Welcome to hell.
Open to submissions on an annual basis, Sing Lit Station's Manuscript Bootcamp is an intensive editorial programme that gathers writers, critics, literary academics and publishers together to critique and workshop a handful of the best manuscripts that Singaporean writers have to offer.
Writers just starting out often crave feedback, but lack access to a diverse selection of credible sources. Workshops are great for soliciting thoughts on individual pieces, but it's often difficult to oblige someone (and the correct someone at that) to read your entire manuscript.
Open to submissions on an annual basis, Sing Lit Station's Manuscript Bootcamp* is an intensive editorial programme that gathers writers, editors, literary academics and publishers together to critique and workshop a handful of the best manuscripts that Singaporean writers have to offer. Put through days of thorough analyses and feedback from industry professionals, the manuscripts are then revised, edited, and proofread over a period of months before a final submission to a publisher is made.
Manuscript Bootcamp will alternate between poetry and prose submissions every year. Hence, we seek to receive poetry manuscripts on odd-numbered years (e.g. 2015, 2017, etc.), and manuscripts of fiction and creative non-fiction on even-numbered years (e.g. 2016, 2018, etc.); our submissions window is estimated to alternate between the first and third quarter of every year respectively.
*The 2017 edition of Manuscript Bootcamp is over; more details on the programme are listed below. Manuscript Bootcamp 2018 (Prose) will open for submissions in Feb 2018. More details coming soon.
This is not your usual poetry workshop. Your work will be taken apart and put back together by established writers, editors, academics and critics. You will talk narrative, sequencing, theme, titling; anything that answers the question, "How can and why should these poems be a book?" Be prepared to give and take feedback of the highest quality in a challenging and collegial environment.
The 2017 edition of Manuscript Bootcamp were open for submissions of poetry manuscripts from 1 April 2017 to 14 May 2017, for a Bootcamp scheduled on 28-30 July 2017. Six writers were chosen to undergo the third edition of Manuscript Bootcamp: Abdul Hamid, Ang Shuang, Jerome Lim, Min Lim, Ruth Tang and Teo Xiao Ting:
a) EXTERNAL PANEL
Our 2017 edition of Manuscript Bootcamp had its final list of Bootcamp participants decided by an external panel of esteemed poets: Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Alvin Pang and Nicholas Wong:
They made their pick from a shortlist of a dozen poets, whose manuscripts Sing Lit Station felt contained the most potential and were most deserving of further development. Although half of the shortlisted poets were not selected for the Manuscript Bootcamp, Sing Lit Station would like to emphasise that inclusion on the shortlist is still to be considered a major artistic accomplishment.
b) SUBMISSION CRITERIA
- All participants must submit a manuscript of at least 30 poems in order to be considered.
- Manuscripts should also be titled and blurbed with a one-paragraph synopsis – this can either encapsulate your artistic intent or the content and flow of your poems.
- Manuscripts should be in a single paginated .doc / .docx file (not PDF), Times New Roman pt 12, single spaced, with each poem laid out on a separate page. Do clearly state if the manuscripts are to be laid out with a specific font and line spacing.
- As manuscripts will be read blind by an external panel, writers' names are also requested to be excluded from the manuscript.
- Poems should be in English, although nonstandard usage and meaningful inclusions of other languages are welcome.
- Participants must be physically present for the Bootcamp from the evening of 28 July to 30 July 2017. Manuscripts submitted after 14 May 2017 will also not be considered for the Bootcamp.
- Email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject header "MANUSCRIPT BOOTCAMP 2017 (POETRY): SUBMISSION". Do attach a CV separate to your manuscript that includes your name, NRIC, address, contact details, job / occupation history, and all past publication details / literary endeavours.
c) IMPORTANT DATES
- 1 Apr – 14 May, 2359 hours: Submissions open (infographic)
- 21 May: Announcement of shortlisted participants (infographic)
- 18 Jun: Announcement of Bootcamp participants
- 28-30 Jul: Commencement of Bootcamp
- 20 Aug: Presentation of works (event link)
The Manuscript Bootcamp 2017 (Poetry) organiser is Tse Hao Guang, with support and assistance from Sing Lit Station.
The 2016 edition of Manuscript Bootcamp aimed to take rough drafts of prose and forge them into print-ready manuscripts through intensive input from industry professionals: successful practitioners, academics, critics, publishers, and editors alike. Four writers were chosen to undergo the second Manuscript Bootcamp in December 2016: Clarissa N. Goenawan, Ng Yi-Sheng, Teoh Ren Jie and Toh Hsien Min:
Over the course of two days, the manuscripts of these four writers received feedback and critique from the following groups of people:
- literary and creative writing academics from three tertiary institutions specialising in local literature (NIE, NTU, NUS, LASALLE);
- the founders and editors of Singapore's foremost literary presses (Ethos Books and Math Paper Press);
- five experienced practitioners of the craft;
- literary agent Helen Mangham, from Jacaranda Press.
a) SUBMISSION CRITERIA
- The following genres were open for consideration: short story collections; creative non-fiction essay collections; novellas / novels; long-form creative non-fiction works.
- The minimum submission length for novels and long-form non-fiction was 30,000 words.
- The minimum submission length for short story and essay collections was 10 pieces each.
- All works had to be original.
- Work from present and former Singaporean citizens and permanent residents could only be accepted.
- All applicants had to attach a CV with at least 2 previous publication credits (print/online). Writers with no previous publication history may submit, but writers with a track record were prioritised, and for the shorter forms, work that has been previously published. Credits pending publication were acceptable with verification.
- Simultaneous submissions were allowed.
b) BOOTCAMP DATES & DETAILS
Due to the length of the prose works considered, the entire Bootcamp process will consist of:
- a 2-day bootcamp in Dec 2016;
- a half-year developmental workshop process;
- a 2-day follow-up bootcamp in Jun 2017.
The Manuscript Bootcamp 2016 (Prose) organisers and selection panel are Krishna Udayasankar, novelist with Penguin, Hachette, and the best-selling author of the Aryavarta Chronicles and 3; and Jon Gresham, author of We Rose Up Slowly from Math Paper Press. They are supported by Daryl Qilin Yam of Sing Lit Station.
The inaugural Manuscript Bootcamp aimed to take rough drafts of poetry and forge them into print-ready manuscripts through intensive input from industry professionals: successful practitioners, academics, critics, publishers, and editors alike. Six writers were chosen to undergo the first Manuscript Bootcamp in March 2015: Jennifer Anne Champion, Amanda Chong, Samuel Lee, Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Tse Hao Guang and David Wong Hsien Ming:
Over the course of three days, they underwent intensive bombardment by a battery of professionals from a variety of fields, with funding support from the National Arts Council:
- academics from three tertiary institutions specialising in local literature (NIE, NTU, NUS);
- two founders of Singapore's foremost literary publishers (Ethos Books and Math Paper Press);
- three pioneering editors of local online journals (Softblow, QLRS, The Literary Centre) and print anthologies;
- six experienced practitioners of the craft.
The sessions were planned and facilitated by local writers Ann Ang, Pooja Nansi, Teh Su Ching and Joshua Ip, and administratively supported by a helpful team of interns.
With their manuscripts forged in the crucible of hellfire, the writers retired after the three days with renewed insight and direction. After an additional six months of revision, the first two launched their collections at the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival: David Wong's For The End Comes Reaching, and Tse Hao Guang's Deeds of Light, which got shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize in English Poetry. The remaining four were launched at the 2016 Singapore Writers Festival: Jennifer Anne Champion's Caterwaul; Amanda Chong's Professions; Samuel Lee's A Field Guide to Supermarkets in Singapore; and Daryl Lim Wei Jie's A Book of Changes.