RMIT and SingLit Station co-present an all-digital WrICE 2020

RMIT and SingLit Station co-present an all-digital WrICE 2020

This year, RMIT’s Asia Pacific literary engagement program WrICE is joining with industry partner, Singapore’s Sing Lit Station, to produce an all-digital version of the renowned collaborative residency.

The Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange (WrICE) 2020 will bring together nine leading and emerging writers from across Asia and Australia for a two-week online intensive in October and November, followed by a series of public events at the Singapore Writers Festival.

This follows on from six successful years of WrICE, which has brought together 60 writers from the region, and partnered with many cultural festivals and organisations, from the Ayala Museum, Manila, to The National Library of Vietnam, and Melbourne Writers Festival.

Sing Lit Station’s Director, Joshua Ip, said he was pleased to partner with RMIT’s Writing and Publishing discipline, building on the program’s years of influence across the Asia Pacific.

"As an organisation named after a subway metaphor, Sing Lit Station sees the international, /intercultural and /interlingual exchange of WrICE as a natural extension of our organisational mission – to be a platform where writers meet, an interchange of intersectionality, a stop along a busy journey,” Ip said.

Australian-Iranian writer Shokoofeh Azar (shortlisted for The International Booker Prize 2020) will join peers from India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

The line-up of writers include Marylyn Tan, winner of the 2020 Singapore Literature Prize for English Poetry, leading Japanese translator and fiction writer, Kyoko Yoshida, and Sri Lankan publisher, fiction and nonfiction writer Ameena Hussein.

Michelle Aung Thin Michelle Aung Thin
 Shokoofeh Azar Shokoofeh Azar

Indian poet, essayist, and teacher, Aditi Rao, Hafiz Hamzah, Malaysian poet, editor, essayist and founder of Obscura Malaysia, Hafiz Hamzah, Filipino poet, writer and winner of the 2017 Palanca Grand Prize, Glenn Diaz, Singapore Literature Prize 2018 shortlisted author, Balli Jaswal Kaur, acclaimed Indian translator and poet, Akhil Katyal and Indonesian editor, essayist and fiction writer, Erni Aladjai.

RMIT lecturer in Creative Writing and novelist Sreedhevi Iyer will facilitate WrICE 2020, alongside Malaysian writer and festival director Bernice Chauly (a WrICE 2014 alumnus), Professor of Creative Writing David Carlin, and acclaimed Singaporean poet and essayist Alvin Pang.

Pang, who is also a WrICE alumnus, was recently awarded his PhD as one of the first graduates of RMIT Writing and Publishing’s PRS Asia Creative Writing program.

Iyer said she is looking forward to the collaborative workshopping and festival, as it is a space where writers from Asia and Australia can mingle in the spirit of collaboration and creativity.

“I’d heard of WrICE for years, as a wandering writer – the metaphor is unmistakable,” Iyer sai

“So many friends and colleagues of mine had been a part of it in earlier years, and it gives me immense pleasure to be a facilitator for WrICE 2020, especially in its current digital format,.” Iyer said.

The ongoing WrICE program of research and engagement activities involves Iyer, Associate Dean Writing and Publishing Francesca Rendle-Short, Professor of Creative Writing David Carlin, novelist and RMIT academic Michelle Aung Thin alongside Melody Ellis, Ali Barker and Penny Johnson.

WrICE and research group non/fictionLab are supported by the Writing and Publishing discipline and RMIT Culture.

Carlin said bringing together writers in the Asia-Pacific region for face-to-face collaborative residencies was unique because of travel restrictions.

“This year, we take on the challenge of a fully-digital residency while keeping to the heart of the program: the simple notion that writers can benefit from stepping outside their solo writing journeys to connect with other writers of different cultures and backgrounds,” he said.

The collaborative workshopping will lead into public events as part of Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) 2020.

RMIT academic and novelist Aung Thin will moderate Singapore Writers Festival’s Go So Far But Write So Near panel on 4 November.

In conversation with Balli Kaur Jaswal (SG), Glenn Diaz (PH), and Kyoko Yoshida (JP), Aung Thin will lead a conversation around whether it is easier to write about somewhere near from further away and the challenges and possibilities inherent in a new environment.

Curated by Sing Lit Station for SWF, each event has a Southeast focus.

Audiences from all around the world can view the WrICE 2020 participants, appearing digitally, in the following events as part of SWF:

(All times in SGT.  A digital festival pass offering access to more than 130 events can be purchased for S$20) 

Go So Far But Write So Near

Wed, 4 Nov, 7.30pm - 8.30pm SGT

Is it easier to write about somewhere near from further away? How does a change of scene affect a writing practice?

Panellists: Balli Kaur Jaswal (SG), Glenn Diaz (PH), Kyoko Yoshida (JP)

Moderator: Michelle Aung Thin

The Southeast Asian Novel Is A Thing

Thurs, 5 Nov, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Is there a "Southeast Asian novel" and is it a genre of its own, distinct from the "Asian novel"? What is and isn't "Asian" or "Southeast Asian" about these novels? How useful are these labels at all?

Panellists: Ameena Hussein (LK), Erni Aladjai (ID), Glenn Diaz (PH) 

Moderator: Daryl Qilin Yam (SG)

These Stories Have Old Bones

Sun, 8 Nov, 5:30pm - 6:30pm

How does history influence and shape a text? What are some considerations for the portrayal of SEAsian history and which lens do we use?

Panellists: Aditi Rao (IN), Erni Salleh (SG)

Moderator: Wesley Leon Aroozoo (SG)

More information regarding this year’s celebrations, events, WrICE and Sing Lit Station, can be found at


Story: Callum Mateer, Bachelor of Arts, (Creative Writing) student, and Ali Barker

04 November 2020


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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.