Opencall
Call for Proposals
 

The Second Link:

A Malaysia-Singapore Literary Anthology

 
Editors: Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Hamid Roslan (Singapore), 
Melizarani T. Selva and William Tham Wai Liang (Malaysia)

2023 will mark the 60th year of the formation of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, comprising Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. While 1963 has profound national significance for Malaysians, 1965 might be the more memorable year for Singaporeans: of separation and subsequent independence. Yet for two fateful years, the two countries had shared destinies, echoed in the kinship, affinity and tensions felt today.

Our vision for this anthology is one that will bring together writers to reflect critically and creatively on our intertwined pasts and futures, and serve as a landmark showcase of creative writing from Malaysia and Singapore.1 We invite writers to reflect on the anniversary through three frames – the past, present and the future – by submitting proposals engaging directly or elliptically with each.

  • The past: to reimagine and recapture that sense of possibility and promise when Malaysia was formed, and to draw on that spirit as a source of inspiration. In the words of the song Happy and Free: 2

There once used to be
People without unity
There once used to be
A land longing to be free

There is now a land
United in one strong band
That is Malaysia
Our only native land

Happy and free
In a bigger family
Equal and free
With merger and Malaysia

  • The present: much water – let’s not talk about where it’s from – has passed under the bridge since 1963. The texture and nature of our relationship is a complicated and variegated one, with recognition and affinity marked by a distinct sense of difference. Perhaps it is the relationship of ex-lovers … or half-siblings. How does such difference speak to our deep commonalities?
  • The future: what lies ahead? Is greater integration a possibility? (and what about the rest of the region)? Or will our social and political differences persist?

We would like to invite interested writers to submit proposals to contribute to the anthology. If accepted, completed pieces will be due by the end of November 2022, and the editors will work closely with contributors to shape the pieces. All  published writers will receive an honorarium of SGD $50 and a complimentary copy of the anthology.


Guidelines for Proposal Submissions

We are not looking for straightforward socio political and geopolitical analyses, political manifestos, historical research or the like. The works can include these elements but should ultimately aim to be literary in tone. We are keen to include memoirs, alternative histories, speculative fiction, collage work or creative explorations of heritage, culture and linguistics.

Authors are invited to submit their proposals by email to connect@sg.marshallcavendish.com by 15 June 2022 with the subject title “The Second Link - <Genre>”.

Proposals are to be typed and page-numbered, and accompanied with a sheet containing the following information:

  • Date and title of proposal
  • Genre
  • Author’s name and contact details; websites, blogs, and social media links, if any
  • Author bio, listing publication history, writing awards, relevant qualifications and experience

For poetry, submit (1) a summary of the proposed work not exceeding 150 words and (2) a writing sample not exceeding 20 lines (from the proposed work OR from another relevant work).

For fiction and non-fiction, submit (1) a summary of the proposed work not exceeding 150 words (2) and a writing sample not exceeding 300 words (from the proposed work OR from another relevant work).

For hybrid/cross-genre work, submit a (1) 150-word proposal and (2) a two-page sample (from the proposed work OR from another relevant work).

For works not originally in English, translations are very welcome.

There are no nationality or citizenship requirements for contributors, but contributors should have a meaningful connection to Singapore or Malaysia, which will inform their proposal/ contribution.


Tentative timeline

  • Selection of proposals (by 15 Jul 2022)
  • Discussions with the editors (by 15 August 2022)
  • Submission of the final draft to the editors (end of November 2022)
  • Publication (16 September 2023)

About the editors

Daryl Lim Wei Jie is a poet, editor, translator and literary critic from Singapore. His first book of poetry is A Book of Changes (2016). He is the co-editor of Food Republic: A Singapore Literary Banquet (2020), the first definitive anthology of literary food writing from Singapore. He also edited the revised edition of The Hidden Papyrus of Hen-taui (2019), by the pioneering Malaysian poet Wong Phui Nam. His latest collection of poetry is Anything but Human (2021). His poems won him the Golden Point Award in English Poetry in 2015, awarded by the National Arts Council, Singapore.

Hamid Roslan is the author of parsetreeforestfire (Ethos Books, 2019). His other work can be found in the Asian American Writers Workshop, Asymptote, minarets, the Practice Research & Tangential Activities (PR&TA) Journal, The Volta, Of Zoos, and the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, among others.

Melizarani T. Selva is a Malaysian writer, editor and spoken word poet, with notable performances at ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival and TEDxGateway. Her first book, Taboo, is a poetic exploration of her Masters’ thesis on the constructs and representations of the Malaysian Indian Identity. Her poems have been translated into French and Bahasa Malaysia. She co-founded If Walls Could Talk: Poetry Open Mic, the Malaysia National Poetry Slam and has co-published an anthology of 100 poems by 61 poets from Malaysia titled When I Say Spoken, You Say Word!.

William Tham Wai Liang is currently an editor-at-large for Wasifiri. His novel on the legacy of the Malayan Emergency, The Last Days, was published by Clarity in 2020. He is also the editor of Paper & Text, a collection of essays reflecting on Malaysian literature and the book trade.

 

 

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Footnotes

 

  1. This follows in the tradition of curated showcases of writing from Malaysia and Singapore, such as The Second Tongue (1976), The Merlion and the Hibiscus (2002) and Bunga Emas (1963).

  2. Commissioned by the Singapore Ministry of Culture in 1963 to celebrate the formation of Malaysia. Those interested may also wish to check out Boo Junfeng’s thought-provoking Singapore Biennale 2013 piece:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWUFSXhOhE4