Is Hong Kong a nurturing environment for writers?

What is it like being a writer in a place like Hong Kong? Is it a nurturing environment?
Is Hong Kong a nurturing environment for writers? Absolutely. You just need to open up yourself and participate. However, the city will not be nurturing if you hide in your cubical or apartment.

Hong Kong has so much going on: the Hong Kong Writers’ Circle, established in 1991, continues to support local writers and the members of which founded or were and still are members of many other literary groups in Hong Kong; the University of Hong Kong and the City University of Hong Kong are offering Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programmes; the Hong Kong Women in Publishing Society organises regular events open to the public and The Hong Kong International Literary Festival brings together local and international writers in March in October each year;1 there are English publishers such as Chameleon Press, Haven BooksProverse and Signal 8 Press; there are dedicated people who run regular poetry readings at Joyce Is Not Here, Kubrick and Peel Fresco Music Lounge and the group Poetry OutLoud has been around for a long time; there are English publications such as Muse Magazine and Culture that often cover literary elements. Of course, Asia Literary ReviewYuan Yang and Renditions consistently publish excellent creative works over the years.

Writers in the city should take the initiative and connect with other people. And I hope in some small ways Cha is helping foster an encouraging writing environment in Hong Kong as well.

Do check out the newly-launched Hong Kong English Literature Database, prepared by Professor Elaine Ho and her team of contributors from the School of English, the University of Hong Kong. The website contains a rich corpus of anglophone writing about Hong Kong; short summaries and critical comments on more than 100 titles are provided on the site. You can see here for a detailed introduction to the project. Also of relevance is the article “Language Policy, ‘Asia’s World City’ and Anglophone Hong Kong Writing”

See more questions and answers here

1Starting from 2012, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival will take place in October.

Yuan Yang: Call for Submissions

Yuan Yang: A Journal of Hong Kong and International Writing (Co-editor: Marina Ma) is now accepting submissions of poems, short stories, short plays and creative non-fiction in English. Yuan Yang is also accepting submissions for the cover. Only images in portrait orientation can be accepted. All images submitted should be in jpeg format and 100dpi resolution (a file of higher resolution will be required upon selection for publication). Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 30 September 2008.

Marina Ma’s poetry was published in issue #3 of Cha.