Three emerging writers from RMIT are heading to China after being chosen to join the Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange Program (WrICE).
Peter Clynes, Ara Sarafian and Mia Wotherspoon, all current students at RMIT, will head to Guangzhou and Yangshou in April next year, along with other emerging and established writers.
This will be followed by activity later in 2016, in association with the Melbourne Writers Festival.
The program will provide a life-changing experience for the emerging WrICE fellows, who have already begun to make their mark as writers.
Clynes, a student of RMIT’s Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) and Diploma of Languages in Chinese, has acted as a co-editor for the Queen’s College Newspaper, and co-founded the Kumiho Society in order to self-publish a collection of short stories and visual arts with other members of his programs.
Sarafian and Wotherspoon are both studying RMIT’s Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing.
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Sarafian is a previous winner of the Australian Writers’ Centre short story competition and been published in The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, and The Conversation, among others.
He was short listed for the 2015 Monash Creative Writing Prize and is now writing his first manuscript while working part-time as an online editor for the ABC.
“I’m excited about what the WrICE Fellowship will bring; it will remove me from my routines and comfort zones and expose me to new experiences, which will help me add new perspectives, layers and depth to my writing,” he said.
Wotherspoon has previously undertaken an editorial internship for The Lifted Brow, and has written for Visible Ink.
She is currently a freelance writer and editor, and is working on a full-length manuscript, a collection of short stories and some creative nonfiction warticles.
“I’m hungry for opportunities to workshop and learn from great writers. An opportunity like this; to go global, meet writers from different cultures, and collaborate with people at different stages of their career could be life changing,” she said.
RMIT's WrICE program, which aims to build an Asia-Pacific community of writers, spark networks and raise the professional profile of writers across the region, is an initiative of nonfictionLab with support from the Copyright Agency.
Francesca Rendle-Short, Co-Director of WrICE and nonfictionLab, said the opportunity would give students time to write and share their work with other, more experienced writers.
“It will also introduce them to a range of invaluable intercultural experiences that will inform and shape their writing and the way they live,” she said.
“Previous emerging writers have testified how WrICE has enlarged their world. We hope and trust it will be the same for these writers going to China next year.
Between 2013 and 2015, WrICE has brought together 24 emerging and established writers from the across the region for collaborative residencies and public events in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Melbourne.
See WrICE writers at events throughout August as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival, and Footscray Community Arts Centre Poetics Weekend.
Story: Emma Morgan