WELCOME TO HELL.
That is, if your idea of hellfire and brimstone is people commenting on your manuscript. Writers just starting out often crave feedback, but lack access to a diverse selection of credible sources. Workshops are great for soliciting thoughts on individual pieces, but it's often difficult to oblige someone (and the correct someone at that) to read your entire manuscript.
Six writers were chosen to undergo the first manuscript bootcamp in March 2015: Amanda Chong, Daryl Lim, David Wong, Jennifer Anne Champion, Samuel Lee and Tse Hao Guang.
Over the course of three days, they underwent intensive bombardment by a battery of professionals from a variety of fields: (1) academics from three tertiary institutions specialising in local literature (NIE, NTU, NUS); (2) two founders of Singapore's foremost literary publishers (Ethos Books and Math Paper Press); (3) three pioneering editors of local online journals (Softblow, QLRS, The Literary Centre) and print anthologies; (4) six experienced practitioners of the craft. All of these literary stakeholders had pored through the six manuscripts for a month, with funding support from the National Arts Council.
The sessions were planned and facilitated by local writers Ann Ang, Pooja Nansi, Teh Su Ching and Joshua Ip, and administratively supported by a helpful team of interns.
With their manuscripts forged in the crucible of hellfire, the writers retired after the three days with renewed insight and direction. After an additional six months of revision, the first two launched their collections at Singapore Writers' Festival 2015 - David Wong's For The End Comes Reaching, and Tse Hao Guang's Deeds of Light.
The remaining four writers will launch their own volumes over the course of the next year.
Manuscript Bootcamp will open again for submissions in late 2016, and will continue to operate once every 18 months. If you wish to venture through the gates of Hell, continue to watch this page for updates.