Josephine Chia was born in colonial Singapore in 1951. She was brought up in Kampong Potong Pasir. She went to Cedar Primary & Secondary Schools. After getting her Senior Cambridge Certificate she became an Assistant Nurse (Dental) at the Dental Clinic, Outram Road General Hospital. Seven years later, after studying part-time at Lembaga, a now-defunct adult education centre, she achieved her A Levels, she went to Singapore University and read English and Philosophy, graduating with an Honours Degree in Philosophy in 1979.
She worked for many years in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations in hotels. Her first short stories were published in various issues of SINGA, the literary journal of Singapore.
England & Publishing Break
She immigrated to England in 1985. She first lived in Surrey for 20 years then moved to West Sussex on the South Coast of England.
Her first UK literary big break came when she became one of the twelve winners of the Ian St. James Awards for short fiction in 1992, the first Singaporean to be a finalist for the award. Her story, Tropical Fever was published together with the other authors in an anthology, Blood, Sweat And Tears, published by Fontana, an imprint of Harper Collins. This literary success was publicised in her local Surrey newspapers as well as in Singapore which resulted in the publication of her collection of short stories and subsequent first novel by Singaporean publishers.
Since then, she has also been published by other UK publishers as well as Malaysian publishers and has won other awards and prizes. Her portfolio can be found in the section on Books; her winning works can be found in the section on Winning Works: Awards, Prizes & Commendations.
With the arrival of her grandchildren, Josephine returned to Singapore to live at the end of 2012.
Further Education & Teaching
Josephine read for an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University College.
She is a Creative Writing tutor in UK teaching at Adult Residential colleges and runs workshops for Writers Groups. In Singapore, she has run Creative Writing workshops for the National Book Development Council, National Library Board and the Ministry of Education’s Creative Arts Programme. She was invited to mentor students on the latter’s programme as well.
Josephine also has a Trinity TESOL Certificate from Cambridge which qualifies her to teach English as a second language. She taught in UK where students were Europeans, Arabs & Japanese. Josephine was also privileged to have taught English to Tibetan orphans, refugees and student-monks in Nepal.
She trained with the British Wheel of Yoga and graduated with a Teacher’s Diploma. She continues to study under eminent gurus in various aspects of yoga and yoga therapy. She gives talks and run yoga workshops.
Josephine also teaches Singaporean cookery to Women Institute members and private clubs and has catered Singaporean food for private parties in UK.
Besides writing books, Josephine also writes articles for magazines on various subjects, yoga and health, meditation, cookery etc. She also writes book reviews.
Josephine is a member of UK’s Society of Authors and is Council Member of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She is also a Life-Member of the British Wheel of Yoga.