At the Singapore Writer's Festival 2014

The Singapore Writers Festival is held annually every November in Singapore.  This time it was held from Oct 31-Nov 9.  Attended by renowned writers from around the world, it was packed with lectures, workshops, literary tours, panel discussions, film screenings and more!
  
I decided to volunteer for the event not only to help out, but also do something 'different' and make new friends.  A couple of volunteer meetings followed where I met several other first-time SWF volunteers. With ice-breakers and quizzes, it was a wonderful way for us to get acquainted with one another.  




Though the festival began on Oct 31, my first day to volunteer was Nov 2nd.  I checked in early with the Volunteer-in-charge and had a few minutes before being led to my assigned venue – the National Museum of Singapore.

I was happy to help out at Little Lit, the children’s arm of the Festival.


                                 


In the process, I could even listen in to a conversation with authors of Epigrams’s recent book releases... new titles in each of the following series - Sherlock Sam (by AJ Low), Danger Dan (by Lesley-Anne and Monica Lee) and Triple Nine Sleuths (Maranna Chan).  Also discussed was a brand new series - Girl Overboard (by Sheri Tan).




   I also helped prep for the storytelling session by professional storyteller Chuah Ai Lin, which was received with lots of smiles and giggles from the little ones and their parents.



  


The last day of the festival, I got the chance to listen to a panel discussion on children's books based on Singapore's history.  The panel included authors Fanny Lai, author of 'Nini in Changi Village', Ho Lee Ling, author of 'Samsui Girl', and Erwin Chan, author of 'Zack Lee and the Legend of Yamashita's Gold'.  The session was moderated by Sangeetha Madhavan, author of 'The Blue Cat's Tale'.  It was interesting to hear about each author's journey from conceptualizing the story idea to getting their book in print.  There is indeed so much in history that only requires creativity (sounds easy?) to present it in an interesting form.


                                  



 Another interesting discussion was panelled by Patrick Yee, author of  'A boy named Harry' and Lawrence Koh, author of 'Growing up with Lee Kuan Yew'.  Both are authors of books about Singapore's first Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.  The session was moderated by Wai Yin Pryke, principal of the English Language Institute of Singapore.


                                      


I must thank the SWF organizers for giving me a chance to volunteer, make some new friends and get a insider's peek into the SWF.

When not on duty, I brought along my children to partake of the exciting Little Lit programs.  My daughter enjoyed the writing workshops with Jacqueline Harvey (Author: Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series) and Hemang Yadav (writer and storyteller) while my son enjoyed making crafts, a writing session conducted by Radhika Puri (Author: 'Mountain of fire') and storytelling sessions by representatives of the Roger Jenkins company.


                                     
My son's art on the Doodle Wall


                                     
Storytelling session by Hemang Yadav and Kong Yit Sim


                                      
Storytelling by students of Kent Ridge Sec. School


                                       
Author Radhika Puri ('Mountain of Fire') shares her writing tips with children


We stopped at the Popular Bookstore to grab some exciting new reads before heading home.



Some of the children's books at Popular



It was tough to decide which book to take home


Look forward to fulfilling my thirst for reading and to the next lit fest in Singapore.  ;-)












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