The Asia Pacific Writers & Translators (APWT) is an association registered in Hong Kong and administered by an executive director currently based in Australia. Operational decisions are made by the executive director working with the governing board.
The APWT’s annual general meeting is held each year at the time of association’s annual conference. The conference tends to move each year to a different city in the Asia Pacific region. The next meeting will be held in Manila, Saturday 24 October.
Nury Vittachi is a founding partner and Board chairman. Sri Lanka born, Nury lives in Hong Kong where he founded Asia Literary Review. He has played key roles in judging or helping set up numerous literary prizes in Asia, including the Man Asian Literary Prize in Hong Kong. He was founding chairman of the Scholastic Asia Book Prize, which is the biggest children’s literary prize in the region, and founding chairman of the Australia-Asia Literary Award, the largest book prize ever given out in the region. He is chief judge of the Hong Kong Young Writers Award and other prizes. His latest books include a trilogy for Scholastic called The Magic Mirror, and The Curious Diary of Mr Jam, a light-hearted book which examines the Asian sense of humour.
Xu Xi is one of the founding partners. She is the editor of three anthologies of Hong Kong literature in English. Her latest titles include Access: Thirteen Tales (2011), the novel, Habit of a Foreign Sky (2010), a finalist for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize and an essay collection Evanescent Isles (2007). Her work is regularly published in international journals and widely anthologised. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at City University of Hong Kong where she founded and directs Asia’s first low-residency Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and the only one in the world to focus on writing of Asia in English.
Shirley Young-Eun Lee is the third founding partner. She is a writer, translator and composer, and read Classics and Persian at Oxford. She has co-translated the poetry of ten leading Chinese poets since the Cultural Revolution, as well as the love poems of Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo. Recently, she translated for the BBC World Service poems by defected North Korean state poet Jang Jin-sung. As the first European Bureau Chief for ‘New Focus’, she is working to provide open access to source material that depicts N. Korea in its true and tragic form. Two books are currently in progress: a memoir about herself and her family in the Korean context, and an adapted account of Jang’s escape from North Korea, through China, and into South Korea.
Jose (‘Butch’) Dalisay was elected to the Board of AP Writers at the Association’s AGM on 5 October 2013 in Bangkok. He 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. Butch is also Chair of AP Writers’ Academic Committee.
Qaisra Shahraz joined the Board at the 2014 AGM. Qaisra 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 has another successful career in education, as a consultant, teacher trainer and inspector.
DAI Fan joined the Board at the 2014 AGM. 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.
Robin Hemley was unanimously elected to the Board at the 2014 AGM. He has been a long time supporter of the APWT. Robin directs the Writing Program at Yale-NUS College in Singapore and is the author of eleven books of nonfiction and fiction and the winner of many awards including a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship, The Nelson Algren Award for Fiction from The Chicago Tribune, The Story Magazine Humor Prize, as well as three Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction, and many others. A graduate of The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he directed the Nonfiction Writing Program at The University of Iowa from 2004-2013. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and elsewhere and he frequently teaches creative writing workshops around the world. In 2012, his third collection of short stories, Reply All, was published by Indiana University Press (Break Away Books) and The University of Georgia Press published A Field Guide for Immersion Writing: Memoir, Journalism, and Travel. His memoir, Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness was reissued by The University of Iowa Press in 2013. He is the founder and organizer of NonfictioNow a biennial conference that will convene next at Northern Arizona University in October of 2015.
Academic Committee – Jose Dalisay.
Translation Committee Co-Chairs – Mani Rao and Mridula Nath Chakraborty.
Social Media Committee – Andrew Bond (webmaster) and Qaisra Shahraz (Twitter/FB).
Awards/Prizes – Nury Vittachi.
Jane Camens is a co-founder and the current executive director of the APWT. She works pro bono for the organisation while continuing to write her own fiction. 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. Jane lived in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Macau for nearly 20 years before returning to her 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. Her 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.
Enquirers, email admin[AT]apwriters.com . This will reach Jane and can be forwarded to any member of the Board or working committees.