A NEW chapter has opened for writers to pursue their craft.
Two writers-in-residence positions at Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) division of English will be offered to two writers - one local and one foreign - each year, starting this year.
The $1.5 million programme is funded by the university and the National Arts Council (NAC) over three years.
The writers will be at NTU for up to a year to work on literary projects while teaching and mentoring students of creative writing at NTU.
They will also take part in literary activities and cultural life at the university.
They will be engaged as faculty members and will be paid according to their experience and qualifications.
NTU and NAC said in a joint press release yesterday that the Singapore Writing Residencies programme will be offered to novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, graphic novelists and writers of creative non-fiction.
The programme, to start in August, will run for three years.
Director of literary arts at NAC, Mr Paul Tan, said: 'This residency fills an important gap in 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.'
NTU's dean of humanities, arts and social sciences, Professor Alan Chan, said the programme will give Singaporean writers time and space to work on their projects and will draw top international writers here.
NAC and NTU may continue the programme in the future depending on the success of the first run and feedback from the writers.
The programme follows NTU's four-month pilot residency project with Singaporean award-winning novelist Suchen Christine Lim. She is currently a visiting fellow in creative writing at NTU.
Ms Lim, 63, said: '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.' (Article by Amelia Tan.)