WOMAN AT WORK offers an opportunity for current members to share your creative journeys, introduce your work or your businesses, and in doing so inspire others. Please contact us for submission details.
After a career in the UK, which included the civil service, Macmillan Publishers and KPMG, Sarah relocated to Hong Kong in 1992. She worked initially as a copywriter and proofreader for an electronics firm manufacturing BT telephones (writing the manuals and testing the phones). This was followed by an assortment of freelance jobs including with Ink Publishing working on Oasis Hong Kong Airline in-flight magazine, a hugely enjoyable experience as it involved writing about food and entertainment in business class. With the closure of Oasis, Sarah completed a teaching qualification which led to a bizarre NET teacher experience on day one when a range of coloured chalks and a duster were included with the manual!
For many years now, Sarah has worked at HKUST, first as a research assistant working with MBA students and co-editing a couple of research papers included in Global Electronic Commerce: Theory and Case Studies (MIT Press, 1999). When that contract ended, a chance meeting at a WiPS event led to a successful application for a communication tutor position in the School of Engineering, where she remains.
Sarah’s main focus is with UG and PG students, as well as editing papers for faculty. Students typically take IELTS and TOEFL exams in their final year at HKUST and preparation for these also falls within her job specification. Additionally, she assists with improving interview skills, and this year, having become familiar with Zoom, is more easily able to liaise with students and offer various courses.
Joining WiPS has provided Sarah with a wonderful connection to her earlier publishing experience at Macmillan as well as friendships and shared interests.
Hong Kong born and raised Ritu Hemnani, is an author, teacher, TEDx speaker and voice actor. From a young age, Ritu was a passionate stage performer and writer, winning poetry competitions from entries scribbled on the top deck of a moving bus! After qualifying as an English and Drama high school teacher, Ritu worked in the UK before returning to Hong Kong in 1997, to work at KGV School, whilst voice acting for educational toys.
Ritu published her first children’s book in 2017, Gope and Meera – A Migration Story, which seeks to foster awareness and empathy for migrants in our communities. Ritu promotes inclusiveness and diversity in her writing and story-telling presentations to schools across Hong Kong. Her stories feature in the South China Morning Post, Asian Literary Review and Reader’s Digest.
Ritu was selected to speak at the TEDxTinhauwomen event, Bold and Brilliant, in 2019. Her talk, An Inheritance Worth Sharing, is a reflection on the gift of resilience she claims from her rich heritage.
Ritu is a writing ambassador for the Home of Loving Faithfulness, which serves the disabled community of Hong Kong. Ritu also serves on the judging committee for the annual Kids4Kids My Story Creation, writing competition and KGV’s Evening of Music and Dance, which she co-founded in 1999. Ritu is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is working on her first novel.
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.