Creating China: Creative Writing Across Genres
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16:30 to 17:30

Join four writers who use China as the creative inspiration for their writing process and explore how they teleport readers through their re-imagining of the country, its culture and people. The panel will welcome:


Novelist Susan Barker

Poet Jennifer Wong

Playwright Amy Ng

Short story writer Yeo Wei Wei

Moderated by Poet Mary Jean Chan

Learn more about our panellists here:

Susan Barker is the author of three novels. Her most recent novel, The Incarnations (published in 2014), is about a taxi driver in contemporary Beijing and interwoven with stories from other historical eras. The Incarnations was a New York Times Notable Book, a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winner, was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize and was a Waterstones Book Club pick. While writing The Incarnations she spent several years living in China, researching the book.

Born and raised in HK, Jennifer Wong is the author of two collections of poetry including Goldfish (Chameleon Press), a narrative of childhood memories, myths and superstitious beliefs. She received the Young Artist award (literary arts) from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2014. Her work has appeared in The Rialto, Oxford Poetry, Poetry Review, Stand,  Asian Cha and others. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia and is completing her poetry PhD in Oxford Brookes University, where she teaches creative writing as Associate Lecturer.

Playwright and historian Amy Ng was born in Australia, grew up in Hong Kong, and was educated at Yale University and at Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.  Amy is an alumna of the Royal Court Theatre’s Critical Mass writers’ programme and the BBC Writersroom, and has just been included on the BBC 2017 New Talent Hot List. Her short plays have been performed at the Soho Theatre, St. James Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Richmix. Her recent work is ‘Shangri-La’, a satire on western travellers seeking thrills, authenticity and enlightenment in Tibet, was developed at the Tricycle Theatre, and premiered at the Finborough Theatre in 2016. Amy has research interests in multinational empires, imperial decline, and nationality conflict, and is the author of ‘Nationalism and Political Liberty’ (Oxford University Press)

Yeo Wei Wei’s was born in Singapore where she grew up. She studied English and Related Literature at University of York and went on to complete a PhD at University of Cambridge. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with articulating cross-cultural identity through writing, translation and painting. Wei Wei’s debut collection of short stories These Foolish Things & Other Stories was published in 2015. Other publications include short stories, essays on poetry, cultural theory, art, and translations of contemporary Chinese writing. She was the 2015 writer-in-residence at Nanyang Technological University. She is currently writing her first novel and pursuing a Creative Writing MA at University of East Anglia on a National Arts Council Postgraduate Arts Scholarship.


Mary Jean Chan was placed Third in the 2016 Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry, and has been shortlisted for the 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize, the 2016 Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition, and the 2016 Resurgence Eco-Poetry Prize. Mary Jean won the 2016 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition in the ESL category for her poem “Wet Nurse”. Her work has been published in The Poetry ReviewBare Fiction MagazineThe London Magazine, Ambit Magazine, The Rialto, and elsewhere. As a co-editor of Oxford Poetry, Mary Jean is pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her poem “Chopsticks” was nominated by Ambit Magazine for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

The event is part of China in Context.