Co-hosted by the Sun Yat-sen University Center for English-language Creative Writing and RMIT University’s non/fictionLab, the 3rd Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange Program (WrICE) took place in China from April 4 to April 13, 2016. Twelve distinguished writers from Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and China met in Yangshuo to partake in a writers’ collaborative residency. This was followed by outreach programs consisting of writing workshops and a literary panel in Guangzhou.
On the evening of April 13, a Readings and Panel Discussion was held. It featured the readings by three distinguished writers, panel discussion, student anthologies launch as well as a children’s performance. It was attended by students, faculty of SYSU and many members of the community at large. The event is co-organized by Center for Australian Studies, Sun Yat-sen University.
Francesca Rendle-short, Alice Pung, Lawrence Ypil, Dai Fan (from left to right)
In the Reading session, Alice Pung, an acclaimed Australian writer who writes across genres, read a short story about her emotional change during her pregnancy. Lawrence Ypil, a poet and essayist from Philippines, read three poems that dealt with his parents, his garden and the rain. Dai Fan, professor of linguistics in SYSU and a Chinese writer, read two sections of her story, one was about her good friend when she was young, and the other was about her uncle.
Immediately following the reading, Francesca Rendle-Short, co-director of WrICE and an Associate Professor at RMIT University, invited the three writers to a literary discussion, which involved the effect of places, culture differences and similarities on their own work. After the discussion, they also answered some thoughtful questions from the audience.
Launching the student anthologies
Professor Dai Fan then took the stage and launched the student anthologies. The two books, entitled Sea of Honey and The Fish are Fine, were co-edited by students from RMIT University and SYSU. Francesca Rendle-Short participated in distribution of the new books to the students present.
The evening concluded with a performance by children from Big Tree Character, a local education institution of children’s character education. The performers staged a short play called You raise me up.
The WrICE China residency will be followed by a workshop and public events in Melbourne in August as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival. Dai Fan, Head of English Department at SYSU and Director of the Sun Yat-sen University Center for English-language Creative Writing, is one of the invited writers of 2016 WrICE.