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NAC-NLB Writers’ Lab

Applications for the NAC-NLB Writers' Lab 2024 are closed. Information for future calls will be updated here. The Open Call will typically take place in November.

The National Arts Council is pleased to present the NAC-NLB Writers’ Lab for up to four writers working in any of Singapore’s four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil). A joint initiative by NAC and NLB, the Writers’ Lab will take place in NLB’s libraries of the writers’ choice, from January to March 2024.

The NAC-NLB Writers’ Lab is a 6-12 week manuscript incubation programme that aims to support writers at the early pre-drafting stages of conceptualising their manuscript idea, by providing the requisite support to the appointed writer to develop a strong manuscript concept. Writers will be supported with:

  1. rich primary resources available at the host library and National Library Board’s collections;


  2. feedback and guidance from a mentor, literary agent or publisher;


  3. “beta-testing” of concept or topic with library-goers through public programming; and


  4. stipend to allow the writer to allocate time to develop the concept.

In doing so, writers will strengthen their skills in developing their manuscript idea through rigorous research of their chosen writing topic(s), and in conversation with the community of library users who may be their potential readers.

Writers will be provided with the following:

  1. desk working space (subject to availability, to be booked via the Seat Booking function on the NLB Mobile app);


  2. a room for programming purposes;


  3. access to archival services, and National Library resources and services;


  4. stipend of $2,000 a month, up to $6,000 total, based on length of participation in the Lab;


  5. a grant of up to $2,000 for engaging additional services related to the editorial development of the manuscript idea (e.g. engaging a literary agent, publisher or editor); and


  6. a grant of up to $1,000 for public engagement sessions, materials cost, publicity and marketing costs, etc., related to a proposed public engagement programme. This should not include any fees for the writer, who is already supported via the stipend.


Residency Duration:  6-12 weeks, depending on the writer’s proposed period of the Lab. All public programmes must be completed within 5 months of the start of the Lab.

Application Deadline:  10 Nov 2023, Friday, 5pm

Application Procedure: To apply, please download the Application Guide. All applications are to be submitted via Form SG.

Please read the Application Guidelines before submitting. The following will need to be included in the submission.

  1. A proposal that includes:
    1. a statement of purpose which outlines your main objectives for participating in the NAC-NLB Writers’ Lab;
    2. a detailed outline of your work plan on how you aim to achieve these objectives that includes specific requests for materials from NLB’s archival services, resources or other services; and any additional services, if required e.g. honoraria for a writing mentor;
    3. a 100-word synopsis of working title and the manuscript idea to be developed; and
    4. details of both the proposed public engagement programmes, including a budget breakdown.
  2. Literary curriculum vitae including all published works, awards, contributions to the local literary scene and other relevant literary experience.


Key Dates:



10 Nov 2023, 5pm

Call closes

5 Jan 2024

Notification of results 

Jan 2024 to March 2024

NAC-NLB Writers’ Lab