2016 WrICE PARTICIPANTS
Peter Clynes is a current student of creative writing and Mandarin at RMIT. His writing has appeared in the 2013 RMIT student anthology, as well as The Cordite Poetry Review among others. In 2013 Peter was featured as an emerging poet on the Overland website, and his performance poetry can be seen at slams in Canberra and Melbourne. Peter is also a founding member of the Kumiho Collective, a group of young writers who published their first collection of short stories in 2015 with the help of funding from RMIT.
Fan Dai is a Chinese writer and professor of English in the Department of English, School of Foreign Languages, Sun Yat-sen University. She has a PhD in Linguistics and a Master’s degree in Human Geography. She initiated Creative Writing course in Mainland China and contributed to the exchange between Sun Yat-sen University and universities in Germany, Denmark, UK and Hong Kong. She is also a member of Asia-Pacific Writers Partnership, Association of Writers and Writing Programs (US), National Association of Writers in Education (UK), and Australasian Association of Writing Programs.
Eliza Vitri Handayani has published works in respected Indonesian literary outlets as well as in the Asia Literary Review, Exchanges Journal, and Griffith Review “New Asia Now”. Her novel From Now On Everything Will Be Different (Vagabond Press, 2015) tells a story of young people searching for personal freedom after the fall of authoritarian regime in Indonesia 1998. In Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2015, the launch of that novel was cancelled due to warnings from local police. She sidestepped the censorship by wearing a series of T-shirts to the festival, printed with different excerpts from that novel.
Michele Lee is an Asian-Australian playwright and author who works across stage and audio. Her works are about identity, otherness, intimacy and chaotic worlds.She is currently working on a digital theatre commission, The Naked Self, for Arts House, and a new play commission, Going down, with Malthouse Theatre. Michele’s produced works are in radio and audio theatre: Going and going, Radio National, 2015, See How The Leaf People Run, Radio National, 2012 (winner of an AWGIE for Best Original Radio Play in 2013); and Talon Salon, Next Wave Festival 2012, and remounted for You Are Here Festival 2013 and Darwin Festival 2013.Her memoir Banana Girl (Transit Lounge) was published in 2013.
Alice Pung is the recipient of the WrICE 2016 Established Writer Fellowship, and will travel to China in 2016 with the WrICE program. She is an award-winning writer, journalist and essayist. She is one of Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year 2015. Alice Pung’s first book, Unpolished Gem, is an Australian bestseller which won the Australian Book Industry Newcomer of the Year Award and was shortlisted in the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Literary awards. Alice’s next book, Her Father’s Daughter, won the Western Australia Premier’s Award for Non-Fiction and was shortlisted for the Victorian and NSW Premiers’ Literary awards and the Queensland Literary Awards. Alice’s latest book Laurinda has been shortlisted for numerous awards in 2015.
Mary Rokonadravu is winner of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the Pacific region, the first non-Australian and New Zealand writer to do so. She works as Communications Manager for WWF-Pacific, a privilege that puts her at the heart of storytelling at the frontlines of loss. Between 2008 and 2011, she ran a Creative Writing Programme in seven prisons across Fiji and edited the Pacific’s first anthology of writing from prisons, ‘shedding silences.’ Mary lives in Fiji and is working on a novel for publication in 2016.
Ara Sarafian is a Melbourne-based writer and editor. He’s been published in The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings and The Conversation, and was shortlisted for the 2015 Monash Creative Writing Prize. He also won a short, short story competition with a 48-word submission he wrote while sitting on the toilet. Ara writes fiction, commentary and satire – usually comedy. Because laughing is good. He recently completed RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing, and currently works as an online editor for the ABC. His blog, The Life Less Travelled, details his travels around the world. His first book hasn’t been written yet, but it’s in progress. That, too, will be comedy. Find him at @ara_sarafian.
Maggie Tiojakin is an Indonesian writer, journalist and translator. She is the author of two short-story collections, Ching-Ching’s Ballads, which was shortlisted for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2010, and As Long As We Are Lost in Space (2013). Her debut novel, Winter Dreams (2011), was praised for its originality in addressing issues of alienation among young immigrants. She also runs a blog, Fiksi Lotus, which publishes classic short stories from around the world, translated into Bahasa Indonesia. She has written for The Boston Globe, The Jakarta Post, The Asian News Network, Every Day Fiction, and Writers’ Journal. Her second novel, Grace, will be published in 2016.
Mia Wotherspoon is a Melbourne-based writer and editor, currently completing her final year of RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing. She has been published in The Big Issue, Catalyst, Talking Trash, The Reykjiavic Grapevine, Visible Ink and an anthology of narratives and academic essays about beginning teachers. Mia recently completed an internship at The Lifted Brow and currently volunteers as Coordinating Annual Report Editor at Diaspora Action Australia. She loves fiction that explores the space between landscape and identity and is currently completing a full-length manuscript about a two friends who run across Australia. Among Mia’s favourite things are: peppermint ice cream, Tonkinese cats, full bookshelves, tents, cookies, the bush and her mattress.
Lawrence Lacambra Ypil is a poet and essayist from Cebu, Philippines. He received an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Washington University in St Louis on a Fulbright Scholarship, and has recently completed an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa. His first book of poems, The Highest Hiding Place was given the Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award. His work has received The Academy of American Poets Prize, the Philippines Free Press Awards, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards among others. He is currently writing a book inspired by the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair, which examines photographs and objects from the Philippine exposition and explores the role of material culture in the construction of cultural identity and memory.
2014-2015 WrICE PARTICIPANTS
BAO CHAN NGUYEN (23 Nov, 1969) is a member of the Vietnam Writers Association. She trained as a cinema scenarist at the Hanoi Cinema and Theatre University, Bachelor of Arts, 1991, and currently works for Vietnam Television as an editor in the areas of Arts and Culture. Her major publications are Burned River (Publisher of Vietnam Writers Association, 1994) which gained the Award from the Vietnamese Literary and Arts Union in 1994, Barefoot in Winter (Youth Publications, 1999), and Thorns in Dreams (Vietnamese – English bilingual edition, The Gioi Publisher, 2010). Her works are also included in The Defiant Muse: Vietnamese Feminist Poems from Antiquity to the Present (Women’s Publishing House, Hanoi 2007) and many other poetry anthologies. She has read her poetry at literary festivals in Vietnam and abroad, most recently at the prestigious international Poetry Festival of Medellin, Colombia (July 2008), Poetry Parnassus Festival in London, United Kingdom (June 2012), Festival International des Poètes en Val de Marne in Paris, France (May – June 2013).
CATE KENNEDY writes across genres, and is published as a novelist, short story author, poet and essayist. Her most recent collection, “Like A House on Fire” was published by Scribe in 2012 and went on to win the Queensland Literary Award for best Short Story Collection as well as being shortlisted for the inaugural Stella Prize and the Kibble Award. Several of its stories were published in the U.K prior to its publication there through Scribe U.K. and she is appearing at the 2014 International Conference on the Short Story in Vienna in July 2014. Her third poetry collection ‘The Taste of River Water’ was released by Scribe in 2011, and awarded the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her novel ‘The World Beneath’ (Scribe, 2009) was shortlisted for the Age Book of the Year Award, the Barbara Jefferis Award and the N.S.W. Premier’s Prize for fiction. It went on to win the “People’s Choice” prize in these awards. She is currently living in Vanuatu, working on a new novel with the assistance of an Established Writers Australia Council grant, and completing a commissioned novella for GriffithREVIEW. She has also selected and edited the stories for Inkerman and Blunt’s 2014 release “New Australian Love Stories”.
JHOANNA LYNN B. CRUZ is an award-winning writer who teaches literature and creative writing at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. She completed a Master of Arts in Language and Literature and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, both with high distinction, from De La Salle University-Manila. Her first book, Women Loving. Stories and a Play published in 2010 is the first sole-author anthology of lesbian-themed stories in the Philippines. Cruz is president of the Davao Writers Guild and is Regional Coordinator for Southern Mindanao in the National Committee on Literary Arts.
JOE RUBBO is a Melbourne based writer. He has recently completely an Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. None of his writings have been published. He was highly commended for his entry in the 2014 Alan Marshall short story competition. Among other things he has worked as a chef, a technical writer for a construction company and as an English teacher in Italy. He now works at a reputable Melbourne bookstore.
LAURA STORTENBEKER is a Melbourne-based writer and editor working on her first short story collection. Her writing has appeared in Stilts, Voiceworks and Overland. She likes old holiday photos, mountains, plants and taking notes.
MELODY PALOMA is a writer living in Melbourne. She studied a Bachelor of Creative Writing at RMIT University and is particularly interested in incorporating other artistic mediums into her poetry. She is the founder and editor of Dear Everybody, a creative collective facilitating collaboration and creative exchange between artists and writers.
NYEIN WAY Nyein Way is a contemporary (conceptual/post conceptual) poet, writer, performance artist, and educator. He has published four poetry books, including: Words and Tree(2004); Gaganana (2010); Anamataga (2011); and Pattalar: Xylophone (2013). Other books include the educational publication, Classroomology (1999), and poetry volumes of Conceptual Poetics and a Contemporary Poet (2008), and Nakanpadi – A Book of 21st Century New Poetics (2013). He is also a contributor to an encyclopedia of Asian Theatre, published by Greenwood Publishing House, New York, and edited byProfessor Sam Leiter.
Nyein Way was a resident artist of Mekong Art Project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2004. He has collaborated on multi-media art and poetry-based performance projects with international artists and poets, and has given poetry workshops and readings in Cambodia, Thailand, USA, and Myanmar. Currently, he is a chief cultural advisor within the literary faculty of the New Yangon Theatre Institute.
OMAR MUSA Omar Musa Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian rapper and poet from Queanbeyan. A former winner of the Australian Poetry Slam and Indian Ocean Poetry Slam, he has performed extensively around the country, and has been a featured guest internationally at the likes of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Singapore Writers Festival, Jaipur Literary Festival, Galle Literary Festival (Sri Lanka), the France Slam League Cup, Beijing Writers Festival, and the Crossing Border Music and Writers Festival (Netherlands). His international hip-hop tours have included supporting legendary poet/singer Gil Scott- Heron in Germany. Omar has released three hip hop albums and two poetry books, including Parang, recently re-published by Penguin, and is working on a play, Bonegatherer, to be staged later this year. He was a panellist on ABC’s Q&A in 2012, performing a poem for its conclusion, and was a star performer at the TEDx Sydney event in 2013 at the Sydney Opera House. Omar has also run creative workshops in remote Aboriginal communities, youth centres and rural schools.
SUCHEN CHRISTINE LIM’S latest novel The River’s Song was launched in Singapore & London this year. The Singapore author has written five novels, a short-story collection, a co-written play, a non-fiction work and fourteen children’s picture books. Her novel
Fistful of Colours won the inaugural Singapore Literature Prize In 2012 she received the Southeast Asia Write Award. Other novels are Rice Bowl, Gift From The Gods, and A Bit of Earth, and other works include The Amah: A Portrait in Black & White, The Lies That
Build a Marriage, Hua Song: Stories of the Chinese Diaspora. Awarded a Fulbright fellowship, she was an International Writing Fellow and writer in residence at the University of Iowa, and a Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing in the Technological University of Singapore. She has also been awarded writing residencies in UK, Australia, S. Korea and the Philippines.
XU XI is the author of nine books of fiction & essays; most recently Access: Thirteen stories (Signal 8 Press, 2011), Habit of a foreign sky (Haven Books, 2010) and Evanescent isles (Hong Kong University Press, 2008). She is currently writer-in residence at City University of Hong Kong and directs their international, low-residency Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.
WrICE Project Team
DAVID CARLIN is a writer, Associate Professor and co-director of the nonfictionLab in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, Australia. He is also co-director of the international NonfictioNow Conference, which will next take place in Arizona in 2015. His widely acclaimed memoir Our father who wasn’t there, Scribe Publications, was published in 2010, and his creative essays and articles have appeared in Griffith REVIEW, Overland, Text, Newswrite, The Victorian Writer, Continuum: journal of media and cultural studies and other journals. His research interests extend across nonfiction creative practices from the essay and memoir genres to digital media and archives, and he currently leads the Circus Oz Living Archive Project, having previously directed Circus Oz on New York’s 42nd St. as well as written and directed award-winning films and plays. nonfictionLab
FRANCESCA RENDLE-SHORT is an award-winning novelist, memoirist and essayist, author of the memoir-cum-novel Bite Your Tongue (Spinifex) and award-winning novel Imago. Recent work has been published in Killing the Buddah, The Best Australian Science Writing 2013 (NewSouth), Just Between Us (Pan Macmillan), NANO, TEXT, The Essay Review (University of Iowa), Bumf, New Writing, Life Writing. She is an associate professor in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University, co-director of the nonfictionLab research group and WrICE (Writers Immersion Cultural Exchange). In 2013 she was a writing fellow at the Nonfiction Writing Program in the Department of English at the University of Iowa.
CLARE RENNER manages the Professional Writing and Editing and Professional Screenwriting programs at RMIT University. An award-winning teacher of creative writing, Clare grew up in the UK before moving to Australia and completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne. Her postgraduate study is in children’s and YA literature and she works with both emerging and established writers in this field. Clare came to RMIT with a background in writing, editing and manuscript development and has published over 25 books of her own, including works of popular fiction for children and non-fiction for both adults and children. As a freelance reviewer and critic, she has also been published in a range of journals and magazines.
ALI BARKER (WrICE Project Manager) works as part of RMIT’s nonfictionLab. She organises and programs public events, liaises with partners and oversees logistics. Ali is an experienced arts manager who has worked for the Barbican Centre, V&A, Lyric Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, Circus Oz and Victorian Opera. Ali also lectures in the Master of Arts and Cultural Management Program at Melbourne University and has worked with Arts Victoria on industry related projects.
WRICE participants 2013-2014
ALVIN PANG is an award‐winning poet, writer, editor, anthologist and translator. His works have been translated into more than fifteen languages and he has appeared at festivals and in publications worldwide. He is also editor‐in‐chief of Ethos, a Singaporean public policy journal, and directs The Literary Centre (Singapore), a non‐profit intercultural platform.
AMARLIE FOSTER is a student of creative writing who is particularly interested in short stories and magical realism. She is founder and chairperson of GORE journal; a free, student-run publication focusing on literary and visual arts. She is currently working on their fourth issue. www.gorejournal.com
BERNICE CHAULY is a Malaysian writer, poet and Festival Curator of the George Town Literary Festival in Penang. For over 20 years, she has worked extensively in the creative industries as a writer, photographer, actor and filmmaker and has won multiple awards for her work and her contribution to the arts. Born to Chinese-Punjabi teachers, she read Education and English Literature in Canada as a government scholar. Her five books of poetry and prose include the literary memoir Growing Up With Ghosts (Matahari Books, 2011), which won third prize in the non-fiction category of the 2012 Popular – The Star’s Readers’ Choice Awards, and her third collection of poems Onkalo (Math Paper Press, 2013). In 2012, she was writer-in-residence with the Dutch Foundation for Literature in Amsterdam. She currently lectures in English and Creative Writing at Taylor’s University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
EDDIN KHOO is a poet, writer, political journalist, literary translator, cultural impresario and independent art curator. He is widely published. Among others, Eddin has co-authored a book on traditional Malay wood carving, The Spirit of the Wood [Periplus Editions (HK) Limited, 2003], as well as Sajak-Sajak, a Malay translation of poems by American poet Christopher Merrill. He collaborated with Ibrahim Hussein to complete the acclaimed Malaysian artist’s autobiography, titled Ib: A Life. Presently, Eddin is collaborating with Tun Salleh Abas, to complete the former Lord President’s memoir. In recognition of his work in preserving an intrinsic part of Malay culture, Eddin was named one of Digi’s Amazing Malaysians in 2006, and named one of its Asians of the Year by Singapore’s Channel News Asia.
JENNIFER DOWN is a writer, editor and translator working on her first fiction manuscript. Her writing has appeared in major Australian newspapers, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald; Australian literary journal, Overland and on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s program The Drum. She likes plants, travelling, rock and roll, looking at art and thinking about boys.
HARRIET McKNIGHT is a writer living in a ramshackle 1940s cottage in Melbourne. She studied a Bachelor of Creative Writing at RMIT University, Australia and is the deputy editor of short story magazine, The Canary Press. She is currently working on her first novel.
LAUREL FANTAUZZO was an Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, USA. She won the 2013 Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature and is at work on her first book. She currently teaches in the English and Creative Writing departments at Ateneo de Manila University, Phillipines.
MAXINE BENEBA CLARKE is an Australian writer of Afro Caribbean heritage. She is the author of the poetry collections Gil Scott Heron is on parole (Picaro Press, 2009) and Nothing here needs fixing (Picaro Press, 2013) the title poem of which won the 2013 Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize. Foreign Soil, Maxine’s first collection of short fiction, won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript 2013, and will be published by Hachette Australia in May 2014, followed by her debut novel Asphyxiation in 2015, and her memoir, The Hate Race in 2016.
MELISSA LUCASHENKO is an award-winning Aboriginal novelist who lives between Brisbane and the Bundjalung nation. Her writing explores the stories and passions of ordinary Australians with particular reference to Aboriginal people and those living on the margins of the First World. Melissa’s most recent book Mullumbimby (University of Queensland Press, 2013) is a critically acclaimed novel of romantic love and cultural warfare set in a remote valley in the state of New South Wales, Australia.
Penny Johnson is an editor, a writer and an award-winning teacher, and manages the Professional Writing and Editing programs and Professional Screenwriting program at RMIT University. Penny has been a sought-after trainer for government, business and community organisations, and writes a monthly grammar and punctuation column for The Victorian Writer magazine. An accredited editor with the Institute of Professional Editors Ltd, she has worked on literary magazines and academic journals, such as Meanjin and Cultural Studies Review. Her children’s picture book, When the Buffalo Wakes, was published in Australia and South Korea.
ROBIN HEMLEY is Writing Director at Yale-NUS. He is the winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on DO-OVER! He has published seven books, and his stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune and many literary magazines and anthologies. He is the editor of Defunct magazine. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and directed the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa until this year.
With thanks also to WrICE Project Manager Ali Barker, Project Assistant Katrien Van Huyck and volunteers Imelda Cribbin, Liz de Fegely, Kym Poxon and Ara Sarafian.