News Details | 05-Sep-2012

NTU welcomes new national writers-in-residence

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will have two new Singapore Writers-in-Residence this academic year.  Award-winning author Dave Chua started his residency last month, while accomplished playwright Ms Jean Tay will commence hers in January next year.

The residency, a partnership between NTU and the National Arts Council, enables established authors to devote themselves to a major written work. Writers may specialise in any literary genre including poetry, fiction, playwriting, creative non-fiction, or multimedia writing.

Both writers-in-residence will dedicate their time to teaching creative writing workshops, and hosting consultations with NTU students.  They will also hold literary readings and talks on campus, and engage the wider community of writers and artists based in Singapore.

For a start, Mr Dave Chua will join NTU/NAC’s first national writer-in-residence Grace Chia Krakovic, and Irish American writer Mr Timothy O'Grady, currently NTU/NAC’s International Writer-in-Residence at a special literary reading session this Thursday, 1.00 pm at NTU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences Creative Studio.  Mr Chua will read excerpts of his book, “The Beating and Other Stories”, while Ms Chia will recite from her latest poetry collection, “Cordelia”.  Mr O’Grady will read excerpts from his work “Monaghan” that is currently in progress.

Announcing the new appointments, Associate Professor Neil Murphy, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) at NTU's College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Head of the Division of English which hosts the residency said “Dave and Jean are both uniquely talented authors whose presence among NTU’s students and faculty will significantly contribute to the nurturing of a creative, culturally-aware environment on campus. We are honoured to welcome them as our Writers-in-Residence. As residents, they will facilitate engagement between the university, local writers and the wider community. The residency will also enable both writers to work on their creative projects within the stimulating and supportive environment at NTU.”
Mr Chua said, “Writing has an enormous potential to connect people across barriers.  This is an exciting opportunity to work on my writing, interact with NTU students in person, and hopefully impart some of my writing knowledge to them.”

Mr Chua, a University of California Berkeley electrical engineering and computer science graduate who began writing in 1992, is widely known for his maiden work, “Gone Case”.  The work received the commendation award at the Singapore Literature Prize in 1996, and has been adapted into a graphic novel.  Its distinctive story and artwork gracefully capture the multifaceted experiences of life growing up in Singapore. The second instalment of the graphic novel is scheduled to be published this October.  

Mr Chua also released a book of short stories, “The Beating and Other Stories” recently, and it has been both longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize.  Active in Singapore’s creative and media industry, Mr Chua is Vice Chairman of the Singapore Film Society.

For Ms Jean Tay, the residency will mean more time and space for her written work.  She said, “"I believe the NTU residency will give me the space and energy to focus on a series of plays centred on the history of Singapore's Southern Islands.  I'm also really looking forward to working with a new generation of aspiring writers in NTU and to be part of the community there.”

The prolific playwright, who is a mother of two girls, has had over 10 productions staged in Singapore, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Ms Tay’s experience of being an economist for 7 years, following her double degree in Economics and Creative Writing from Brown University, led directly into her first written play "Plunge" (1997), about the Asian economic crisis and its impact on the everyday lives of ordinary people. Its sequel “Boom” (2007), which focused on Singapore’s then-soaring property market, was selected by Singapore’s Ministry of Education as a recommended literature text for secondary school students.

Ms Tay has also won several literary prizes for her outstanding works of fiction, including the Weston Prize for Fiction from Brown University and the NAC’s Golden Point Short Story competition prizes in 1995 and 2001.

For more information about NTU’s writing residencies, visit this website:

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Media contact:

Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687

About Nanyang Technological University

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), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
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.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
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