Indian Ocean Mentoring Project – An Interview with Simeon Neo

The Indian Ocean Mentoring Project is an extension of our incredibly successful mentoring program undertaken two years ago for early and emerging writers of African heritage. This second mentoring program is focused on early and emerging writers who are permanent residents or Australian citizens of Indian Ocean heritage living in WA. The Indian Ocean Rim countries are: Bangladesh, Union of Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. In this series of interviews, we uncover the inner worlds of these budding writers, focusing on their connection to the Indian Ocean region, their motivation for writing and the authors that inspire them.

Portrait of a young woman sitting on a blue armchair. Behind her is a wall full of shelves covered with books.

Simeon Neo is a Singaporean-born student, poet, playwright, and photography enthusiast. As a child, she wrote about princesses and dragons. Now, she writes stories that are much closer to home.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Simeon and I’m currently a student at Curtin University. I write across different genres including poetry, playscript and prose. Apart from writing, I spend my time either camping in front of the television with Netflix on or taking artsy portraits of my friends.

What is your connection to the Indian Ocean region?

I was born and raised in Singapore, which is located along the Indian Ocean.

When did you get interested in writing or when did you realise you had a passion for writing?

Writing has always been a big part of my life ever since I was little, writing about princesses getting imprisoned by an evil dragon. Though I later moved on to writing stories that are closer to home.

What are you hoping to get out of this mentorship? 

I hope to learn more about what it takes to be a published author and improve my own writing under the guidance of a successful author.

Who are some of your favourite writers/books?

My favourite authors are Kate Atkinson and Liane Moriarty. My favourite books would include Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver and Unmarked Treasures by Cyril Wong.

Photo: Zal Kanga-Parabia

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