Luisa Ternau hails from Trieste, in the north-eastern corner of Italy along the Adriatic Sea. Since both her parents kept strong connections to their native land of Istria, a historically multicultural and multilingual region, Luisa has always wondered how cultural identity is shaped and what is at its core.
It was at elementary school that Luisa wrote her first pieces. Decades later and in Hong Kong, Luisa resumed composing poems and stories. Her first submitted poem, “Spring in My Heart”, won a third prize in the International Proverse Poetry competition in 2016.
After graduating from the University of Trieste, Luisa moved to London, where she later received a master’s in English literature at King’s College, University of London. A sense of curiosity in local life is a motivation which accompanies her to the places she has chosen to live. After working in Japan and the US, Luisa moved to Hong Kong in 2011. Work commitments here have restricted the time she has for her beloved writing. However, it is in Hong Kong that mentoring has enabled her to publish poetry and short stories. She has had poems published in “Mingled Voices”, the annual International Proverse Poetry Prize anthology, and short stories included in WiPS annual anthology “Imprint”. Luisa has also translated “Sightings”, a collection of poetry by her friend and fellow WiPS member Dr Gillian Bickley, into Italian. The book was published in early 2020.
Luisa writes creatively in English, Italian and her native Triestine dialect.
Tanya Singh is the creator of NAARI magazine. Her career began right after she completed her majors in advertising, marketing and public relations in 1995. Her first venture was with Magna Publishing, a prestigious group in India producing many high-end magazines, including Savvy, Society, Interiors and StarDust. This began her fascination with the media world, since when she has grappled with many projects in the print and television industry, gaining insights into the nitty-gritties of its workings.
Her husband’s job brought the family to Hong Kong in 2010, but with two small kids she didn’t find life easy here on her own. It took them a while to settle in to the local culture, but Hong Kong is a dynamic society and before long they understood that it suited them well! At that point Tanya started the second innings of her career by joining a magazine. She managed its business for three years, during which time it edged its way into the main league in the world of print media in Hong Kong. Some lucrative business offers followed and Tanya became known among the who’s who in Hong Kong’s Indian community.
However, keen to do something of her own, she settled on the idea of creating a lifestyle magazine for the woman of today, which she called NAARI, to cater to women across all communities. Her aim with the magazine is to give readers exclusive and exciting articles, news and information, with an emphasis on women as a whole rather than just their bodies. Tanya looks forward to seeing it prominently placed in exclusive prestigious outlets. Sitting down to write this bio about herself, she says, gives her immense pleasure to be a part of WiPS and to meet so many women from whom she can learn so much.
Michele Koh Morollo is a Singaporean freelance journalist, copywriter and short fiction writer who lived in Perth, Sulawesi, London, and Boston before moving to Hong Kong in 2010. She is the author of short story collections “Rotten Jellybeans”, which was published in London in 2007, and “Without: Stories of lack and longing”, which was launched at the Singapore Literary Festival in 2018. She has contributed to Singapore and Hong Kong fiction anthologies, and is the Secretary of the Hong Kong Writer’s Circle. Her short story “Smile” will be published in the 2020 issue of The Alembic, the literary journal of Providence College.
CLAIRE CHAO, was born and raised in Hong Kong. Although unaware of it at the time, as a youth she continually sought connections to her parents’ Shanghai homeland. She spent a decade creating Remembering Shanghai after thirty years in luxury brand management. While researching her family stories, she uncovered an uncanny link with the grandfather she’d never met. She graduated with highest honors from Princeton University and was named to Avenue magazine’s “500 Most Influential Asian Americans” and Hong Kong Tatler’s “Who’s Who in Hong Kong.”
Winner of 17 literary awards including the 2019 Rubery Prize Book of the Year, Remembering Shanghai follows five generations from imperial China to modern-day Hong Kong. Isabel grows up in the wealthy Sun family in glamorous 1930s Shanghai. When Mao comes to power, she journeys to Hong Kong, unaware that she will never see her father again. She returns to Shanghai with her daughter Claire six decades later to confront their complex past—one they discover is filled with love and betrayal, kidnappers and concubines, glittering pleasure palaces and underworld crime bosses.
Relocating from Singapore to Tokyo and then to Hong Kong within a year in 2007 wasn’t easy for my family of four. But realizing we might stick around for at least a few years allowed me to settle in.
I picked up brushes and canvases from the art store in Wan Chai and began the artistic journey that I had originally contemplated while living in the US in 2000. My first exhibit in Hong Kong was at home with the help of a few friends. I sold a couple of my favourite paintings and that nudged me forward. It was a tough journey but I never wavered.
In 2013, I was awarded an Honorary Prize for “Best Impressionistic Style Painting” at the Master of Art International Art Prize in London. I literally fell off my seat as I wasn’t expecting any recognition, let alone an award. In the meantime, I took a graphic design course and started to write freelance for Hong Kong Living as I wanted to make the most of my Masters in English Literature. I aIso undertook an internship at an art magazine, ArtAsiaPacific, and learned a lot about the publishing world. I won the Justice Centre Choice Award for the Human Rights Art Prize 2015 for my acrylic painting, “If Only I Could Fly”. Using this success, I applied and exhibited at various locations in Hong Kong, Osaka, and Kuala Lumpur.
Now as an editor for Southside Magazine at Hong Kong Living, I have come to realize the value of time and doing what we enjoy in life. And yes, I still paint on the weekend. You see me socializing less but hey, I’m enjoying the journey!
Yuetting Cindy Lam’s short stories have appeared in various magazines including New Orleans Review, Quiddity (NPR Illinois), Wasafiri and Brain, Child. She won the Second Prize in Hong Kong’s “Top Story 2017” competition, and her story, “Fridays on Tin Hau Temple Road” was recognized as an honorable mention in the 2017 Zoetrope: All-Story Short Fiction Competition. Yuetting has recently started a new international literary magazine, called Zizzle. She seeks the type of children’s stories that grown-ups like to read, too. Zizzle’s debut hardcover issue will be out in November. Check out zizzlelit.com for more updates!