Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Dear Yi Sheng,

Thank you for coming down to talk to us last Friday, and for the pleasure of reading your application material and becoming better acquainted with recent developments in your literary career. The panel shortlisted and interviewed a number of strong candidates, which is encouraging, but which gave us an unenviably difficult final decision.

I'm sorry to have to tell you that we are unable to award you the Fellowship at this time; however, we would like to make you the (only) reserve candidate, as acknowledgement of the strong potential we saw in you. We had a protracted debate over the relative merits of two final candidates, of which you were one. It really was difficult coming to a final decision, and the second-guessing did not stop even after we made that decision. We certainly feel that you'd be able to add much to this Fellowship, and thus even though in the final analysis we felt it fair to award it elsewhere, we also feel that you should rightly be the reserve candidate. Should the awardee for any reason be unable to accept the Fellowship, the judges will re-confer with the view of awarding it to you.

The judges also impressed on me to communicate, on their behalf, our very favourable impression of your existing work and artistic development, and to strongly encourage you to consider applying for this Fellowship again in the near future (should the present Fellowship go to the awardee instead of to you as reserve candidate). I'm stressing this to try to indicate to you the close nature of our final decision, and the panel's really strong affirmation of what you are doing. Your achievements are particularly impressive given your age and the prospect of your future development.

We expect the awardee to respond to our offer within a week or two, and if for any reason the awardee declines the Fellowship, rest assured that I will be in touch with you immediately.

Best wishes,

Robbie Goh

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