The David TK Wong Fellowship is a unique and generous annual award - £25,000 to enable a fiction writer who wants to write in English about the Far East to spend a year in the UK, at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.Yes, I did a double take when I spotted this information posted up on the British Council's Animating Literature website. Did our friend, already there and bravely self-financed know about this? Did Tash?
The Fellowship is named for its sponsor Mr. David Wong, a retired Hong Kong businessman, who has also been a teacher, journalist and senior civil servant, and is a writer of short stories himself.
The shortlisted entries will be judged by a distinguished international panel, and since there will be no interviews, candidates will be judged entirely on the quality and promise of their writing, and the project they describe. There is no age limit, and no means test of any kind.
The 2004 fellow was Thai/American writer Rattawut Lapcharoensap who's doing pretty well for himself.
Well, now I've told you just go for it! And if you're thinking to yourself, I don't need to learn to be a better writer, I say the course is not so much about learning to write as about making the right contacts and getting your foot in the door.
As if that news is not enough, here's something else that should interest you.
THE DAVID T K WONG PRIZE FOR SHORT FICTIONFurther details (and how can you resist this?) here.
International PEN is delighted to announce a new prize to promote literary excellence in the form of the short story and to further the awareness of and support for the ideals of PEN worldwide. Unpublished stories, written in English, are welcome from writers world-wide but stories must incorporate one or more of International PEN's ideals as set out in its Charter. Since the prize also hopes to help raise funds for individual centres, entries should not be sent direct to International PEN but should be submitted via the entrant's local PEN Centre.
The first prize is £7,500.