History to Date
Asia Pacific Writers & Translators Inc. (APWT) was originally an informal network known as the Asia-Pacific New Writing Partnership. It began in 2005 with seed funding from the Vice Chancellor of Griffith University. It was conceived as a broker of collaborative literary research projects with other universities around the Asia Pacific region. It grew into a think tank of individuals rather than institutions, though some held senior academic posts.
2007 - Bali, Indonesia
The first small international board meeting was held in Ubud, Bali in September 2007, made possible through a small grant from the International Centre of Excellence in Asia-Pacific Studies. The meeting was held in a thatched hut in the middle of a rice paddy while the Ubud Readers & Writers Festival was in full swing up the road.
First Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership in Bali, 2007
2008 - New Delhi, India
In 2008 we held a symposium called ‘Asia-Pacific Writing the Future’, co-hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). We also held workshops on creative writing and literary translation, some of them run at the Indian Academy of Letters in Shimla and others at Jamia Millia University in Delhi.
2010 - Hong Kong, China
The next year, 2009, the Partnership relocated to the University of Adelaide’s Creative Writing program with promise of support from the program's director. Due the global financial crisis, the next conference didn't take place until 2010. That conference, 'Writing Across Cultures', was hosted by City University of Hong Kong in conjunction with the Hong Kong International Literary Festival and writing workshops in Guangzhou, China. Following the conference, a special issue was published of a peer-reviewed journal from Australia's Association of Creative Writing Programs. (See TEXT on Teaching Creative Writing In Asia).
2011 - Perth, Western Australia
In 2011 the conference was held at the University of Western Australia, Perth, in conjunction with the 14th Biennial Symposium on Literatures and Cultures of the Asia Pacific Region. There, we made a decision to free the APWP from Australian universities and become an independent entity. The Asia Pacific Writers & Translators Association was subsequently registered in Hong Kong.
2012 & 2013 - Bangkok, Thailand
The 2012 conference, 'Reaching the World', was held in Bangkok, hosted by the Faculty of Arts at Chulalongkorn University and in conjunction with the South East Asian Writers Awards (SEA Write). Because of the success of this gathering we returned to Bangkok the following year for 'Reaching the World 2013'. Hosted again by Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Arts, the 2013 event also included a free Sunday mini international literary festival hosted at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, hosted by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in conjunction with UNESCO's 2013 'Bangkok World Book Capital'. The Governor of Bangkok also hosted a dinner for all participants in the Grand Ballroom of the lavish Mandarin Oriental Hotel. A short video summary of this spectacular event can be seen here.
2014 - Singapore
Every year the APWT conferences have grown and developed. The conference in Singapore, Bridging Cultures: Creative Writing & Translation, held 17-19 July, 2014, saw the largest attendance to that date and was rated by participants the most successful yet. Generously hosted by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and The Arts House (Old Parliament House), it included half a dozen workshops mentored by established authors and editors, opportunities to meet Asian-based literary agents for one-on-one manuscript consultations, three-days of discussions about writing and translation in the region, and book launches by 11 authors. At the AGM the year members requested that the logo change to represent literary translators equally with creative writers. Click here for a brief overview of this terrific conference and short summary video.
2015 - Manila, Philippines
The APWT's excellent 2015 conference, ‘Against the Grain', was held in Manila, 22-25 October. The four-day event was hosted by the University of the Philippines and National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The conference was also supported by De La Salle University, the University of Santo Tomas and Anvil Publishing which sold the author's books. Some writers were sponsored by the Japan Foundation, the British Council and Ateneo de Manila University.
See a comprehensive overview and brief video summary HERE.
APWT's 2016 China conference, ‘Ideas and Realities: Creative Writing in Asia Today’, will be hosted by the Centre for Creative Writing of the School Foreign Languages at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou. We hope you'll join us.
These gatherings are unique in Asia: neither 100 per cent academic, nor duplicating the superstar nature of writers’ festival, the conferences provide opportunities for the region’s writers to meet each other and discover commonalities. They also provide a springboard to new readers around the region—and well beyond.
(Details not available yet)