Translated Book Award in Poetry in 2012, and Shu Matsui's Proud Son, translated with playwright Andy Bragen, was performed at the 2013 International Play Festival at Ohio Northern University. She teaches American Literature at Ritsumeikan University and lives in Kyoto. Kyoko Yoshida was a Board member of the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership, the forerunner to AP Writers.
Ovidia Yu had already written 30 plays over 20 years when she switched to mystery fiction after her 1970’s retro mystery was republished in India. Aunty Lee’s Delights, a contemporary Singaporean murder mystery followed last year and its sequel, Aunty Lee’s Deadly Specials will be published in Fall 2014 by William Morrow (USA) and HarperCollins360 (UK). This year Ovidia has also contributed pieces to Singapore Noir, Body Boundaries, EyeFeelWrite and she is currently trying to finish a story for the Singapore’s Commemorative 50th Literary Publication while judging entries of the Theatreworks 24-hour playwriting competition and completing her third Aunty Lee book.