NTU and NAC Launch First-of-its-Kind Singapore Writing Residencies




Singapore, 26 April 2011



NTU and NAC launch first-of-its-kind Singapore Writing Residencies


$1.5 million will be invested over 3 years in selected writers who will conduct literary projects and also teach and mentor NTU undergrads


The literary arts in Singapore get a major boost through a new programme where local and international literary luminaries will write and teach at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  NTU and the National Arts Council (NAC) have established the Singapore Writing Residencies, a new scheme where distinguished writers join NTU’s Division of English for up to a year while working on a literary project.


The three-year, $1.5 million programme is co-funded by NTU and the NAC, and is the first of its kind in Singapore, offering two writers-in-residence positions each year for local and international writers. This allows them to work side by side on literary projects, while teaching and mentoring students of creative writing at NTU. The writers will also take part in literary activities at the university and in the cultural life of the local community. 


NTU’s Dean of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Alan Chan says, “The programme will support the development of Singapore literature by giving valuable time and space to Singapore’s own writers, allowing them to take on and develop substantial creative projects. By drawing top international writers to Singapore, the programme will also help foster dynamic new connections between local and global literatures.”


“The writing residencies will, at the same time, expose the new generation of young Singapore writers to the best in local and international literary practice, as the selected writers get to teach and mentor students in NTU’s Creative Writing programme,” Professor Chan added.


The positions will be open to novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, graphic novelists and writers of creative non-fiction, the first of whom may take up their positions from August 2011.


Director of Literary Arts, Sector Development at NAC, Mr Paul Tan says, "This residency fills an important gap in the Singapore's arts community: undergraduates who are aspiring writers now have a quality creative writing programme to hone their craft while established writers have a nurturing, friendly space to think, dream and create. We certainly want them to pen exciting new works that will add to the nation's literary canon.”


“Moreover there is the valuable opportunity for writers to interact with an international writer of standing. This surely must lead to collaborations and further inspiration. We are confident this tie-up with NTU will help seed a new generation of writers and readers in Singapore."


Professor Chan adds, “Pooling together such highly talented literary experts will enhance Singapore and NTU’s global standing as a crucible for creativity and cross-cultural exchanges.  The launch of these residencies also complements the university’s efforts to establish the best of East and West as one of our peaks of excellence.”


Under its five-year strategic plan, NTU 2015, the university aspires to be a knowledge hub of the East and West, one of the Five Peaks of Excellence the university has identified. The others are in sustainability, future healthcare, new media and innovation.


The Singapore Writing Residencies follow the success of NTU’s pilot residency project with award-winning novelist Suchen Christine Lim, currently Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing.


Commenting on the value of such a programme, Ms Lim says, “The NTU-NAC Writing Residencies are a significant development in the Singapore writing landscape. Unlike other shorter writing residencies, the emphasis of the year-long programme will give writers the financial support, time, and space to draft, research, redraft, rewrite and rework their writing. This emphasis coupled with financial support, its long duration, and access to the university’s research facilities will encourage the production of longer works like novels in years to come. And the presence of working writers on campus will benefit the university’s creative writing students as well through workshops, readings, consultations and mentorships.”


Applications for the residencies will open on May 9 and close on June 15 (Singapore position) and July 15 (International position). For more information on the Singapore Writing Residencies, please visit http://www.hss.ntu.edu.sg/.


About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences.  In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.


NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).


A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.


NTU has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district. It will also have its first campus in China, the NTU Tianjin College, in 2013.  For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg