Our instructors are writers who believe in the power of storytelling; and because of that you may also consider them a little crazy. For what is sanity if not the reluctance to believe in all things magical? Get to know them and share with them your deepest, darkest secrets. You know, the written kind.


Debra Yatim is a translator of short stories and longer fiction, poetry, and news items. She is a contributing editor for Tempo English in Indonesia, and has written four volumes of poetry (one unpublished), and her articles on women, the media, and civic education have appeared in several anthologies over the past two decades. She is a permanent translator of poetry for the annual Voices of the Archipelago volume of Indonesian writers in translation coming out of the international Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali. She writes short fiction on the side.


Maggie Tiojakin is an Indonesian novelist, short story writer, translator, journalist and creative writing instructor. She has written two story collections and one novel. She is the founder of Fiksi Lotus and has translated a number of books, i.e. Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories and Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. She also edits The Jakarta Post’s literature section and manages its continuing education division in English writing studies.


Published her first novel, My Other Life, when she was eighteen, Ninda Daianti continued to pursue her love of writing and got her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Chatham University (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) in 2011. After coming back home, Daianti taught many writing workshops, including Advanced Fiction, Short Stories, and Statement of Purpose. When she’s not writing and editing, she usually puts on her pink boxing gloves, ready to give punches.


Danny Irawan Yatim is a psychologist with extensive experience working for projects on social issues, namely drugs, HIV and AIDS, gender and sexuality, natural resource management, and media advocacy. He has experience developing health campaigns with a social marketing approach, which includes writing peices for the media. He has worked for international social development projects with USAID, Australian Aid, The ASEAN Secretariat and UNAIDS. He is also a senior affiliate lecturer at Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia (Unika Atma Jaya) where he teaches psychology courses and academic writing.

ezra2Erza S.T. is a unique combination of a public relations & creative consultant, classical music and opera producer, travel and lifestyle writer, and author of published books: RomanSarkastik (Gagas Media), Menagerie 7 (Lontar Foundation) and The Winter Traveler (Gagas Media). As a founder of Indonesia Opera Society, his talent on Western style Opera producer in Indonesia has hardly had any competitor. Going for its first decade this year, Indonesia Opera Society has proven to be the only established society that continues promoting opera awareness and talents in Indonesia. Reading, writing and traveling, are among other passions of Erza, a nice combination for getting inspiration for his next Opera as well as his other creative works. An ebullience-addicted curiosity seeker, a peripatetic globetrotter, an expert in all things luxe, he has had writing for magazines and newspapers, and other outlets. He dishes on hotels, food, drink, spas, art, design, people, and nature. Being a travel writer, Erza is known for his wit and straightforward opinion which he shares regularly on The Jakarta Post, Now! Jakarta and Indonesia Design Magazine.

devi asmarani

Devi Asmarani has spent the last two decades as a professional writer and editor. She started her career in journalism at the Jakarta Post, followed by The Straits Times of Singapore. For the past nine years she has written columns, articles, essays as well as works of fiction for various local and international publications. Devi is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of feminist web magazine Magdalene.


Agustinus Wibowo is an Indonesian travel writer, journalist, and photojournalist. His first book, Selimut Debu (A Blanket of Dust, 2010), chronicles his journey in Afghanistan. It was followed by Garis Batas (Borderlines: A Journey through Central Asia, 2011), which examines issues of borderlines across ex-Soviet republics, including psychological borders and the search for national identity. Through his third book, Titik Nol (Zero: When the Journey Takes You Home, 2013) he has pioneered a new genre in Indonesian travel literature by allowing readers to experience the writer’s physical, spiritual and emotional journey as they contemplate their own conflicts and anxieties. Zero is currently being adapted into a movie in Indonesia. At the moment, he is working on a nonfiction book on nationalism in the Malay Archipelago.

xu xiGuest lecturer: Writers’ Series 2017

Xu Xi is a Hong Kong writer of Indonesian origin currently based in New York. Her novels, short stories, and essays have received critical acclaim. She is also an editor of various anthologies and the founder of the first MFA program in Creative Writing in Asia. She divides her time between Hong Kong and the United States, and in between, she also runs an international writers’ retreat program with her work partner, Robin Hemley, called Authors At Large (AAL). A familiar presence at various literary festivals and conferences, Xu Xi continues to champion the idea of what it means to be a transnational writer and individual as the world begins to shrink from the establishment of new boundaries and borderlines.

Lawrence YpilGuest lecturer: Writers’ Series 2017

Lawrence Ypil is an essayist and poet hailing from Cebu, Philippines. He received an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Washington University in St Louis on a Fulbright Scholarship, and has recently completed an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa. His first book of poems, The Highest Hiding Place was given the Madrigal Gonzalez Best First Book Award. His work has received The Academy of American Poets Prize, the Philippines Free Press Awards, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards among others. He is currently writing a book inspired by the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair, which examines photographs and objects from the Philippine exposition and explores the role of material culture in the construction of cultural identity and memory.

Fan-DaiGuest lecturer: Writers’ Series 2017

Dai Fan is a professor of linguistics, and the Director of the Center for Creative Writing of the School Foreign Languages at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou. She teaches one of the very few creative writing courses in English as a second language in China. She is the author of four collections of essays in Chinese and one English novel, Butterfly Lovers. She is also considered a pioneer in the field of teaching creative writing in English as a second or foreign language.


robinGuest lecturer: Writers’ Series 2017

Robin Hemley is the Director of the Writing Programme at Yale-NUS. He has published 10 books of nonfiction and fiction and is the winner of many awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Nelson Algren Award for Fiction from The Chicago Tribune, The Story Magazine Humor Prize, as well as three Pushcart Prizes in both fiction and nonfiction, and many others. The BBC is currently developing a feature film based on his book Invented Eden that tells the story of a purported anthropological hoax in the Philippines. He is a Contributing Editor of The Iowa Review as well as the publisher of a popular online journal, Defunct (Defunctmag.com) that features short essays on everything that has had its day. He is the founder and organizer of NonfictioNow, a biennial conference on the myriad forms of nonfiction.