Sunday 6 December 2015

The Sunday Post

A rojak* of items that caught my eye this week…

The Writer's Bootcamp 
Melanie Ho, the outgoing chair of the Hong Kong Writer’s Circle, and Peter Gordon, editor of the Asian Review of Books, will from January offer the Writer’s Bootcamp, a series of intensive writing classes to be held in Hong Kong, for the moment. Melanie says classes will “focus on commentary and analysis with the intention of writing real work that could be published. We have some publication partners on board and, for later levels of the courses we'll be introducing mentoring with some great journalists and non-fiction writers.”
Ahead of the January launch, Melanie and Peter will twice offer, free of charge, the class Words & meaning: The history of English and its effect on vocabulary. The class will be offered on December 10 and 15. Places are limited, but if you’re in Hong Kong, you can register by clicking here.

Coming Soon: What's Taboo Today?
Index on Censorship is a UK-based organisation promoting free speech. The winter issue of their print magazine, exploring taboos in all their guises, will be available from 15 December. It includes pieces from writers from across the globe: Jemimah Steinfeld investigates China’s crackdown on cleavage, Shazia Mirza and David Baddiel look at tackling tricky subjects in comedy, and Alastair Campbell explains why we shouldn't shy away from discussing mental health. Plus, cartoonists including Osama Eid Hajjaj and Martin Rowson illustrate a range of taboos, from domestic violence to nudity and death. Order a copy here.

Quick Notice 
While We’re Here: China Stories from a Writers’ Colony edited by Alec Ash and Tom Pellmen

About the book: Editors Alec Ash and Tom Pellman have gathered together the best posts from three years of their online writers’ colony the Anthill, which has been a hub for quality narrative writing about China since 2012. The colony, and the collection, have a simple premise: that anyone who lives in China has a story to tell. While We’re Here is an anthology of 33 contributions. It includes a mix of narrative non-fiction, fiction and poetry, by turns funny, touching and bizarre, offering glimpses into a land both transforming itself every day, and providing the writer with material on every corner. From a village in Sichuan during the 2008 earthquake to an unexpected friendship with the author’s landlady in Daqing, in the freezing north, While We’re Here brings together a range of voices and experiences – including foreigners with a quarter century in Chinese jazz, manufacturing and film acting under their belts, and ethnic Chinese who grew up overseas exploring their family roots. Tying it all together is an exploration of how outsiders engage with China, whether they’re passing through or have come to think of it as home.

About the Editors: Alec Ash is a writer and journalist in Beijing. He is a regular blogger for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and a contributing author to the book of reportage Chinese Characters. His first solely-authored book, Wish Lanterns, about China’s young, is forthcoming from Picador in 2016.  Tom Pellman lives in Beijing and has been fiction editor of the Anthill since 2013. He is currently working on a novel set in the capital.

Details: While We’re Here is published in paperback and eBook by Earnshaw Books, priced in local currencies.

Twitter Spot
Each week I make a suggestion of an interesting Twitter account you may like to follow.  This week, a trio following on from the Quick Notice: @alecash, from Alec Ash, @tpellman, from Tom Pellman, and @colonytweets, the account for the Anthill.  

*A rojak is a Singaporean salad. Like Asian Books Blog on Facebook, or follow it on Twitter.