2024 Emerging Writers Program Finalists Announced!

We are thrilled, along with Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati, to announce the ten talented Indonesian writers who have been selected for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2024 Emerging Writers program.

Held annually since 2008, this program has been a beacon for discovering young Indonesian literary talents and, as the foundation aimed, introducing them to the international scene. This year, we welcomed submissions of short stories from Indonesian writers that uniquely capture the essence of localities and embody local wisdom.

From the farthest west Aceh to the easternmost Papua, we received a total of 449 entries from all across the country. Both the pre-curation and curation process were done anonymously, with the three curators selecting the finalists solely based on the works submitted. “Without knowing the names, domiciles, and so on, I’m very happy with the results. It is not only gender-balanced but also geographically well-distributed”, said Indonesian fiction writer and curatorial board member Dee Lestari.

In terms of quality, the ten selected writers have successfully captivated the attention of the curatorial board with their works. Indonesian novelist Faisal Oddang, who is also an alumni of the program, said, "The selected writers are the ones who artfully blend their storytelling techniques, their language prowess, and their ideas—which are the backbone of the story”.

“They have extraordinary abilities not only in building interesting and compelling storylines but also in exploring the power of language. I think their stories will continue to haunt you even after you finish reading them,” added Indonesian author and third curatorial board member, Putu Juli Sastrawan.

The 10 selected emerging writers are:

Ade Mulyono, Tegal, Central Java

Ade Mulyono, originally from Tegal, Central Java, penned numerous essays and prose pieces that found their way into various media outlets including Kompas, Media Indonesia, Basis Magazine, and others. His book Namaku Bunga was published in 2022 by Lakara Lima, while Jingga was published in the same year by Intrans Publishing. Ade completed his education at Universitas Pamulang, majoring in Indonesian Language and Literature.

Adibah L. Najmy, Gowa, South Sulawesi

Adibah L. Najmy, born in Gowa, South Sulawesi, has contributed numerous articles, essays, and opinions to various print and online media outlets. She also writes short stories and novels, her published works include Ketika Bintang Menyapa Mimpi (2012), Berkiblatku di Wajahmu (2013), dan Skenario Semesta (2015). Throughout her career, Adibah has garnered several accolades, such as the Taruna Sastra Award bestowed by Badan Bahasa in 2015 and recognition as a Selected Writer by Majelis Sastera Asia Tenggara (Mastera) in 2016.

Arif Kurniawan, Rejang Lebong, Bengkulu

Arif Kurniawan is a writer from Curup, Bengkulu. He grew fond of literature after reading the works of Danarto, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Ray Bradbury, and Jorge Luis Borges. He also draws inspiration from the cinematic masterpieces of Andrei Tarkovsky and Federico Fellini. Apart from writing, Arif is actively involved in Majelis Perenungan Tunggal.

Arif P. Putra, Padang, West Sumatra

Arif P. Putra, born in Koto Baru Surantih, West Sumatra, has had his works featured in various media outlets such as Suara Merdeka, Haluan, Solopos, Rakyat Sultra, Minggu Pagi, Tempo, Kompas, Bacapetra, among others. In 2018, his book Suara Limbubu was published by Penerbit JBS. His writings often center around the theme of local wisdom and traditional community. Currently, Arif is actively involved in Komunitas Serikat Budaya Marewai, a community dedicated to preserving and promoting Minangkabau culture.

Cicilia Oday, Kotamobagu, North Sulawesi

Cicilia Oday, born in Kotamobagu, North Sulawesi, has had her short stories featured in various newspapers and magazines. Her novel Keluarga Lego was published by Kakatua in 2021, while her short story collection Kucing Setan yang Merasakan Cinta was published by Pustaka Merahitam in 2022. Her writing also appeared in the anthology Dari Timur, which was curated by the Makassar International Writers Festival (MIWF) team. Cicilia completed her studies at Unika De La Salle Manado's Faculty of Law and is now a mother of two.

Goebahan R., Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands

Goebahan R. was born in Julok Rayeuk, Aceh, and grew up in Medan, North Sumatra. She currently resides in Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands. Her novella Rumah yang Sama, Pulang yang Beda was included in Sepotong Kisah Di Balik 98: Cerita Pilihan Okky Madasari, an anthology curated by an Indonesian renowned writer, Okky Madasari, which was published in 2024 by Falcon Publishing.

Kurnia Gusti Sawiji, Tangerang, Banten

Kurnia Gusti Sawiji, hailing from Bojong Nangka, Tangerang, Banten, describes himself as a writer, teacher and perpetual learner. He spends his time writing novels, short stories, formulas, teaching modules, exam questions, and many other things. Some of his essays and short stories have found their way into both print and online platforms such as Mojok, Suara Merdeka, and Kompas. His novel Tanah Seberang was published by Buku Mojok in 2018, and his short stories collection Dongeng Pengantar Kiamat was published by Unsa Press in 2022. Currently, he is an active member of a literary community called Prosatujuh.

Mega Anindyawati, Sidoarjo, East Java

Mega Anindyawati is a writer from Sidoarjo, East Java. Her writings have been featured in Jawa Pos, Kompas.com, Radar Mojokerto, Harian Bhirawa, and others. Some of her books that have been published include Sabar Menanti Buah Hati (2019), Sepotong Kenangan dan Senja yang Memakannya (2021), Unconditional Marriage (2022), Manusia Setengah Udang Memakannya (2022), Miracles of Love (2022), and Cepet Ndhelik! (2023). Currently, Mega is an active member of Forum Lingkar Pena (FLP) Sidoarjo.

Miranda Seftiana, Kandangan, South Kalimantan

Miranda Seftiana was born in Hulu Sungai Selatan, South Kalimantan. She worked with producer Avesina Soebli on the novel Jendela Seribu Sungai, which was published in 2018 and later adapted into a film in 2023. Her other novel titled Lalu Tenggelam di Ujung Matamu was selected in a competition and published in 2019, while her short stories have been featured in Kompas' Short Story Collections in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Miranda holds a degree in psychology from Universitas Lambung Mangkurat.

Nanda Winar Sagita, Takengon, Aceh

Nanda Winar Sagita is a writer from Takengon, Central Aceh, Aceh. He is predominantly known for his short stories and essays, which have been published in various well-known media such as Tempo, Jawa Pos, Mojok, Tirto, and others. Apart from writing, Nanda works as a history teacher at a local state school in Takengon. He is also the editor of the translation of "Master & Margarita" by Mikail Bulgakov, published by Mizan in 2023.

The Festival would like to extend congratulations to all the finalists writers for this year’s Program on a commendable achievement. We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to this year’s curatorial board, Dee Lestari, Faisal Oddang, and Putu Juli Sastrawan, who have meticulously handpicked the ten finalists.


We are also seeking support for these emerging literary talents and helping them shape incredible careers as published authors through our community-building Emerging Writers Patron Program. Your donation provides funding for the translation and publication of the Anthology, as well as airfares, accommodation, and honorarium for each of ten finalists. Each gift will also enable their participation in the 2024 Festival.

“Our Patron Program helps us to provide a life-changing opportunity for each chosen talent to learn, connect, and be inspired through our program, and we greatly appreciate anyone who joins us in this and helps us create a better future for the voices of tomorrow,” added Janet DeNeefe.

Join us in championing these aspiring voices at ubudwritersfestival.com/support

Become a member of our Emerging Writers Patron Program and support these aspiring young Indonesians in telling their stories to the world.
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