Selected Works: 2020 Nanjing International Writers' Residency Program

Dec 19, 2023

On October 31, 2019, Nanjing was designated UNESCO City of Literature. In accordance with the mission of UNESCO, Nanjing, as the only UNESCO City of Literature in China, embraces cultural diversity and urban inclusiveness, values mutual aid and mutual learning between different countries. Writers’ exchange and residency is a common practice promoted throughout the sub-network of Creative Cities of Literature. Since Nanjing’s designation, and even before that, Nanjing has played an active role in hosting international writers through its annual residency program.

In the year of 2020, the global pandemic crisis made it very difficult to continue such residency programs. Many cities had no choice but to cancel or suspend their plans of hosting resident writers. Nanjing being one of the few cities in the sub-network where city cultural life has been greatly restored, tried to make contributions to the network by holding a special residency program. Nanjing’s call for application received positive responses from many other UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Due to the unlikelihood of international travels, Nanjing’s program shifted to a mode of online experiences, make communications and interactions through internet. Lilas Yuan, director of Nanjing Literature Centre, said, “We have carefully prepared 10 options of contents for resident writers. These options cover Nanjing’s cultural history, literary achievements, masters and masterpieces, cultural landmarks and cultural spaces. Our program features two what we call ‘face-to-face’ meetings that will take place online between resident writers and local writers and citizens. To prepare the contents online, we spent a lot of time on contents collection, edition and translation to ensure the quality of communication, to give each resident writer some accurate and vivid sense of our city through these contents. We hope Nanjing’s innovative attempt of the residency program can bring some inspirations to fellow UNESCO Cities of Literature, we firmly believe that communications cannot and should not be suspended under the epidemic.”

At the end of this residency, all 7 writers that participated in the 2020 Nanjing International Writers’ Residency Program submitted their original literary works completed during the residency. Here we post some selected works, may our readers enjoy.

Selected Works: 2020 Nanjing International Writers' Residency Program
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