We interview successful people in the publishing industry, to help YOU in your journey as a Banana Writer !!






BW INSIDER: Dr Henry Tam - Political Writer

"Everyone has a stance on politics, even if it consists of no more than “I leave it to others to deal with political issues”, or “I don’t trust any politician so I have nothing to say about them”.  The inescapable reality is that some people have more power than others, and unless society as a whole can make sure powers are exercised for people’s wellbeing, or at least not to exploit and oppress others, then the not-so-powerful will be at the fragile mercy of their tormentors.”


In Part 9 of The BW INSIDER series, we talk to Dr. Henry Benedict Tam - a respected author, professor and creator of political blog Question the Powerful. Dr Tam shares his wisdom with burgeoning political writers and talks about the crucial role political authors have in society. 

BW INSIDER: Harry Mok - Magazine Editor

"You take from what you’ve done before to help you make future decisions. There’s never enough time, there’s always something that can be improved, so, you do the best you can with what you have."



In Part 10 of The BW INSIDER series,we interview Journalist and Social Media Manager Harry Mok, the former Editor-In-Chief of Hyphen Magazine. In the interview, we talk to him about his entire experience at Hyphen Magazine, the challenges that non-profit magazines face, and why he eventually decided to leave a successful venture. 

BW INSIDER: Shuchi Singh Kalra - Freelance Writer

"Having a blog or website is no longer an option for writers – it is a necessity. How can you expect someone to buy your products when you don’t even have a shop? Your website should contain all the info that a prospective client would need in order to make a decision to hire you. Keep it clean, simple and easy to navigate."


In Part 8 of The BW INSIDER series, we revisit our interview with successful freelance writer Shuchi Singh Kalra. Read tips about making a living as a freelance writer and find out about the importance of social media in our globalised world.

"Today the need to listen to critics is even more urgent because there are too much noise and distortions that make people no longer know what they should choose to listen...The world may have become one crazy world, but we don’t have to be part of that world, thanks to the tireless work of literary critics."


Critics are they "parasites" of others' work or artists in their own right?  In Part 7 of The BW INSIDER series literary critic Manneke Budiman shows us how crucial the voice of the critic is in chronicling contemporary times and even the journey of a nation. 


BW INSIDER: Manneke Budiman - Literary Critic

BW INSIDER: Dr Page Richards - Director of MFA

“Good writers have the humility for the gift that it is to give birth to words that heal and return us to a joint silence, rather than an isolated one. Good writers, for all of us, trust in other good writers to help to teach us.”



In Part 6 of The BW INSIDER series, we share the wise words of Dr Page Richards – Director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA) at the University of Hong Kong.  Discover what an MFA really consists of and the importance of working hard at improving your writing craft. 

BW INSIDER: Glory Plata - Publicist

"To me the most marketable authors are the ones who are willing to contribute their time and energy toward promoting their book...There should be few things you are not willing to do, at least for the first book!"


In PART 5 of our BW INSIDER series, we meet Glory Plata, a forward-thinking and innovative publicist at Penguin Random House. She talks about why she became a publicist and shares about the immense amount of work that goes into helping an author become a bestseller.


BW INSIDER: Mildred Yuan - Literary Agent

"Whenever I take on a client, it’s 50% about what they produce, and 50% on who they are.  An individual’s personality can have a huge impact on their success, and it’s part of the package.   You must have personal drive and vision, and make the most of whatever you have."


In PART 4 of our BW INSIDER series, we meet Mildred Yuan a fantastic literary agent with world renown literary agency United Agents. Yuan shares some amazing tips for new writers seeking an agent.

BW INSIDER: Lauren Parsons - Commissioning Editor

“I think the publishing industry is most definitely cautious when it comes to publishing ethnic minorities. It seems to be the case that if a publisher has one Chinese author, or one Nigerian author, then they don’t need anymore.”


In PART 3 of our BW INSIDER series, we meet Lauren Parsons – the commissioning editor for Legend Press (part of Legend Times Group). Parsons has a diverse list of successful fiction and non-fiction books. In her interview, she talks about the lack of diversity in literature and what editors are really looking for.

BW INSIDER: Kenny Leck - Bookseller & Publisher

“We still get customers coming in at least twice a year asking what are we selling, and that is after doing a cursory walk round the bookstore. We do classify this range of customers as 'strange' and it continues to justify the name of the bookstore.”


In PART 2 of our BW INSIDER series, we meet Kenny Leck - a book shop owner, publisher and lover of cats. His legendary book shop BooksActually is often featured in guidebooks throughout Asia and has ignited a 'cult' following on social media. 


BW INSIDER: Jayapriya Vasudevan - Literary Agent

"Write stories from the heart. Don’t fear your own culture or language. We all learnt to read Latin American writing with no footnotes. Sometimes the sense of the book, the beauty of language is all you need as a reader. Don’t sanitise your work."


In PART 1 of our BW INSIDER series, we meet Jayapriya Vasudevan - a literary agent with over 20 years of experience.