Creative Writing Competition 2012


UPDATE: The official  submission deadline for the CWC is over. Those who have sent in the soft copy of their work(s) should ensure that the hard copy is sent to the NUS Literary Society’s mail-box by 5th December 2012.

Dear friends,

Submissions for the Creative Writing Competition are now open.

This year, there are three categories for submissions – poetry, prose and plays. We are pleased to announce that the judges for the three categories are Edwin Thumboo, Jason Erik Lundberg, and Tan Tarn How respectively.

Professor Edwin Thumboo is a poet with many awards to his name, including the Cultural Medallion (1979) and S.E.A Write Award (1979). He is widely considered to be a pioneer of English Literature in Singapore who has contributed much as a poet and academic.

Jason Erik Lundberg is a Singapore-based author who is a man of many talents: he has written numerous books and short stories, founded LONTAR, a quarterly literary journal and together with his wife, runs a critically-acclaimed press, Two Cranes Press.

Tan Tarn How is an award-winning playwright whose plays have been staged in Singapore and Hong Kong. His most recent play to have been staged is Fear of Writing in 2011. He is also involved in policy research as a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Policy Studies (Singapore).

Do read the submission guidelines thoroughly when submitting your work(s). The document can be downloaded here :

25 thoughts on “Creative Writing Competition 2012

  1. Hi,

    It says in the guidelines that ‘Winners of past Creative Writing Competitions organized by the NUS Literary Society should not participate in this competition’. Is this a new rule? What is the reason behind it? How is ‘winners’ defined, ie 1st/2nd/3rd prize winners, or does it include honorable mentions as well?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks for asking!

      Yes, it is a new rule that was put in place this year. The rationale for implementing this rule is to avoid a scenario in which individuals whose talents have already been established in previous CWCs dominate the top positions and deny fresh talent their chance in the spotlight.

      We define ‘winners’ as those whose works have won first, second or third place in previous CWCs. Those who have received Honorable Mentions before are highly encouraged to try again and outdo their previous achievements.

  2. if i didn’t win last yr can I try again this yr? Because others might have improved while I am still stomping on the same ground even though I like got like third a few yrs back? Should encourage us to submit right? =D

    1. Hello, Ludwig.

      I’m afraid that if you’ve received a top 3 position in any of the previous years’ CWC, you will be ineligible for participation for this year’s competition.

      We are aware that this rule may seem unnecessarily harsh to some, but our intentions are sincere. For this year at least, the exco hopes to break what we perceive as an unhealthy trend of having repeat winners in the CWC. We seek everyone’s understanding on this issue.

      However, you do make a fair point, Ludwig, and this particular rule may or may not continue to be implemented for future iterations of the CWC depending on the subsequent excos. I strongly urge you to check back again next year.

      Thank you for your continued interest in the CWC.

      1. Hi thx for your reply, frankly speaking unless I get “retained” this year, I wouldn’t be eligible next year either, unless the subsequent exco opens it to graduated students of tertiary institute lol.

        Oh well all the best for your final exam then! Mug hard!

    1. Hello, Quek.

      Here’s the relevant ruling with regards to your query:
      1. The competition is open to current pre-university students (e.g. of junior colleges, polytechnics, centralised institutions, Year 5 and 6 of Integrated Programme courses), tertiary institutions, and those serving NS.

      It doesn’t specify if those studying in the tertiary institutions should be undergraduates or otherwise. However, we do have a certain target age-group in mind for the competition. May we request that you indicate your age and writing experience to and we’ll see if you’re eligible for the competition? Our apologies for the inconvenience.

      Thank you for your interest in the competition!

    1. Hello, Cris.

      Yes, you may submit that piece for the CWC as our rules don’t preclude works that aren’t currently being considered for publication or other competitions.

  3. Hi, can i enquire if we can submit in more than one categories? Also, is there a restriction in terms of themes or the amount of entries one can submit?

    Most importantly, I can seem to open the document submission guideline so I’ve no idea how to submit it. Help?

    1. Hello Al Hafiz!

      First of all, yes you can submit in more than 1 category! And there is no restriction in theme, but you can only submit a maximum of 5 entries, regardless of category.

      Also, oh dear, you can’t open the document submission guidelines? Would you like us to send it to you by email?

  4. Hi! May I ask how do I submit my entries? Are there alternative ways since I can’t open the document submission link?

    1. dun mind if I make a suggestion. If you are from NUS or any school then just go to the library and use the library computer to open the link =). Have your softcopy ready, then fill up the document and attach it together with the email and send to lit society. For hardcopy print it out from the library or covert it to pdf so u can open it using ur mac. Then print them out in ur hse.

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