Singapore, 18 November 2005 – Singapore writing remains an area of the arts scene that can look forward to new works and emerging talent as the NUS – FASS and The Arts House Writing Fellowship enters its second year.
First launched in 2004 with the aim of nurturing emerging Singaporean talent as well as the creation of new works from Singapore, the Fellowship aims to provide time and opportunity for an emerging writer to complete a work of substantial length and generate critical discussion and stimulate new writing among young talent through public programmes.
The first recipient of NUS-FASS and The Arts House Writing Fellowship was playwright Huzir Sulaiman who first burst into the Singapore arts scene with his Occupation which was commissioned by the National Arts Council for the Singapore Arts Festival 2002.
Said Associate Professor Robbie Goh, Head of Department of English Language & Literature: "We were delighted to have Huzir Sulaiman as the inaugural NUS-Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and The Arts House writing fellow. During his tenure, Huzir has furthered discussion and public thinking about the genre of historical fiction, which has hitherto played a rather marginal role in Singapore letters. Huzir's work-in-progress represents an exciting development in the creative (re)-imagining of our past, as a means of coming to terms with who we are now, and who we can hope to be in the future."
Huzir was selected from among 20 applicants and during his term as Writing Fellow, he has completed an epic play titled Colony of Singapore based on archival sources and at present, he is working on a novel. As part of the Fellowship, Huzir mentored a History Playwright’s Circle which would be staging a reading of new and original historical plays this November at The Arts House. Huzir also gave a public talk titled Techniques and Strategies of the History Playwright at The Arts House which included a reading of an excerpt from Colony of Singapore.
Being the first of its kind in Singapore, the Fellowship gained considerable media notice. It was, among other mentions, listed by The Straits Times as one of the arts scene’s top 10 important developments of 2004.
The Fellowship is jointly funded by both the Faculty of Arts and Social Science of the National University of Singapore and The Arts House to a tune of $54,000. The appointed Fellow will be given an annual stipend, time, opportunity and space to create a new work and to conduct public programmes involving young writing talents.
The Fellow is required to complete a written work in any of the following genres: prose, verse, stage play, radio play or screen play, of a standard ready for publication by the end of the fellowship.
In addition to the creation of new works, the Fellow is committed to interacting with the community and stimulating interest in critical discussion and new writing among young people throughregular public programmes.
Says Phan Ming Yen, Director Artistic Development, The Arts House: “Recently, there has been talk about a sense of crisis in the arts scene and also the lack of good works. With this Fellowship, we hope that the experience for the Fellow as well as the work created and public programmes which he conducts will add and enrich the scene. As the Fellowship enters its second year, we aim to add to that which we have done so as to show that collaborations across all levels of the arts industry, that is an academic institution, an arts company and the artist, is one that is fruitful and relevant to the scene.”
The 2006 Fellowship is now open for applications. All applicants must be Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents, who have published some works. In the interests of emerging talent, first publication should not be more than seven years ago.
Applicants will be selectedfor his/her artistic excellence and potential, and the strength of his/her proposal for activities during the fellowship.
The 2006 Fellowship will focus on works written in English. The Fellow will spend at least two days a week in each organisation.
The selection panel comprises academics, arts administrators, a publisher and a writer.
Upon the successful completion of the Fellow's term, The Arts House and FASS-NUS will look to publishing or staging the completed work.
About The Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, NationalUniversity of Singapore
One of the earliest established faculties in the University, with its origins dating back to 1928, the FASS is also one of the largest faculties at the National University of Singapore, with more than 5,000 undergraduate students and over 1,000 graduate students. It has more than 400 Faculty members and 150 professional and administrative staff.
The Faculty seeks to achieve the highest standards of teaching and learning in the humanities and social sciences, with emphasis on critical thinking and life-long learning; to strive for excellence and integrity in research, for a better understanding of the world in which we live; to serve the needs of our society by enhancing its intellectual life and contributing to the development of the nation. For further information, please visit http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/about/faculty.htm
About The Arts House
Opened on 26 March 2004, The Arts House is Singapore’s newest arts and heritage venue. Built in 1827, the former Parliament House is the only gazetted government building which has been designated as a performance space. It seeks to connect audiences with artists and arts organizations through a broad spectrum of contemporary arts and entertainment events which will fully engage them. The Arts House is managed by Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee. For further information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg
For further queries, please contact
Director, Audience Development
The Old Parliament House Limited
1 Old Parliament Lane
Tel: 65 6 332 6901
See Ling Ling
Manager, Corporate Communications & Marketing
The Old Parliament House Limited
1 Old Parliament Lane
Tel: 65 6 332 6903
Manager, Dean’s Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
NationalUniversity of Singapore
Tel: 6874 3345