What To Expect At The Singapore Writers Festival 2015


You’ve seen the Singapore Night Festival and the Singapore International Festival of Arts. Come October, the holy trinity of the local arts scene will be complete with the much-anticipated Singapore Writers Festival. And it’s not only for bookworms.

Even if you can’t differentiate between Shakespeare and Shelley, the Singapore Writers Festival promises to be a festival for everyone – not just the avid reader. The 10-day event will feature more than 300 events of word, music, the arts, and cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Here are 10 reasons why you should visit this year’s Singapore Writers Festival, or if the event is new to you, attend it for the very first time.

1. Hear from Singapore’s budding J.K. Rowlings 

If there’s one myth that has been thoroughly debunked, it would be that Singapore has no local talent. I mean, just look at the myriad local talent making their mark – from writers to musicians, sportsmen to YouTubers!


Fittingly themed “Island of Dreams”, this year’s Singapore Writers Festival is for everyone. Whether you’re a hopeful budding writer or investment banker, it’s inspiring to watch your fellow countrymen shine on the global stage. Ignite your passion in the debate “This House Believes That Singaporeans Are Not Dreamers”.

2. There’s something for photography junkies too 

The combination of visuals and words is powerful in telling a good story, and Riot-Recollections is testament to exactly that.


In the panel, “Reliving The Little India Riots”, Prabhu Silvam and Zakaria Zainal share their escapades of collecting stories through conversations, and capturing the portraitures of individuals in the aftermath of the episode. If you’re a budding photojournalist, this would be right up your alley!

3. Listen to our homegrown talents live

We loved local band Take Two’s performance at the Singapore Grand Prix earlier this month, but if you missed it, here’s another chance – they’re taking the stage once again to bring you some vivacious grooves, along with various other artists such as Wobology and HubbaBubbas.


And if you’re even a smidgen of a literature or music geek – or better yet, both – you won’t want to miss Dimensions & Demons, where Singapore writers and musicians come together to create some magic.


4. Learn to better express your #wanderlust 

If you love to travel and share your experiences with your friends, we’ve got the thing for you.


Catch a guide to travel writing by Yap Seow Choong, or contemplate a traveler’s physical, spiritual and emotional journey as Indonesian travel writer Agustinus Wibowo talks about being nomadic.

5. Get busy making hipster handicrafts

It’s not all about reading and writing – try your hand at batik painting, dreamcatcher making, or even tote bag typesetting.


6. Experience an outdoor poetry reading

One thing we can all appreciate is the beauty to be found in every corner of our sunny island. Listen to writers share how they draw inspiration from the streets of Singapore, or take a bumboat ride along the Singapore River while enjoying a curation of Singapore poems and prose.

7. Appreciate another culture through the beauty of words


How much do you know about Japan beyond her food and culture?  Come find out what makes something Japanese in a world of Western influences, in a session by the 3 editors of Monkey Business, one of whom is the English translator for Haruki Murakami’s recently released Wind/Pinball. Fans of Murakami, don’t miss the panel, “Unravelling Haruki Murakami”.


While you’re at that, take the opportunity to enjoy the unique perspectives of an often overlooked community through the poetry of migrant workers. Look at the place we call home through the eyes of those who have left theirs; whose talent would’ve easily gone unnoticed any other day.

8. Good things can happen after 2am


There’s now more to do at 2am other than pigging out after Zouk – from dusk on Friday, 6 November to dawn the next day, the overnight event “What I Love About You Is Your Attitude Problem” is an exciting curation of arts performances, including Singapore drama, poetry, prose, musical performances, visual arts exhibitions, and more.


This segment will take you through Singapore drama, poetry, songwriting and prose, alongside musical performances, offering a glimpse into the world of 80s love songs and speed dating all for a price of $50 inclusive of supper and breakfast. What better way – or time – to ease yourself into Singapore’s literary scene?

9. Fun for the whole family 


The festival organizers and I are clearly on the same page that no festival is complete without a pirate party.

Make an outing of this year’s Singapore Writers Festival with your family – there’s something for everyone, from storytelling sessions for the young ones to free poetry workshops for the elderly. Find out the top 10 books your family should read for some family bonding ideas.

10. Impress a date

These days, there’re fewer students opting for literature as an O’Level subject. And the whole movie and dinner date is getting stale. Stand out by impressing your date with your passion for the arts.

You could read her a poem under the stars, imagine a future with her and tell she doesn’t need to do it all to be your number one.

Book these dates

The Singapore Writers Festival is happening from 30 October to 8 November 2015. In its 18th edition, the event gets better each year – testament to how this “Island of Dreams” is certainly chasing their dreams.

A celebration of the literary arts in all 4 of Singapore’s official languages, English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, this is an unmissable event to look out for on Singapore’s cultural calendar.

Get your tickets here!

This post was brought to you by Singapore Writers Festival.