News Details | 26-Apr-2011

NTU and NAC launch first-of-its-kind Singapore Writing Residencies

$1.5 million will be invested over 3 years in selected writers who will conduct literary projects and also teach and mentor NTU undergrads

The literary arts in Singapore get a major boost through a new programme where local and international literary luminaries will write and teach at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  NTU and the National Arts Council (NAC) have established the Singapore Writing Residencies, a new scheme where distinguished writers join NTU’s Division of English for up to a year while working on a literary project.

The three-year, $1.5 million programme is co-funded by NTU and the NAC, and is the first of its kind in Singapore, offering two writers-in-residence positions each year for local and international writers. This allows them to work side by side on literary projects, while teaching and mentoring students of creative writing at NTU. The writers will also take part in literary activities at the university and in the cultural life of the local community. 

NTU’s Dean of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Alan Chan says, “The programme will support the development of Singapore literature by giving valuable time and space to Singapore’s own writers, allowing them to take on and develop substantial creative projects. By drawing top international writers to Singapore, the programme will also help foster dynamic new connections between local and global literatures.”

“The writing residencies will, at the same time, expose the new generation of young Singapore writers to the best in local and international literary practice, as the selected writers get to teach and mentor students in NTU’s Creative Writing programme,” Professor Chan added.

The positions will be open to novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, graphic novelists and writers of creative non-fiction, the first of whom may take up their positions from August 2011.

Director of Literary Arts, Sector Development at NAC, Mr Paul Tan says, "This residency fills an important gap in the Singapore's arts community: undergraduates who are aspiring writers now have a quality creative writing programme to hone their craft while established writers have a nurturing, friendly space to think, dream and create. We certainly want them to pen exciting new works that will add to the nation's literary canon.”

“Moreover there is the valuable opportunity for writers to interact with an international writer of standing. This surely must lead to collaborations and further inspiration. We are confident this tie-up with NTU will help seed a new generation of writers and readers in Singapore."

Professor Chan adds, “Pooling together such highly talented literary experts will enhance Singapore and NTU’s global standing as a crucible for creativity and cross-cultural exchanges.  The launch of these residencies also complements the university’s efforts to establish the best of East and West as one of our peaks of excellence.”

Under its five-year strategic plan, NTU 2015, the university aspires to be a knowledge hub of the East and West, one of the Five Peaks of Excellence the university has identified. The others are in sustainability, future healthcare, new media and innovation.
The Singapore Writing Residencies follow the success of NTU’s pilot residency project with award-winning novelist Suchen Christine Lim, currently Visiting Fellow in Creative Writing.

Commenting on the value of such a programme, Ms Lim says, “The NTU-NAC Writing Residencies are a significant development in the Singapore writing landscape. Unlike other shorter writing residencies, the emphasis of the year-long programme will give writers the financial support, time, and space to draft, research, redraft, rewrite and rework their writing. This emphasis coupled with financial support, its long duration, and access to the university’s research facilities will encourage the production of longer works like novels in years to come. And the presence of working writers on campus will benefit the university’s creative writing students as well through workshops, readings, consultations and mentorships.”

Applications for the residencies will open on May 9 and close on June 15 (Singapore position) and July 15 (International position). For more information on the Singapore Writing Residencies, please visit

*** END ***

Media contacts

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

Clara Dyeo (Ms)
Executive (Corporate Communications)
National Arts Council, Singapore
DID: 6346 9647


About Nanyang Technological University

About the National Arts Council, Singapore

The National Arts Council (NAC) was established in September 1991 to spearhead the development of the arts in Singapore. To realize its vision of developing Singapore into a distinctive global city for the arts, NAC provides total support to nurture artistic talent, promotes the practice and appreciation of the arts among Singaporeans, builds up capabilities and resources, facilitates internationalization and advocates the value of the arts. Through its holistic range of programmes and initiatives to develop the entire arts value chain, the Council champions the growth of a vibrant arts sector where the arts is accessible to all, and the community of artists, arts groups and arts businesses can innovate, excel and achieve sustainability in the long term.  


Share Article