Emerging Writers Program


Would you like to help an aspiring young Indonesian to tell their story to the world?

We are inviting supporters of literature and the arts to assist with the delivery of our Emerging Writers Anthology Series, a core part of the not-for-profit Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati’s mission to shine a spotlight on Indonesian voices.

About the program

Each year, we put a call out across the archipelago to emerging writers: send us your stories. After receiving hundreds of submissions, an independent curatorial board is tasked with selecting 15 aspiring novelists, poets and playwrights from across Indonesia’s bustling cities and remote islands. We have heard many stories of the efforts of young writers to send us their manuscripts, including crossing a crocodile-infested river to reach the local post office – a process that took an entire day.

Once selected, the emerging writers are then supported by the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati to fly to Bali – for many, it’s the first time they have left their village or home town – and launch the annual Anthology in front of Indonesian and international audiences at the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

A bilingual publication, the Anthology also represents a huge opportunity for emerging writers to have their work translated into English, opening the door to international opportunities for the first time. In an ongoing partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival, one of these writers is further selected to present at this dynamic showcase of Australia’s rising stars, and flown to Melbourne to take part in the program. Receiving over 900 submissions in 2017, the Emerging Writers Anthology Series has grown to become one of Indonesia’s most wide-reaching literary achievements, representing work from Aceh, Medan, Makassar, Palembang, Padang, Lampung, West Timor, Papua, Bali and Java.

How to get involved

In order to sustain our community-building philosophy, we’re inviting you to help us deliver this important program. Your contribution will assist with the translation and publication of the annual Anthology, as well as airfares, accommodation and honorarium for an emerging writer over the course of the Festival.

More importantly, it will create a life-changing opportunity for these young people to share, connect and be inspired at what has been named among the world’s top literary events. By supporting the Emerging Writers Patron Program, Indonesia’s brave, new voices, from all corners of the archipelago will continue to be heard; voices of young women, the marginalized and the poor. And right now in Indonesia, this is more important than ever before.

Our vision is to create meaningful and lasting connections that cross cultures and dissolve boundaries, paving the way for future collaborations and exciting opportunities through the universal language of literature.

Please refer to our Emerging Writers Patron Program information sheet for more details about how to get involved, how your donation will be used to support aspiring Indonesian writers, and how your contributions will be recognized.