The 2019 Singapore Writers Festival is now less than seven weeks away, and my appearance schedule has been confirmed. I look forward to SWF every year, because it’s like a family reunion with all my writer friends in Singapore, and I’m especially excited this year because it’s been curated by my good friend Pooja Nansi, who is keen to give a platform to newer and more unexpected authors. (Though I myself am not terribly new or unexpected.)
So if you’re in Singapore from 1–10 November, I hope to see you at the following events and/or around the civic district during this time!
1) Panel: The Absurd, the Mundane and Everything in Between
The Arts House, Living Room, 02 Nov, 630-730pm
How do we make art from arbitrary, absurd, and mundane moments in life? Can boredom be interesting? Three writers interrogate the humdrum weave of the every day and discuss how they have incorporated such moments to craft narratives that reveal poignant truths about the human experience.
2) Launch: Keeping It Fresh: A Defence of Originality
Book Launch of The Angel Tiger and Most Excellent and Lamentable
The Arts House, Gallery II, 08 Nov, 700-800pm
Authors Jason Erik Lundberg and Barrie Sherwood will look at the idea of short story collections and how they are put together, and how authors/editors keep it fresh. With so many stories being told year after year, can stories truly be original? There will also be a Q&A and a book-signing at this event.
3) Panel: Ruling the Galaxy (moderator)
The Arts House, Living Room, 09 Nov, 500-600pm
When writing about intergalactic empires and space adventures, to what extent do writers need to be mindful of scientific plausibility? Should they abide by space travel rules at all? Three writers discuss why they’ve chosen to set their stories in space and how they’ve imagined an entire interstellar universe.
4) Launch: Uniquely Singapore(an)
Book Launch of Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Four
The Arts House, Living Room, 09 Nov, 830-930pm
Editors Jason and Pooja will discuss what makes a great Singaporean short story. Is it simply making characters Singaporean? Do the situations have be uniquely Singaporean? Jason and Pooja will also shine the spotlight on new authors whose offerings are included in this latest volume of short stories. There will also be a Q&A and a book-signing at this event.
5) Panel: Not Here, Not There
Asian Civilisations Museum, Ngee Ann Auditorium, 10 Nov, 1230-130pm
In the wake of growing nativism in the world today, how do these writers consider the notions of belonging and not belonging in their works? Who or what determines the right to belong, and how should we discuss the nuances involved in acts of staying, moving, and settling?