Charting New MAP
Mentor Access Project makes a comeback with workshops and literary events to enhance mentorship experience and peer interaction
The Mentor Access Project (MAP), organised by the National Arts Council (NAC), makes a welcomed return to Singapore’s literary scene. First started by NAC in (2000), MAP is an 18-month mentorship programme to ensure the sustained development of young and emerging writers by providing them with mentorship opportunities and ongoing critical feedback. The programme is free for all participants.
It will be re-launched on 30 June with a revamped programme. New MAP will include new features such as workshops and literary events (eg. author talks and readings) – so that, on top of the privilege of being tutored by an established writer / playwright, participants will get more opportunities for peer interaction and hopefully also foster stronger connections to the local literary scene.
An additional feature is that at the end of the mentorship period, selected original works of quality that are produced by the participants will be published in print or online. There are also plans to set up an alumni club for all ‘graduated’ MAP participants, so that they form a more close-knit community that provides continuing support for the joy and labour of writing.
From now till 15 July 2007, MAP invites applications from Singaporean citizens or permanent residents who are above 18 years of age writing in the field of fiction, poetry or drama in any of the four official languages.
The list of mentors include well-known local and Singapore-based writers, poets and playwrights like Meira Chand, Tan Hwee Hwee, Eleanor Wong, Cyril Wong, Yeng Pway Ngon, Chua Chee Lay, Suratman Markasan and Murugathasan. Building on the past successes of MAP, more workshops, talks and public readings will be incorporated to complement the private mentorship sessions.
“The MAP vision is a simple idea but an ambitious long term plan. What we want to achieve is to nurture aspiring and emerging writers by providing them with mentors, writing opportunities and a gateway into the professional writing scene. MAP will provide participants with the necessary connections and bonding with fellow aspirants as well as publishers and established writers active in the local literary scene today,” says Mr Lee Suan Hiang, Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council. “The local writing scene has grown tremendously and today, we have many established local writers. Through MAP, these writers are able to contribute back by mentoring and cultivating new writers.”
This year, NAC has appointed mediaexodus to undertake MAP’s administrative functions and manage its events. The team coordinating MAP include Mr Yong Shu Hoong, a published poet and Singapore Literature Prize 2006 winner as well as Mr Enoch Ng, General Manager of mediaexodus (and its imprint, firstfruits publications), who is himself a Golden Point Award first-prize winner. Publishable works gathered under MAP could be fast-tracked and published under firstfruits or other local publishers, and/or licensed to relevant overseas publishers.
Mr Yong Shu Hoong says, “As a writer myself, I can understand how difficult and lost an aspiring writer can feel – first trying to validate his talent, then developing the craft of writing and getting his works published. MAP will help ensure that the path to publication is easier to navigate.”
According to Mr Enoch Ng, “MAP adds a crucial lane to Singapore’s literary highway, to nurture and facilitate promising talents to write their first poems till we see something of publishable quality produced.”
The MAP Application Form can be downloaded from the NAC official website at:http://www.nac.gov.sg/lit/lit03.asp#men. We invite you to help us publicise MAP, the call for applications and the 30 June MAP re-launch event through your respective media.
Appendix 1 - Brief publicity write-up on MAP
Appendix 2 - Event Information on the new MAP
Appendix 3 - List of mentors