Speakers

Photo of Alemberg Ang

Alemberg Ang

Documentaries and Development Journalism: Writing Scripts for Change

After a 10-year teaching career, Alem shifted professions and started producing for films, starting with Alvin B. Yapan’s directorial debut “Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe” (The Rapture of Fe, 2009), which won the Best Digital Feature Film at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival. His succeeding films competed at the Warsaw Film Festival, Hawaii Film Festival, Bogota International Film Festival, Golden Horse Film Festival, among others. He was chosen as a delegate to the UNESCO Meeting of Independent Producers, Rotterdam Lab, Berlinale Talents and Tokyo Talent Campus.

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Alvin Chong

The Thrills and Frills of Review Writing

Alvin Chong is a journalist, and he has worked in Mediacorp’s TODAY newspaper where he critiqued movies, concerts and consumer tech. He has also interviewed a variety of movie and television Hollywood actors and directors. He's currently with regional broadcaster Channel NewsAsia, where he works with the digital team. His alter-ego is founder and writer of pop-culture site Here Be Geeks, where he works on geek news and reviews with a local slant.

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Andrew Hook

Mobile, Native, Impressionable: The Changing Faces of Writing Ads

Andrew is the Executive Creative Director of Havas Worldwide (Singapore). Originally from New Zealand, Andrew has worked in Singapore for more than 10 years. He boasts 15 years of proven creative excellence and leadership, having worked across some of the world’s biggest brands, including Audi, BMW, Qatar Airways, Coca-Cola, Singapore Airlines, Nokia, Bridgestone and Sony. Previously at DDB, he led the creative output for Singapore’s Health Promotion Board, with his work gaining recognition in a host of award shows, picking up multiple golds at both the Singapore Effies and the regional Appies.

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Anise

The Story Behind the Song: Writing the Lyrics of the Soul

Anise first came about in 2012. After moving back from a foreign country and finding no solace in friends who had become strangers, strangers who wanted to be friends, and strange friendships, she sought to rephrase her solitude and new reality into stories. She writes about her hometown Singapore and the heartbreak her country sometimes brings and about the rough terrain of love and loss. Her soft vocals have been described as ‘feathery’ and ‘misty’, and her stage presence lures the audience into her cocoon of nervous energy and beautiful brutality. Anise pairs off-kilter chords with tender lyrics and poignant storytelling into her songs. 

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Annette Lee

In the Winners’ Circle: Selected Winners of the 2015 National Youth Film Awards

Annette has always been a lover of storytelling, be it through writing, music, or visual mediums. She was the co-creator of the story behind 3 Seconds (2014), which premiered at the SGIFF 2014. Graduation (2014), her first released short film, won “Best Production Design” at the Singapore Short Film Awards and the National Youth Film Awards in 2015, where it was also nominated for Best VFX, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. It was the only Singapore Finalist in the Hongkong International Mobile Film Awards 2015. Her latest short film, Keep Mum (2015), was nominated for Best Direction in the National Youth Film Awards 2015. She was the only female director out of the 7 nominees in the category.

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Atia Abawi

Words Go Round @ All In!: The City and Beyond Series: Wartime Cities: Writing Dangerous Truths

Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent who was stationed for almost five years in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. In 2014, she published her first book, The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Conor Powell, and infant son. You can follow her on Twitter @AtiaAbawi.

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Catherine Carvell

Understanding Your Rights: Rights and Contracts for Young Authors

Catherine Carvell was born in England and as a child she loved reading, writing, earthworms and frogs. Her family migrated to Australia when she was eight and she was raised in the northern suburbs of Perth. “Darcy Moon and the Deep-fried Frogs” is Catherine’s first children’s book. Catherine currently lives in Singapore with her husband, two children and pet turtles. Sometimes, she talk to the turtles, but thankfully, they don’t talk back.

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Christopher Tan

The Business of Writing: Branding You and Your Work

Christopher Tan is an award-winning writer, cooking instructor and photographer. His articles, columns, recipes and photographs have appeared in many international publications, including Singapore’s Straits Times, The Peak magazine, The Peak Selections Gourmet & Travel magazine, and America’s Saveur magazine. He has conducted talks and cooking demonstrations at venues which have included Singapore’s National History Museum and Peranakan Museum, the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, Paris’ Le Musée Quai Branly, and The Sydney International Food Festival. He has authored and co-authored many cookbooks, most recently Chinese Heritage Cooking, Ask The Foodie, and NerdBaker. He loves making meaning with words, images and food.

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Claudine Fernandez

Creative Teaching for Creative Writing: A Workshop for Language Teachers

Claudine Fernandez holds an Arts in Education Master's Degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. (Hons.) Degree in English Literature from the National University of Singapore. She is a former Ministry of Education teacher and has been teaching English and Literature for 9 years in Singapore. She is currently teaching the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program in an independent school. In addition, she writes narrative non-fiction and human-interest stories and is the author of the recently published children’s activity book, “Every Child’s Guide to Write Away”. As an Education Representative of Write the World, she establishes partnerships with and promotes the organization to various stakeholders in Singapore.

Photo of Dalene Low Mei Jun

Dalene Low Mei Jun

Dalene, 19, is a final year student in the Diploma in Creative Writing for Television and New Media at Singapore Polytechnic. With a keen eye for visuals, Dalene is mainly the Director of Photography and Editor for video projects. Some of the key projects she worked on are a corporate video for Youth Model ASEAN Conference 2014 and a documentary filmed in Ipoh, Malaysia. During her 6-month internship stint with The New Paper as a photojournalist, she has undertaken various assignments ranging from covering breaking news, sports, press conferences and national events. She has also created videos and edited them for The New Paper online platform.

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Damyanti Biswas

Flash Fiction, Short Stories and More: Completeness in Brevity

Damyanti’s short fiction has been commended at the Bath Flash Fiction Award and her novel-in-progress long-listed at the Mslexia Competition. Her stories have appeared in USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and Singapore, and her work is nominated for the Pushcart and Best of Net. She runs an enrichment module for fiction at secondary schools, in collaboration with Monsters Under the Bed and owns a blog with more than 30,000 followers, promoting reputed authors and publishing professionals from and beyond Singapore.

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Desmond Moey

The Story Behind the Song: Writing the Lyrics of the Soul

Desmond Moey is a singer-songwriter, and show producer of musicals, concerts, and similar events. Recent works include Sentosa’s “Symphony in the Sky” (2014), SGH’s “Superhero Musical” (2013), and PUB’s 50th Anniversary Presentation “Glow Musical” (2013). He has also written songs for events such as NDP’s “Musical Singapore” (1997). He runs a music publishing outfit that helps songwriters earn enough to sustain their commitment to the art of songs. Under his leadership, successful song writing courses have also been conducted with the NLB in 2013, and the PRISONS Service in December 2013.

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Don Bosco

Fiction Writing – Short Stories: Developing Stories Through Unconventional Stimulus

Don is a writer and publisher of fiction books from Singapore. In 2011, he founded “Super Cool Books,” a publishing company with interest in fantasy and mystery stories for children and young adults. As an active advocate of self-publishing and digital publishing, he has published ebooks, paperbacks and an iPad app. He received a PhD in youth culture studies at the National University of Singapore in 2008. In 2011, he started writing speculative fiction for middle grade readers. His first books were the “Time Talisman” ebook series, originally published by Select Books, followed by the “Sherlock Hong” series, recently acquired by Marshall Cavendish.

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Genevieve Sarah Loh

The Thrills and Frills of Review Writing

Genevieve Loh is the resident film journalist and movie critic of MediaCorp’s TODAY newspaper. Across the mediums of print, television and online, Genevieve has interviewed many international and Oscar-winning movie stars and filmmakers. She is the resident film critic and movie presenter for Channel NewsAsia’s First Look Asia, and can be heard on Radio 938LIVE. She has also covered the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, as well as the seminal Golden Globes Awards in Hollywood.

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Harry Corro

Redefining Content For Radio and TV: The Challenge of Social Media Integration

Harry started his radio career in 1993 as a radio presenter in Manila. He moved to Singapore in 2006 and became a presenter at SAFRA Radio’s Power98, eventually becoming the station’s programme director. Harry also does radio imaging voice overs for Manila’s JAM 88.3FM and Edmonton’s World FM in Canada. Currently a visiting lecturer for Radio at the School of Film & Media Studies at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Harry mentors students to become future broadcasters, production directors, writers and producers. He hosts a weekend show at SPH Radio’s ONE FM 91.3.

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Ingrid Liu

Getting Your Work Out There: Panel of Young Writers, Artists & Translators

Ingrid Liu is a trilingual Chinese-American teen who currently works as Parallel Ink’s Translation Director and English-French translator. She is fluent in French, Chinese and English and wants to learn as many languages as she possibly can. She loves to see how language allows for better knowledge of culture. Other than learning languages, she's also interested in anything art related; from music to writing. 

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Jamie Uy

Getting Your Work Out There: Panel of Young Writers, Artists & Translators

Jamie Uy is the Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder of Parallel Ink, an international online literary and art magazine for students. She was a Commended Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2012 and self-published her anthology, The 1 AM Astronaut and Other Poems, in the same year. Jamie was one of the winning poets in the Cape Farewell/Poetry Society’s SWITCH Challenge in 2014. Last summer, she was a poetry mentee in The Adroit Journal’s Online Mentorship Program. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, Singapore American, The F (Finely Filipino) Magazine, Rattle Young Poets Anthology, The Teacup Trail, Germ Magazine, and Miracle, among other publications. When she's not writing, she's probably reading a Haruki Murakami novel or re-watching the movie Big Hero 6.

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Jan Latta

When author and photographer Jan Latta first came face-to-face with an endangered mountain gorilla in Rwanda, the experience changed her life. She became determined to inspire children to learn about endangered animals and ensure their survival, and so spent the next 14 years of her life travelling to some of the remotest parts of the world. From her journeys emerged Diary of a Wildlife Photographer, a journal of her adventures in the wild, and the True to Life book series for children.

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Jasper Yeo Kait Xun

Jasper, 20, is a graduate from the Diploma in Creative Writing for Television and  New Media, Singapore Polytechnic. Jasper took on various roles in his course projects such as writer, cameraman, director and editor. He has also illustrated a children’s storybook as well as filmed a corporate video in Malang, Indonesia. Jasper went to Lombok, Indonesia to film a short documentary film. Titled Play Station, it  narrates the story of an enterprising woman and her unusual shop in a tiny village. Jasper is currently serving his national service. 

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Jemimah Wei

Strike the Prose: Fashion, Travel & Special Interest Blogging

Born and based in Singapore, Jemimah is a full-time online television host, author, and the writer behind eponymous lifestyle blog jemmawei.com. Her days as a wordsmith arguably originated from a childhood shunning the television for the imaginary world of books. After three years crafting stories for brands, she moved on to focus on building her own brand, and found her voice both figuratively and literally. She currently works with the likes of Airbnb, Nikon, and Skyscanner to pen travel guides, does live and televised hosting on the side, and writes for various literary anthologies while pursuing her MA in English, Creative Writing, under the Nanyang Technological University Graduate Scholarship.

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Jeremy Sing

The Thrills and Frills of Review Writing
SINdie Session: Writing A Film Review

Jeremy is the founder and editor of SINdie, a website on Singapore films, widely read by the industry and community. He also organised Singapore’s first film poster exhibition “Mise En SIN” in 2011. Before SINdie, he started making short films in 2005 at Objectifs. His films have both been screened locally and at overseas film festivals and competitions, including the Busan Asian Short Film Festival for “A Wake” and the Tampere Film Festival for “The Girl in Red Sarong.” In 2007, he was invited to be one of the Associate Film-makers of the Substation. He worked as one of the assistant directors on “Ah Boys to Men” Part 1 & 2.

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Jo Furniss

Redefining Content For Radio and TV: The Challenge of Social Media Integration

Joanne is a writer and broadcaster based in Singapore. She has worked on the radio, internet and in print, as a writer, journalist and editor. Jo worked for 10 years with the BBC in the UK and Africa, and reported for Monocle 24 in Switzerland. She has edited two popular-science books by the Dutch Nobel laureate, Professor Gerard ’t Hooft, published by World Scientific. She gained a Distinction in MA Professional Writing in 2014. As an active member of the Singapore Writers Group, she organises workshops and writes fiction. 

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Jonathan Choo

In the Winners’ Circle: Selected Winners of the 2015 National Youth Film Awards

Jonathan is currently a final year student at NTU School of Art Design Media pursuing a degree in Digital Filmmaking. As far as he can think back, all he ever wanted to do is to make films about the families for the families. His favourite filmmakers include Terrence Malick, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Hou Hsiao Hsien. In 2009, Jonathan’s ad for Gibson guitars won a gold award in advertising at the Crowbar Awards and was one of the ten finalists at the Porche Student Advertising Awards. He was recently nominated for Best Director for his films Stroll and Hero at the inaugural National Youth Film Awards.

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Justine De Jesus

Getting Your Work Out There: Panel of Young Writers, Artists & Translators

Justine de Jesus is a Filipino artist currently living in Singapore and studying at the Singapore American School (SAS). As a junior, this will be Justine’s twelfth year at SAS, as well as her third year working as an illustrator and now the Art Director for the e-zine Parallel Ink. Besides working for PI, Justine’s interest for all things art and design led to her working as a photography intern at SAS, as well as launching her own lifestyle blog, Teenfolk, which you can read at teenfolk.blogspot.com. 

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Laila Lu

Strike the Prose: Fashion, Travel & Special Interest Blogging

Rock The Trend is a 100% independent Singapore-based fashion and lifestyle blog founded in 2007 by Laila Lu. The blog features culturally relevant news and updates from all around the world with a special focus on Singapore content. Follow www.RockTheTrend.com to be in the loop of all the latest happenings, trending topics, coolest hangouts, interesting ideas and inspiring stories.

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Lesley-Anne Tan

Crafting Creative Stories For Young Readers: Young Writers for Young Readers

Lesley-Anne is the co-author of the action-packed “Danger Dan” children’s book series. From a young age, she has had a passion for writing and a fascination with words. She loves literature lessons and topped her school’s Secondary 4 Level in Advanced Literature 2013. The first “Danger Dan” book was published in January 2014, when she was just 16. The latest best-selling companion to the Danger Dan series, “Secrets of Singapore”, gives a compelling account of the historical facts of Singapore in a fun and kid-friendly style.

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Leslie Tay

The Business of Writing: Branding You and Your Work

Dr Leslie Tay, better known by his moniker “ieat” has spent almost a decade roaming around Singapore in search of the best hawker food and then publishing them on his award-winning food blog, www.ieatishootipost.sg. Dr Tay has published 4 books on Singapore Food. “The End of Char Kway Teow” which was published in Dec 2010 was a Straits Times bestseller. The book also won 3rd place in the inaugural Reader’s Choice Awards in 2011. He is also the co-author of “The Singapore Heritage Cookbook,” an SG50 project showcasing 12 iconic Singaporean dishes, published by Peter Knipp Holdings in 2015.

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Lewis Loh

The Story Behind the Song: Writing the Lyrics of the Soul

Lewis started singing at the age of three and took up the guitar at age 15. A budding singer-songwriter and a sergeant in the National Police Force, Lewis’s rendition of an NDP song composed by Dick Lee was highly-publicised online, and was even shared on the Prime Minister’s Facebook Page. Lewis was also spotted by a talent agent from NBC’s The Voice in early 2015 and was invited to audition. He maintains a YouTube account that features more than 40 of his original songs and covers.

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Low Joo Hong

Book Cover Concept & Design for Children’s Books

Low Joo Hong is a passionate educator, artist, illustrator and writer. He has a BA Honours in Fine Arts from the University of Leeds, U.K., and a M.A. in Children’s Books Illustration from the Anglia Ruskin University, U.K. He received Honourable Mentioned for the prestigious McMillan Prize 2009 for his book “There is No Steak Buried Here”. Low Joo Hong writes and illustrates both Chinese and English stories. He is best known as 椰子 for his Chinese productions and J.H. LOW for his English ones. Joo Hong’s works are spontaneous, masterful and often with a light touch of humour. His latest releases in 2015 are “有熊自远方来” and “Lost in the Gardens”.

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Manfred Rist

Retelling Stories as They Are Told: News Events of South East Asia

Manfred is the South East Asia correspondent of Neue Zürcher Zeitung, a Swiss newspaper. He also teaches modules in journalism at a local university in Singapore. Initially a part of Nielsen SA, a market research company, Manfred contributes in the business section of the NZZ, with support reporting on news and issues relating to business, technology and current events. Previously based in Paris, he had been the NZZ correspondent to the European Union and NATO in Brussels since 1990, and was then assigned in Singapore as South East Asia correspondent in 2000, tackling business and politics in Asia, and specialising in Multimedia Digital Storytelling.

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Marc Nair

Words Go Round @ All In!: The City and Beyond Series: Modern Spaces: Writing As Reclamation

Marc Nair is a poet and photographer from Singapore. He has published five volumes of poetry and has also been featured in a number of anthologies. Marc has represented Singapore competitively at international poetry slam competitions. In 2015, he toured with his latest collection of spoken word poems, The Poet of Unlove, in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and the Netherlands. He also performs regularly with his band, Neon and Wonder. He teaches creative writing, writes satirical podcasts with blogger mrbrown on the ‘mrbrownshow’, and is the co-founder of Mackerel, an online culture zine.

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Monica Lim

Crafting Creative Stories For Young Readers: Young Writers for Young Readers

Monica Lim is the author of the quintessentially Singaporean “The Good, the Bad and the PSLE”, and co-author of the action-packed “Danger Dan” children’s book series. Monica runs her own writing agency for corporate clients and writes a popular blog on parenting and education. She has been featured by both Singapore and international media, including the Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Young Parents, MediaCorp, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and the US documentary programme, Dan Rather Reports.

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N Sivasothi

N Sivasothi (aka ‘Otterman’) has been immersed in mangroves for research, education and conservation at NUS Biological Sciences since the late 80’s. In 2001, he led efforts at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research to explore the fate of Chek Jawa, an inter-tidal shore, which became a hallmark of government-citizen engagement and the people’s growing awareness of nature and the environment in Singapore. He is the coordinator of the NUS Toddycats!, the national coordinator for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, and a blogger.

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Nicole Ong Xin Tong

Nicole, 20, is a graduate from the Diploma in Creative Writing for Television and New Media, Singapore Polytechnic. She enjoys reading and writing stories for children, and has written and illustrated a children’s book titled Let’s Be Friends, Okay?. Besides writing, Nicole also takes on the roles of producer and editor in film projects. In 2014, her cohort hopped on a plane and headed to Lombok, Indonesia, to film and produce a documentary. Nicole and her team produced Play Station, a short documentary film about the first and only video game store in a small and rural village in Lombok. Nicole is currently pursuing a degree in English at NTU.

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Ow Yeong Wai Kit

Ow Yeong Wai Kit holds a master’s degree from University College London, where he was awarded the John Oliver Hobbes Memorial Scholarship in Modern English. His articles have been featured in journals such as Interreligious Insight and Think Pieces: A Journal of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. A teacher of English and literature, he is also co-editor of From Walden to Woodlands: An Anthology of Nature Poems (2015), published by Ethos Books.

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Reginald James Kent

Monologues R’ Us: Fringe Activity by NTU Epiphany

Reginald James Kent is the current Creative Director of Epiphany (Theatre and Writing @ NTU)‘s publication wing. He comes from a theatric background, being Epiphany’s previous Vice President of Theatre. He is a graduate of the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Young Company Acting and Playwriting training programmes. 

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Robin Ann Rheaume

People of Singapore: The Power of Engagement

Robin is a writer, photographer, programmer and social media consultant. She comes from a risk analytics background having spent 20 years in investment banking. She left the finance industry in 2010 to devote her time to NGO work and projects in the community. She is also the creator of the photo-journalism project, “The People of Singapore”. Originally from Montreal, she has lived in Singapore since 1992.

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Samuel Seow

Understanding Your Rights: Rights and Contracts for Young Authors

Mr. Samuel Seow is the founder and Managing Director of Samuel Seow Law Corporation and is also Foreign Legal Advisor to Seow & Associates, its associated legal practice founded in Malaysia. Samuel’s expertise is in the field of intellectual property law and general commercial and corporate law, and he has extensive experience in dealing with a wide range of transactions, with a special focus on the application of these laws to the entertainment, arts and media industries. He is a much recognised name in these industries. The Asia-Pacific Legal 500 has ranked Samuel as a “significant individual” in the fields of Intellectual Property law and Technology, Media and Telecommunications law.

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Seo Young Lee

Getting Your Work Out There: Panel of Young Writers, Artists & Translators

Seo Young Lee is a South Korean junior who has lived in Korea, Indonesia and England. Initially interested in drawing and painting, Seo Young discovered her passion for reading, editing and appreciating literature through the masterpieces of her favorite authors: Shakespeare, Murakami and Orwell. She hopes to begin writing and sharing poems in the future.  In her free time, she loves watching movies and exploring Spotify.

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Shantel Neo Rui En

Shantel, 19, is a Singapore Polytechnic final year student in the Diploma in Creative Writing for Television and New Media (DTVM). During her time in DTVM, she has taken up roles as a cameraman, soundman and video editor. She was the second cameraman and editor for a documentary film shot in Ipoh, Waiting For Tomorrow. Along with her love for TV and film production, Shantel also enjoys working on interactive media such as transmedia projects and games. As part of her course, Shantel did a six-month internship as a Production Assistant at Beach House Pictures.

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Suzanne Jung

Retelling Stories as They Are Told: News Events of South East Asia

Suzanne Jung formerly co-anchored and produced for Channel NewsAsia’s flagship morning show, “AM LIVE!” She joined Channel NewsAsia in 2002, and presented major international news stories such as the 2003 Jakarta bombings, the Asian Tsunami, among others. Suzanne has received numerous News Excellence awards for her reports over the years. They include her coverage on the IMF/World Bank meeting in 2006 and the 13th ASEAN Summit in 2007. In 2011, she clinched an exclusive and filmed a documentary on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and the world body which was a finalist for Best Documentary at the New York International award as well as at the Asian Television Awards.

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Toiya Kristen Finley

Game Writing: Building Worlds of Stories
Understanding the Gaming Industry: A Writer’s Perspective
Game Writing vs. Narrative Design: A Masterclass on Understanding the Game Content Industry

Toiya serves as an Executive Board Member of the Game Writing Special Interest Group of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). She serves as advocate of the Game Writing SIG’s members with the aim to promote game writing and narrative design within the games industry. She assists SIG members with their initiatives and run programmes for the SIG. She is also a writer/editor for Schnoodle Media, specialising in fiction and non-fiction writing, game writing/narrative design, game design, copyediting, and substantive editing for various media. Toiya has recently published “The Game Narrative Toolbox”, which she co-authored with Ann Lemay, Jennifer Brandes Hepler, and Tobias Heussner.

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Tony Lambino

Keynote – Writing for Progress: Development Journalism in South East Asia

With more than 15 years of experience in international development, media, and the public sector, Tony’s area of professional convergence is the intersection of strategic and political communication, public opinion, and governance reform. As former head of communication at the International Rice Research Institute, he managed a team of 25 communication professionals and provided strategic leadership on the institute’s science and corporate communication efforts. Previously, Tony was governance specialist at the World Bank Institute in Washington, D.C., as core faculty in strategic communication of the Leadership for Development Programme.

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Verena Tay

Words Go Round @ All In!: The City and Beyond Series: Modern Spaces: Writing As Reclamation

Verena Tay is a Singapore-based writer, editor, storyteller and theatre practitioner. She has published a short story collection, Spectre: Stories from Dark to Light (2012), and three play collections: In the Company of Women (2004), In the Company of Heroes (2011) and Victimology (2011). She has also edited nine fiction anthologies, including the popular Balik Kampung series. She holds Masters degrees in English Literature, Voice Studies and Creative Writing, and is currently working on a second collection of short stories and her first novel.

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Vincent Tantra

Getting Your Work Out There: Panel of Young Writers, Artists & Translators

Vincent Tantra is a Chinese-American eleventh grader at Singapore American School who loves to read, edit videos, and compose music in his free time. His short story was published in Parallel Ink’s first issue in 2012, and he became an editor the following year. He now works as a Managing Editor for the magazine, and oversees submission reading by in-Singapore editors. When he isn’t doing schoolwork or extracurriculars, he can be found researching random scientific topics, watching YouTube videos, or imagining intricate fictional universes.

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VJ Yamat

The Business of Writing: Branding You and Your Work

Dr VJ Yamat is managing director for healthcare operations in South East Asia for Havas Worldwide. He was responsible for launching and nurturing Havas Life, the agency’s specialised healthcare practice. Under his leadership, he spearheaded major pitch wins for various healthcare and wellness businesses in Singapore, and other Havas Worldwide offices in the region. Current Havas Life SEA clients include Mundipharma, Reckitt Benckiser, Sanofi, Merial, Mundipharma, Lundbeck, Arla, Eisai, Kalbe, and Medibank, amongst others. A trained medical doctor, VJ formerly headed McCann Health in Manila, Publicis Life Brands in China, Ogilvy Health in Singapore, and Ogilvy Public Relations in Manila.

Moderators

Photo of Ajay Govinda Menon

Ajay Govinda Menon

People of Singapore: The Power of Engagement

Ajay is a natural public speaker and hosting enthusiast who aspires to become a professional speaker. What is immediately noticed is his deep baritone voice. With its warm overtures and refreshing brightness, it adds class to every event. Drawing from about 7 years of experience, he is able to anticipate and assist event organisers in planning their events and programmes to maximise crowd engagement.

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Alisa Maya

Strike the Prose: Fashion, Travel & Special Interest Blogging

Alisa Maya is a writer and a great believer in the power of words. She is an Honours year student at the National University of Singapore, Citizen Reviewer with Centre 42, the former Head of Outreach at Social Enterprise UNSAID and almunus of Burn After Reading Singapore, a local poetry collective. Previously, she was the Creative Desk editor at The Ridge Magazine and a writer at literary journal Wallflowers. Her work has been published in several online and print publications including The Straits Times.

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Clara Fong

Getting Your Work Out There: Panel of Young Writers, Artists & Translators

Clara Fong is an eleventh grader at Singapore American School and the Director of Social Media for the online magazine Parallel Ink. She joined Parallel Ink to become part of the community of young writers and artists who thrive within the online literary magazine scene. One of her goals as Director of Social Media is to create a friendly and supportive online platform for young writers and artists to connect and grow. She loves art and literature, especially drawing and poetry. Outside PI, Clara is an intern for her school’s Communications Department where she works on various social media campaigns and school publications. She hopes to become a lawyer in the future.

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Gamar Binte Abdul Aziz

Redefining Content For Radio and TV: The Challenge of Social Media Integration

Gamar Abdul Aziz is a Senior Lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic teaching writing across media platforms and journalism. She helmed the Diploma in Creative Writing for TV and New Media and managed its curriculum, assessments and industry engagement as well as student and staff development. Before SP, she was a former journalist, correspondent, editor and producer at Channel NewsAsia where she wrote for print, radio, web and TV.  She produced stories for news, current affairs and lifestyle programmes. As a volunteer, Gamar continues to write and edit a community magazine. Together with her colleagues and former students, she has just completed an award-winning documentary about the relationships formed at wet markets in Singapore.

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Geraldine Song

The Story Behind the Song: Writing the Lyrics of the Soul

Geraldine is a lecturer with the English Division, and faculty fellow with the University Scholars Programme at Nanyang Technological University. Her creative interest is playwriting and has had her plays staged yearly since 2011. She is currently writing the script for a musical to raise funds for Rainbow Centre at Margaret Drive. She is also writing her latest play “Singapore Also Got Cardenio!” which will be staged in 2016 as part of Harvard University’s ongoing experiment in cultural mobility.

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Ignatius Tan

YOUTHspeak: The Future of Writing in Singapore – A Paper Presentation

Ignatius is an aspiring young poet whose work has previously been recognised in the National Poetry Festival 2015, where he was a finalist in their poetry writing competition. He has several pieces scheduled for publication in the anthology The Private Lives of Rollercoasters & Bedsheets which was due for release in late 2015, and is looking to publish his own collection of poetry in the coming months, having completed the first draft of his manuscript. An alumnus of Victoria Junior College, Ignatius will be enrolling into the English Course at Nanyang Technological University in August 2016 to further the pursuit of his literary passions. 

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Leong Wee Keat

Retelling Stories as They Are Told: News Events of South East Asia

Leong Wee Keat is a lecturer at Republic Polytechnic’s Diploma in Mass Communication Programme. He was a journalist for nine years at MediaCorp’s Today newspaper, where he covered two General Elections and a Presidential Election. At Republic Polytechnic, Wee Keat supervises young budding journalists in the Media Lab, which produces the campus newspaper, The Republican Post.

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Peter Draw

Understanding Your Rights: Rights and Contracts for Young Authors
Flash Fiction, Short Stories and More: Completeness in Brevity

As an artist, Peter has traveled around the world, drawing to protect children who cannot protect themselves. He’s gained four Guinness World Records from 2007 to 2014, including making the world’s largest caricature drawing. He was an awardee of the JCI Outstanding Young Persons of Singapore for contributions to Children, World Peace and Human Rights in 2008, and is a part of the school advisory board for Ang Moh Kio Primary School. 

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Raymond Tan

The Thrills and Frills of Review Writing

Raymond pursued Theatre Studies at the National University of Singapore. While he likes the intimacy and live interaction the stage offers, it is cinema that stole his heart at a young age. He has been lucky to be able to marry his love for the moving image with his passion for the written word at F*** Movie Magazine, where he regularly contributes film and game reviews, and he has also written for Asian short film portal Viddsee and local film blog SINdie. Besides penning musings on film, he has also written about food and travel for several local and overseas publications, most recently for the gourmet lifestyle magazine Epicure.

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S Mickey Lin

The Business of Writing: Branding You and Your Work

A conversationalist, writer, aspiring polymath and polyglot, Mickey graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Founder Institute. He has lived in various parts of Asia, including Bangkok, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei. Now, he travels back and forth between Los Angeles and Singapore. He is interested in design, film, games, infographics, international relations, photography, sequential art, traveling, writing, and even better conversations.

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Tan Jun Ya

Keynote – Writing for Progress: Development Journalism in South East Asia

Tan Jun Ya is President of AIESEC Singapore, the local chapter of the world's largest youth-led not-for-profit organisation which provides over 400 leadership experiences for youths. Her responsibilities include strategy development for 4 local offices with over 200 members in areas such as recruitment and youth development; managing national executive team to achieve organisational goals and vision management. She aims to represent the youths of Singapore as part of AIESEC to connect with the local community for greater cross-sector collaboration.