AustLit logo
Lau Siew Mei Lau Siew Mei i(A12538 works by)
Born: Established: 1968
c
Singapore,
c
Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
;
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1994
Heritage: Singaporean
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

BiographyHistory

Lau Siew Mei received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Philosophy from the National University of Singapore in 1990. She was awarded a Special Book Prize in English Literature for attaining highest results in the examinations in 1987-88. She worked part-time : in 1987 and 1989 as a journalist for The Straits Times in Singapore; in 1990 as a columnist and fashion consultant for Her World; as an assistant at the International office, Murdoch University, in 1991, as a teacher in oral English for the Ministry of Education in 1992. In 1992-3 she worked full-time as a journalist in Brunei for The Borneo Bulletin and in 1993 for The Straits Times in Singapore. After gaining a graduate Diploma in Journalism from Murdoch University in 1992 she migrated to Australia in 1994 to live in Queensland. Her stories have been broadcast on the BBC World Service and published in major literary journals in Australia, the US, Canada and the UK. In 1996 she received a Project Grant from Arts Queensland to work on a novel and was awarded a Varuna Writers Residential Fellowship. In 1999 she was awarded an Arts Queensland Individual Professional Grant to attend a conference in Canberra focussing on Asian-Australians in film, theatre and literature. The manuscript for her novel, Playing Madame Mao, was shortlisted for the inaugural Queensland Premier's Literary Awards (1999) in the category of Best Emerging Queensland Author. Extracts from the novel have appeared in the form of short stories or within stories in New Letters (USA), Overland and Australian Short Stories.

Her writing was read at: the Avalon Theatre, University of Queensland, at the event, Ordinary Shoes and Readings, 8 June 1995; the Chermside Library as part of the Brisbane City Council Libraries' Celebration of Multicultural Writing, 21 November 1997; the Metway Theatrette in Long Awaited Words at the Brisbane Writers Festival, on 6 September 1998; a Multiculturalism And Racialisation Seminar with visiting Asian-Canadian writers, at the Department of English, University of Queensland, on 25 February, 1999; the Avid Reader Bookshop, in the word made flesh series of readings, on 20 May, 1999; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in Word On Sunday: A Showcase Of Chinese Australian Writers on 1 August, 1999; a conference in Canberra on Asian-Australian Identities: The Asian Diaspora in Australia on 27-29 September, 1999. Her stories Sunflower Child and A Gift for The Emperor Dwarf were broadcast on the BBC World Service Short Story Programme in 1992 and 1996 respectively.

She gave a talk titled Being Different But Yet ... at the United By Pen Seminar, Queensland Writers' Centre, on 5 October, 1996. The talk was published in the January 1997 issue of the QWC newsletter. She spoke on a panel of authors at the Dymocks Bookshop, Sydney, 10 May 2000 and on a panel titled The Freedom of Fiction and gave a reading at the Sydney Writers' Festival, 15 - 21 May 2000. She was a guest participant at the Tasmanian Readers' and Writers' Festival, 17 - 20 August, 2000, The Age Melbourne Writers' Festival, 25 August - 3 September, 2000 and the Brisbane Writers Festival, 18 -22 October, 2000. She has conducted: a series of four creative writing workshops at the Garden City Library from 5 March - 26 March 1998, jointly organised by the Queensland Multicultural Writers' Association and the Brisbane City Council Libraries, a creative writing workshop as part of the Elders of Brisbane Writing Competition at Kurilpa Hall, West End, 21 July 1999, two creative writing workshops at the Carindale Library for the Brisbane City Council Community Development Team South in conjunction with the Chinese Living In Brisbane writing competition, 26 February and 4 March 2000.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Playing Madame Mao Rose Bay : Brandl and Schlesinger , 2000 Z435569 2000 single work novel

'Contemporary Singapore: Actress Chiang Ching performs Madame Mao Tse-Tung on stage while her husband, Tang, is arrested and detained without trial. Struggling to understand her own role and her country's cultural and political history Chiang Ching, like her alter-ego, becomes increasingly delusional, and the lines of her world - the real, mythical and imagined - become blurred. Lau Siew Mel creates a challenging and potent weave of Chinese diaspora, political intrigue and personal journeys in a battle for meaning.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2001 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
1999 shortlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Awards
A Gift for the Emperor Dwarf 1996 single work short story
— Appears in: Northern Perspective , Wet Season vol. 19 no. 2 1996; (p. 95-98) Idiom 23 , April-May vol. 10 no. 1 1997; (p. 19-21)
1996 Highly Commended Bauhinia Literary Awards
Sunflower Child 1995 single work short story
— Appears in: Imago : New Writing , Summer vol. 7 no. 3 1995; (p. 40-44) Planet , December no. 132 1998; (p. 53-56)
1994 Commended FAW Far North Coast Regional Literary Awards Section: Open Short Story
Last amended 16 Feb 2015 15:21:23
Other mentions of "" in AustLit:
    X