The annual Singapore Writers Festival has always been an unmissable event for literary enthusiasts and aspiring authors alike. And so despite the ongoing pandemic, the SWF 2020 will make its return this Oct 30-Nov 8, via a digital transformation that will please all bookworms while capitalising on digital tools effectively.
In many ways, this upcoming virtual Singapore Writers Festival will even be addressing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. For starters, the new theme Intimacy allows both authors and audiences to engage and reflect on the impacts of the global crisis, on topics such as mental health, community support and loneliness.
Singapore Writers Festival 2019
First, look forward to getting up close and personal with world renowned writers like Zadie Smith and Cassandra Clare, as Smith (White Teeth) discusses her new collection of essays written during the early days of lockdown while Clare, who’s known for her YA fiction series The Mortal Instruments, discusses her literary inspirations in a meet-the-author session. Other international headliners include Tracy K Smith, Sharon Olds, Art Spiegelman as well as Liu Cixin.
Next, tune into Night Spin 182.7, a broadcast of stories every evening across the festival season, featuring a series of podcasts and vodcasts highlighting both local and international artists. Besides listening to works by American poet Ryan Van Winkle and local actor Grace Kalaiselvi, also hear from theatre group The Second Breakfast Company, among others.
Singapore’s literary pioneers. From L-R: P Krishnan; Ma Elangkannan; Rama Kannabiran.
But since SWF 2020 won’t be complete without casting some of that spotlight on SingLit talents, the well-loved Literary Pioneer series by The Arts House will also return to celebrate the contributions of three seminal Tamil writers and Cultural Medallion recipients—P Krishnan, Ma Elangkannan and Rama Kannabiran—whose works comprise short stories, novels, poetry and radio. Just picture virtual rooms that explore the life and times of these remarkable individuals where you can roam freely.
Finally, SWF will also feature voices from the community through a presentation of 20 innovative commissions in digital literary formats—an all time high in festival history. The online offerings span everything from an interactive, psychological horror game that takes place entirely over email (hello, Halloween) to a hands-on experience named A Call Away where participants are guided through an intimate phone call in unpacking their activity package.
But these are just a couple of the festival highlights that utilises the digital sphere to provide multi-faceted offerings for new audiences. Now as the full line-up gets revealed in the lead up to SWF 2020, don’t forget to grab tickets here, as for the very first time, the main Festival Pass entitles you access to international headline programmes too.
Better start marking your calendars people, there are over 100 events happening across a mere 10 days that you won’t want to miss out on.