Posts

Asia Pacific Writers Conference, Manila.

“APWT is the largest, longest running, functioning literary network I know of in South East Asia and the Pacific”

Says Philipino Jose Dalisay better known ‘Butch.’

What an absolute pleasure it was for me to join this gang of amazing writers, publishers and translators. This is my third year at this conference which is in a different country every year. 2015 was in Manila with the theme ‘Against The Grain.’

To summarise my time there, I:

– I was on a panel titled ‘True Stories Need to be True’ with Beth Yahp (Malaysian), Irena Cristalis (Dutch), Neil Garcia (Philipino) and moderated by Qaisra Shahraz (Pakistani).

– I attended Tim Tomlinson’s incredible workshop on learning how to write/say a pitch.

– I did a public reading of my story ‘Climbing the Walls’ published in Griffith Review: New Asia Now to a full room. I was also pleasantly surprised (actually straight out shocked and excited) to arrive at the reading and find my name and a photo on a large projector… naturally I took a photo of me… and me… having a moment 😉

‘Climbing the Walls,’ Griffith Review

Last year there was a call for submissions for the best new writers in Asia under 40.

I was 39. At the Asia Pacific Writers conference in Singapore they changed it to 45 and I panicked! More candidates! More experience! Oh no. I wrote my story and hesitated countless times before submitting it. I almost didn’t do it.

I need not have worried… and received a ‘congratulations’ email which I read, re-read and then showed a friend to make sure I understood correctly.

Yes my story ‘Climbing the Walls’ was published this month in Griffith Review: New Asia Now. A huge accomplishment. A renowned Australian quarterly publication. You can buy it in book stores around Australia and some places in Asia as well as online at: https://griffithreview.com

 

You can now read my short story Climbing the Walls, Griffith Review

“Griffith Review49: New Asia Now showcases outstanding young writers from the countries at the centre of Asia’s ongoing transformation. They write about the people and places they know with passion, flair and insight.”

The magic arrival of the book

I was sitting on the beach at the Hoop Jam listening to the DJ and hanging out…

…when my boss Michael rocked up in his dingy boat and hand delivered me a package.

Little did he know how exciting this package was when he handed me a book – ‘Imprint14’ – an anthology from Hong Kong with my short story publication of ‘A Perfect Statue.’

Having not made it to the book launch in Hong Kong this year (I went last year when they published my story ‘The Boy who Loved Bubbles’), this was a pretty cool way to receive my story in print.

You can also now read ‘A Perfect Statue’

‘The Boy who Loved Bubbles,’ Imprint13. Hong Kong

My first short story to be published in a book was in the annual anthology ‘Imprint13’ through Women in Publishing in Hong Kong.

I jumped at the chance to attend the book launch and shared a room with my friend and poet Elizabeth who was also published.

I had written a short story ‘The Boy who Loved Bubbles’ based on my work at Tiny Toones Cambodia. It is the true story of a little boy ‘Bou’ who came from a family of such extreme property that his body odour sent me in to shock. It is a terrifying real story but did have a gloriously happy ending … of bubbles. The Hong Kong Women in Publishing Association loved my story and chose to include it in their anthology and invited me over to the book launch.

You can read The Boy who Loved Bubbles here.

Elizabeth and I were very civilised; shook hands with everyone, gave and received congratulations, posed for photos and drank a glass of wine or two…

but I believe some late night food was had 🙂

Read the short story here…

‘The Boy who Loved Bubble’ by Romi Grossberg.

‘Rock, Paper, Scissors,’ Travel essay competition Top 20

I Must Be Off! Travel Essay competition, 2013

“… I look in to the street and see there are beggars everywhere, from five year-olds to this ancient looking woman I just encountered. They all look sad, with the same vacant look in their eyes. As I am watching a little barefoot girl in tattered clothes being shooed away by the expats next door, I am startled by a young boy that approaches my table….”

My first ever story writing competition, and I made the top 20 list.

Read it here: Rock, Paper, Scissors