20 writers defect from state-owned writing association

The Vietnam Writers’ Association (VWA), one of the biggest and most longstanding GONGOs in Vietnam, on Monday (May 11) witnessed an unprecedented event when 20 writers declared their defection for “feeling disappointed with the association’s line and policies.” Some of them are famous writers in Vietnam and have been members of the  VWA for decades.

Writers Nguyen Quang Than (left) and Nguyen Ngoc.

Writers Nguyen Quang Than (left) and Nguyen Ngoc.

The VnExpress quoted writer Ngo Thi Kim Cuc as saying she personally has no dissatisfaction with the VWA, but “the association’s activities have long failed to create any interest for its members.” Another writer, Thuy Linh, who is also a well-known blogger, said, “A noisy place is not one for writers who need loneliness to muse and to write. So I must say good bye to the VWA.”

Some of the “break-away” writers are very famous pens of the day, including Nguyen Quang Than, Da Ngan, Do Trung Quan, and Nguyen Ngoc, a veteran-turned-dissident writer who joined the VWA since its establishment in 1957.

Currently the VWA has about 900 members. It is a GONGO that relies heavily on state sponsorship and is subject to tight state control.

The article published on the VnExpress on the event is now inaccessible – possibly it has been removed from web.