Dear Members,

Last Saturday week, I experienced an Imprint rush. This can clearly be defined as a moment when one feels grateful for having made the decision to be part of Hong Kong WiPS.

That day, I was in fact in a rush to find cool shelter from the Hong Kong glue air summer. Indeed, it was sticky. Silk Road Café at Crossroads, Gold Coast was close and air-conditioned, so in I went for the first time in years. There was the character bookcase, worn and welcoming, with books I’d never looked at. And there was Imprint 15. And so, I started flipping the pages. The Gallery pieces were exquisite. There were the stories, each separated into the standard sections. Then there was Carol Dyer, sharing twenty-five years of memories in a wonderful piece at the back. It was the WiPS Silver Anniversary issue, which means this year WiPS turns thirty !

This is my introduction, on behalf of our committee, to you all. It’s also my way of saying how very appreciative we are to have our society, despite the pandemic and a disrupted Hong Kong dynamic. And now to my point: Imprint is on its way, and it seems we can finally celebrate in September or October, at the FCC. Fingers crossed!

We’ve been patiently waiting on social restrictions to ease and recently made the decision to hold off with posting out Imprint. To do a mail-out for a second year running seems wrong. We must celebrate in person. Thank you for being so patient. We are almost there.

Two years ago, it was an Imprint launch party which convinced me to be on the committee. I met so many of you vital, vivacious women, and I felt this wave of creative interest and genius in the room. This is the kind of environment we need to acknowledge all your generous submissions for our anthology.

As said, we plan to have the Imprint 20 launch at the FCC in September or October. At this stage, only those vaccinated may attend, and we are almost sure that the appetisers will be served in cute cardboard boxes, but at least it will be a long-awaited gathering. For those of you unable to be there, we shall organize a live Zoom so you can join us from overseas or in Hong Kong. You shall have VIP gallery status with a view of the proceedings! And, of course we shall raise our glasses after the readings for a virtual inclusive toast of both twenty years of Imprint and thirty years of WiPS!

Details of the launch will be emailed to you in due course.

We are delighted to have three new members joining us this year: Shelia Korol, here in Hong Kong; Stephanie Han from the USA and Liz Heron from the UK.

Now there is just one other little request: that you please consider joining us on the committee. We are a dedicated team of five but now that Sandra Gibbons has moved to Australia, we really do need at least one more member here in Hong Kong. Sandra remains on the committee, and we are very grateful to have you with us still, Sandra, but for distribution and events, a new volunteer would be just great.

I began with a story and I shall end with a slightly shorter one. Four years ago, Celia Claase told me about WiPS. I was too scared to join since I hadn’t published anything. Two years later I joined an event on libel. Two years further down the track and I’m in Bookazine with Heather Diamond, pointing to her memoir, Rabbit in the Moon, up there on the shelf as Book of the Week. Lindsay Varty’s Sunset Survivors; Claire Chau’s Remembering Shanghai; Ritu Hemnani’s Gope and Meera and Sarah Brennan’s The Chinese Calendar Tales, are of course sitting there on their own shelves along with other of our members’ books. Wow! I’ve met these women, done podcasts with some and been inspired by all. Sarah Brennan is now my mentor for my own writing journey.

One joins a group because it feels like the right thing to do. Malcolm Gladwell would agree with intuition leading us to where we must walk next. Friendship, expertise, inspiration and loyalty is what I’ve experienced after trusting my instincts. Do think about joining our committee!

With July here, we hope some of you may join family in countries which have opened their borders. And with the new seven-day quarantine in place for fully vaccinated permanent residents with a positive antibody test, it just gets better.

For those of you abroad, living under different circumstances, we hope all normalises soon. There are openings and opportunities, always.

Finally, we still have some remaining copies of Imprint 19 in storage. If any member can please help us find them new homes – they are free of charge! – you can collect your order directly from Happy Valley, or have it posted (with the mailing/packaging charge at your cost). Contact Polly at by 23 July 2021.

On behalf of the committee, I send very best wishes to you for all a wonderful summer!