Friday, July 25, 2008

QUILL The Ubud 2008 Issue

I AM AT THE MOMENT editing and putting the final touches to the Ubud issue of Quill magazine, a special 52-page issue of the quarterly for the 2008 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival on October 14-19, 2008, in Bali, Indonesia. There are interviews, features, essays and a short story by Linda Christanty, an Indonesian journalist who also dabbles in short stories. I’m afraid there just aren’t enough pages to put in all that I want to put in.

There are interesting interviews with Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger: longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize for Fiction), Camilla Gibb (Sweetness in the Belly: 2006 Trillium Book Award), Janet De Neefe (Fragrant Rice); Preeta Samarasan (Evening Is the Whole Day: winner of the Hopwood First Novel Award), Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy: 1994 Commonwealth Writers Prize), Deepika Shetty, Chiew-Siah Tei (Little Hut of Leaping Fishes: longlisted for the 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize), Alexis Wright (Carpentaria: 2007 Miles Franklin Literary Award), and more. There are essays by Matthew Condon (The Trout Opera: shortlisted for the 2008 Christina Stead Prize for Fiction), Tishani Doshi (Countries of the Body: 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection), Camilla Gibb, Jamie James (The Snake Charmer: A Life and Death in Pursuit of Knowledge), Dyah Merta, Preeta Samarasan and Lijia Zhang (“Socialism Is Great!”: A Worker’s Memoir of the New China).

Lots of features, too. Zafar Anjum explores the highways and byways of the Indian publishing world, while Janet Tay looks at what it is like when editors become authors? Do they find difficulty in adjusting when the shoe is on the other foot? She explores the pros and cons of editors-turned-authors being familiar with the publishing industry before publishing their first books with three publishing heavyweights: David Davidar (Penguin Canada), Marie Arana (The Washington Post) and Erica Wagner (The Times). Another highlight is Sharon Bakar’s interview with Preeta Samarasan, the latest Malaysian writer to make it in the international publishing world with her début novel, Evening Is the Whole Day, which has been hailed as “a magical, exuberant tragic-comic vision of postcolonial Malaysia reminiscent of Rushdie and Roy.” I also managed to ask a few writers appearing at the 2008 festival (Matthew Condon, Tishani Doshi, Jamie James, Moni Mohsin and Lijia Zhang) what they read when they are not writing. You will be amazed by their revelations.

This special issue of Quill magazine will only be distributed at the 2008 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

Acknowledgments: Thank you to all authors for their gracious contributions. Thank you to Janet De Neefe, Kadek Krishna Adidharma and Andy Ewing of the 2008 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival for their help in putting the issue together
Photographs from top to bottom: Tishani Doshi, Alexis Wright, Matthew Condon, Preeta Samarasan, Camilla Gibb, Janet De Neefe and Lijia Zhang
Editorial: Eric Forbes, Janet Tay and Tan May Lee
Appreciation: Zafar Anjum, Sharon Bakar and Deepika Shetty


Blogger Lydia Teh said...

That's interesting. Eric, how about organising a blog contest where the Ubud Quill will be up for grabs?

Thursday, July 24, 2008 2:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All,
This is a good writeup..
I'm having a presentation on 'Indian English Authors and their contributions' as one of my goals. I found some interesting information at It is called the IndiaPlaza Golden Quill Award and it is to recognize and encourage Indian writing. It actually gave me an idea about the number of writers and their amazing work. If you have some information that could help me especially on Indian english authors please let me know....

Friday, July 25, 2008 5:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats great... very interesting

Friday, July 25, 2008 5:12:00 AM  
Blogger Read@Peace said...

Hi Eric
Can't wait to see this.
I feel I haven't done enough for the special issue but appreciate the appreciation.

Thursday, August 07, 2008 7:30:00 AM  
Blogger Reem said...

I read Camilla Gibb's book sweetness in the belly and it really touched me. She really captured the essence of ethiopian life and the Sudanese struggle.

Monday, August 18, 2008 3:37:00 PM  

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