New Initiatives for Mentorship Programme To Nurture Emerging Writers


New Initiatives for Mentorship Programme



To Nurture Emerging Writers


The Mentor Access Project (MAP), organised by the National Arts Council (NAC), is now open for applications for its sixth intake starting in July 2008. MAP is an 18-month mentorship programme to ensure the sustained development of emerging writers by providing them with mentorship opportunities and ongoing critical feedback.


The 2008 programme has been fine-tuned to better achieve its objectives. Apart from having the privilege of being tutored by an established writer/playwright, participants will now get more opportunities for peer interaction and to foster stronger connections with theSingapore literary scene.


Two new initiatives will be introduced to help participants get published.  The New Book Initiative enables promising original works submitted by MAP participants to be considered for book publication, in conjunction with NAC’s Publishing and Translation Grant. This is on top of enjoying publishing opportunities in an online literary journal to be produced by MAP at the end of the mentorship period.


Another new feature is the organisation of at least three discussion forums or talks for participants, involving writers or experts in relevant fields such as business of publishing, copyrights and literary representations (agents).


“Singapore’s literary scene has become more vibrant over the years and it is vital that we keep up the momentum by continuing to support and groom budding writers so as to inject new blood and expand the talent pool here. MAP serves as an important developmental channel for aspiring writers to hone their skills, as well as gain invaluable mentorship and networking opportunities,” says Khor Kok Wah, Director for Literary Arts and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council.


Indeed, participants from the 2007 intake enjoyed meeting with and gleaning tips from foreign writers at MAP events such as the Masterclass talks by Chinese American poet Marilyn Chin and British author Linda Grant. Some outstanding participants have also received recognition for their works:

  • Jacke Chye (mentor - Ovidia Yu) won Theatre Idols, a playwriting competition organised by Action Theatre, with his play, Catching Adam Cheng.
  • Edgar Liao (mentor - Robert Yeo) won first prize (open) in 2007 TheatreWorks' 24-Hour Playwriting Competition with A State of ConsterNATION.
  • Janet Liew (mentor - Lee Tzu Pheng) won second prize (poetry) at 2007 Golden Point Award.
  • O Thiam Chin (mentor - Colin Cheong) won second prize in 2007 LifeStyle-Elephant & Coral Creative Writing Contest with his microfiction entry.


The mentors for the 2007 intake include well-known Singapore writers, poets and playwrights like Anuar Othman, Meira Chand, Colin Cheong, Felix Cheong, Lee Tzu Pheng, Aaron Maniam, Daren Shiau, Desmond Sim, Tan Chee Lay, Tan Tarn How, Cyril Wong, Yeng Pway Ngon, Robert Yeo, Yeow Kai Chai and Ovidia Yu.


MAP is managed by mediaexodus whose team members include Yong Shu Hoong, a published poet and Singapore Literature Prize 2006 winner and Enoch Ng, General Manager of mediaexodus (and its imprint, firstfruits publications), a Golden Point Award first-prize winner.


With the ongoing help and support from organisations like The Arts House, British Council Singapore, National Library Board, National University of Singapore’s Centre for the Arts, and publishers like Penguin Singapore, MAP participants can continue to look forward to talks and events conducted by established and renowned writers, both from Singapore and overseas. MAP Masterclass talks are sponsored by Elephant & Coral.  British author Jill Dawson will be conducting a Creative Writing Workshop on 31 May 2008.


Applications are open to Singaporean citizens or permanent residents, aged 18 years and above, writing in the field of poetry, prose or drama in any of the four official languages.The deadline for application is 31 May 2008 and application forms can be downloaded from


AnnexExploring Memory and Place: A Creative Writing Workshop with Jill Dawson


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