Emerging Writers Program

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 and the Emerging Writers Patrons 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.

Applications for the 2018 Emerging Writers Program are now closed. The winners of this year’s Program will be announced in late June

Emerging Writers 2017

Selected from over 900 submissions, the work of the 2017 UWRF Emerging Writers is a rich insight into Indonesian language, culture, history and mythology. With many of the submissions relating to the writer’s locality, it is a rare window into some of the archipelago’s little-known regions, such as Maluku and East Nusa Tenggara.

We are proud to present the 2017 Emerging Writers:

  • Abdul Azis Rasjid (Banyumas, Central Java)
  • Ade Ubaidil (Cilegon, Banten)
  • Nabil Wibisana (Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara)
  • Aksan Taqwin Embe (Tangerang, Banten)
  • Bayu Pratama (Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara)
  • Erich Langobelen (Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara)
  • Ibe S. Palogai (Makassar, Sulawesi)
  • Mohammad Isa Gautama (Padang, Sumatra)
  • Morika Tetelapta (Ambon, Maluku)
  • Subhan (Padang, Sumatra)
  • Na’imatur Rofiqoh (Ponorogo, East Java)
  • Rahmat Hidayat Mustamin (Makassar, Sulawesi)
  • Rizki Amir (Sidoarjo, East Java)
  • Taufiqurrahman (Yogyakarta, Central Java)
  • Seruni Unie (Surakarta, Central Java)

Read more about the 2017 Emerging Writers here.

emerging writers patrons

The Festival’s Emerging Writers program is only possible with the generous support of our Emerging Writers Patrons. These individuals and businesses 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, their support 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.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to this year’s Emerging Writers Patrons:

  • Baden Offord
  • Balai Bahasa & Budaya Indonesia Victoria – Tasmania (BBBIVT)
  • Charmaine Power
  • Colin Singer
  • Future Leaders
  • Karen Dwarte
  • Kellie-Jane Pritchard & Paul Harris
  • Maguerite Hall
  • Pena Atanasoff
  • Peter Johnson
  • Robert Karoly
  • Thor and Yiyik Kerr
  • Wayan Juniarta

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.