Alfian Sa’at is the resident playwright of Wild Rice. He is a two-time winner of The Straits Times Life! Theatre Award for Best Original Script, and a recipient of the Golden Point Award for Poetry and the Young Artist Award for Literature. His works include collections of plays, the poetry collections One Fierce Hour and A History of Amnesia, and the short story collections Corridor and Malay Sketches.
Akshita Nanda was born in Pune, India, and has lived in Singapore since 1995. She has a BSc (Hons) from the National University of Singapore and knows what to do with radioactive viruses. She has been in publishing since 2002 and joined The Straits Times in 2007, where she currently writes about the arts. Nimita’s Place is her first novel, and she has another on in the works.
BaLli Kaur Jaswal
Balli Kaur Jaswal is the author of Inheritance and Sugarbread – with the latter being a finalist for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize. Born in Singapore and raised in Japan, Russia and the Philippines, she studied creative writing in the United States. She has received writing fellowships from the University of East Anglia and Nanyang Technological University, and was named Best Young Australian Novelist of 2014 by the Sydney Morning Herald.
After writing two other novels – Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters – Balli working on her a new novel that is set in Singapore.
Bernice Chauly is a Malaysian novelist, poet and educator. She is the award-winning author of six books of poetry and prose which include the critically-acclaimed memoir Growing Up With Ghosts and the novel, Once We Were There, which won the Penang Monthly Book Prize 2017. For 20 years, she worked as a multi-disciplinary artist and is recognised as one of the most significant voices of her generation.
She also helmed the George Town Literary Festival, which was the winner of the Literary Festival Award at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards 2018. She is an Honorary Fellow in Writing from the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP2014) and currently teaches at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.
Carissa Foo makes her debut as a novelist with If It Were Up to Mrs Dada. She received her PhD in English Studies from Durham University and is currently teaching at Yale-NUS College. She has come a long way since her rock and roll roots, when she was the bass player for the all-girl rock trio Tuzi (Mandarin for “rabbit”), which won the SuperBand competition in Singapore, and released the album Hey!
When she is not teaching at Yale-NUS College, Carissa also teaches conversational English to migrant workers in Singapore.
Cyril Wong is the Singapore Literature Prize-winning author of poetry collections such as Unmarked Treasure, Tilting Our Plates to Catch the Light and Satori Blues, as well as short stories. His novel, The Last Lesson of Mrs De Souza received great acclaim.
He has served as a mentor under the Creative Arts Programme and the Mentor Access Project, as well as a judge for the Golden Point Awards in Singapore. A past recipient of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award for Literature, he completed his doctoral degree in English Literature at the National University of Singapore in 2012.
daryl qilin yam
Daryl Qilin Yam is a co-editor of the SingPoWriMo anthology series, a director at Sing Lit Station, and a stageplay producer at Take Off Productions. He holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Warwick, and spent a year in Japan studying at the University of Tokyo. His prose and poetry have been published in a number of anthologies and literary journals. Kappa Quartet is his first novel.
Isa Kamari has written eight novels in Malay, some of which, including The Tower, have been translated into English. He has published collections of poems, short stories and plays. He also writes drama serials and documentaries for television. His awards include the S.E.A. Write Award (a writing award), Singapore’s Cultural Medallion (Singapore’s highest arts honour) and the Anugerah Tun Seri Lanang. He has a degree in Architecture from the National University of Singapore, and a Master of Philosophy in Malay Letters from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
JASON ERIK LUNDBERG
Jason Erik Lundberg is Epigram Books’ fiction editor. He is also the author and anthologist of over twenty books, including Diary of One Who Disappeared:
A Novella (2019), Most Excellent and Lamentable: Selected Stories (2019) and the Bo Bo and Cha Cha picture book series (2012–2015).
In addition, he is also the the editor of The Best Singaporean Short Stories 1; the founding editor of LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction (2012–2018), editor of Fish Eats Lion (2012), and co- editor of A Field Guide to Surreal Botany (2008) and Scattered, Covered, Smothered (2004).
Jennani Durai is a former journalist, a VONA/Voices ction fellow for 2016, and
a co-author of the of cial commemorative book of Singapore’s ftieth birthday, Living the Singapore Story (2015). She was selected for the Ceriph Mentorship Programme (Prose) in 2014, and won both third prize and an honourable mention in the 2015 Golden Point Awards. Durai currently lives in Guatemala with her husband, and Regrettable Things That Happened Yesterday is her debut collection of short fiction.
Jeremy Tiang’s epoch of a novel, State of Emergency has garner rave reviews and won the 2018 Singapore Literature Prize. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Esquire and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. He has also translated more than ten books from the Chinese, and has been awarded translation grants from PEN American Center, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Museum of Taiwanese Literature. Jeremy’s plays include The Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth, London), Floating Bones (The Arts House; translations of Han Lao Da and Quah Sy Ren one-acts) and A Dream of Red Pavilions (Pan Asian Rep, NYC; adapted from the novel by Cao Xueqin).
Jolene Tan is a writer and activist who lives in Singapore. Her novel, A Certain Exposure has been called everything from “an exciting debut” to “a quiet, powerful tale”. She previously lived in Cambridge (in the UK), Cambridge (in the US), London (in the UK) and Heidelberg (in Germany). Her short fiction has been published in the Manchester Review.
kevin martens wong
Kevin Martens Wong is a linguistics major at the National University of Singapore and the editor-in-chief of Unravel: The Accessible Linguistics Magazine. He won the NUS Creative Writing Competition in 2015 for his short story A Merlion for His Majesty, and is debut novel, Altered Straits, also has Merlions in the mix.
In his spare time, he also works to revitalise the Kristang language (a language that used to be commonly spoken by Eurasians) in Singapore. He loves books, bicycles, cats, languages, science fiction, most marine mammals and the colour orange, and hopes to become the world’s first astro-linguist before advanced human civilisation ceases to exist in 2039.
LAU SIEW MEI
The Last Immigrant is Lau Siew Mei’s third novel, having received acclaim for her two previous novels, Playing Madame Mao (2002), which Time Magazine called "one of the best novels ever written about Singapore"; and The Dispeller of Worries (2007), which was hailed as “hard to put down” and “amazing”. She has been shortlisted for the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and Best Emerging Queensland Author in the QLD Premier’s Literary Awards.
Mohamed Latiff Mohamed
Mohamed Latiff Mohamed is one of the most prolific writers in the Singapore Malay literary scene. His works, such as Confrontation and The Widower, revolve around the life and struggles of the Malay community in Singapore, and have been translated into Chinese, English, German and Korean.
His many accolades include winning the Singapore Literature Prize a whopping three times (in 2004, 2006 and 2008); receiving the Cultural Medallion in 2013 (Singapore’s highest honour for a practitioner of the arts); the Montblanc-NUS Centre for the Arts Literary Award (1998), the SEA Write award (2002), the Tun Seri Lanang Award (2003) and the National Arts Council Special Recognition Award (2009).
Nuraliah Norasid holds a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from Nanyang Technological University. She works as a research associate at the Centre for Research on Islamic and Malay Affairs (RIMA), where she studies marginalities and the confluence of religious ideas and secular society. Her writing has been published in QLRS, Karyawan Magazine, AMPlified and Perempuan: Muslim Women Speak Out. The Gatekeeper is her first novel.
Nuril Basri was born in a small village in Tangerang, Indonesia. He writes tragicomedies and bildungsromans with themes of loneliness, insecurity, friendship, dysfunctional families and the LGBT community. For Nuril, writing is a means to escape and relate at the same time. Love, Lies and Indomee is the English translation of his novel, Enak, which was originally published in Malay and Indonesian.
He was a grantee of the Indonesian National Book Committee’s writing residency in the UK in 2017. He was also a 2018 grantee of the Crossing Borders programme jointly run by the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin.
O Thiam chin
O Thiam Chin is also the author of two novels (Now That It’s Over and Fox Fire Girl) and five collections of short fiction and his short stories have appeared various publications, including Mānoa, World Literature Today, The International Literary Quarterly, Asia Literary Review, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Kyoto Journal, The Jakarta Post, The New Straits Times, Asiatic and Esquire (Singapore).
O was an honorary fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program in 2010, a recipient of the NAC Young Artist Award in 2012, and has been thrice longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
Pico Iyer is the author of more than a dozen books, translated into twenty-three languages, including international favourites such as Video Night in Kathmandu (1988), The Lady and the Monk (1991) and The Global Soul (2000).
Pico’s latest book, This Could Be Home, offering a seasoned observer's meditations on cultures everywhere.
He has given three TED Talks in three years, and they have attracted more than eight million views so far. A graduate of Eton, Oxford and Harvard, he is currently Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton.
Sebastian Sim spent his 20s backpacking around the world to soak up different experiences and cultures. Since returning home, he has published three Chinese wuxia novels (books that are steeped in Chinese martial arts) between 2004 and 2012. He has also worked in a myriad of jobs, clocking hours as a casino croupier, a manager for a fast food outlet, a bartender and a prisons officer, among others, and says his novels, such as Let’s Give It Up For Gimme Lao! draw heavily on his experiences.
Sonny Liew is a graphic novelist, painter and illustrator. His graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye won three Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards in 2017, after winning the Singapore Literature Prize and the Singapore Book Award the previous year.
His other work includes the New York Times bestseller The Shadow Hero with Gene Luen Yang (First Second Books), My Faith in Frankie with Mike Carey (DC Vertigo), the Jane Austen adaptation Sense & Sensibility (Marvel Comics), and a Doctor Fate series with Paul Levitz (DC Comics). He has received Eisner nominations for his art and for spearheading Liquid City (Image Comics), a comics anthology featuring creators from Southeast Asia.
Suffian Hakim is a writer of fantastical, whimsical, wacky books. His first was a parody of Harry Potter, Harris Bin Potter and the Stoned Philosopher (2015), which led to Singapore’s national daily The Straits Times calling him “one of the most whimsical, creative and unpretentious young voices in Singapore literature”. His second novel, The Minorities, is a marked departure from Harris Bin Potter in terms of style; however, it still retains much of his inimitable humour.
Suffian was previously a regional content lead at media agency GroupM and had written for television comedy sketch shows such as Random Island and The Noose, and magazine publications Esquire and August Man.
Warran Kalasegaran studied Politics with International Studies at the University of Warwick. He graduated with a Master of Public Policy from the University of Tokyo, where he wrote Lieutenant Kurosawa’s Errand Boy, his first novel. He currently works for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.