Three NextGen authors from China (L to R): Nury Vittachi, Su Tong (author of Raise the Red Lantern) and Bi Feiyu
HELP! There's a shortage of skilled writers on planet earth. Hollywood may be over-run with formulaic wannabee screenwriters, but the rest of the planet needs people to create original literature, screenplays, theatre, teleplays, children's books and computer games. But it's got to be world-class! An opportunity is being created for a small number of people to learn from Nury Vittachi, a successful author who has fiction contracts with a dozen top publishers and agents around the world. He has around 200,000 books in print and his work is sought after by film production houses internationally. Vittachi teaches story development at master's level at a university in Hong Kong.
MASTERCLASS AUTHOR Dramatic changes are taking place in the world of writing, claims Vittachi, author of 30 books. "It's in flux. Today's writers must know how to produce a work of fiction which is brilliant as a novel, but can ALSO work as a movie, and as a TV mini-series, and as a console game, and as the foundation of an on-line virtual world," he said. The author believes that writers can only gain the necessary skills if they are serious about it: "You can't be a doctor or a lawyer without learning from experts; it's exactly the same with being a writer." Vittachi is a founder-editor of the Asia Literary Review, which has featured new works from several writers who have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and co-founder of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival. His courses are offered through MERECL, a unit of the School of Design, which is part of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, an educational establishment famous for its success in creative sectors, particularly computer games and film.