The second cohort of Singapore and Southeast Asia's first taught Creative Writing master's degree will soon appear repeatedly at literary festivals in the region. Writers' festivals already present so many learning opportunities for writing students simply when they attend to hear. Even better, these students will be festival authors alongside some of their literary heroes at three of the four major book festivals in the region.
First and foremost, LASALLE's MA Creative Writing students will join fellow peers from Nanyang Technology University and Yale-NUS at the massive Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) on Sunday 10 November. With the SWF's mission to spotlight homegrown talents, this first panel by local tertiary students is an exciting start to kick off the festival.
In late November, these very same students will return again as festival authors to the vibrant George Town Literary Festival, held annually at the World UNESCO Heritage site of George Town, Penang, Malaysia. The festival's theme this year is The State of Freedom, and as the name suggests, it is a homage to the liberty our ancestors fought for, and a rallying cry for the current generation to continue standing tall against those who will impede on this fundamental human right.
Just a few days later, these busy writers will venture down under to present their fiction, poetry and non-fiction works at the 23rd annual conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs. This final event in their literary triathlon will be at Curtin University, Australia, and promises much fruitful takeaways as participants will explore different ways to write beyond and outside the obvious.
The diversity of voices heard at these festivals provide a wealth of inspiration and opportune networking moments for any writer. Current student, Seema Punwani, shared: "Reading at festivals provide us great exposure and further push us outside of our comfort zone. In fact, I have just read my first and recently published novel, Cross Connection, at Pune International Literary Festival and the experience was very rewarding. LASALLE's MA programme goes beyond writing and supports students in all their creative endeavours."
Cover image: MA Creative Writing students on stage at the George Town Literary Festival in November 2017.