Expect plenty of award-winning writers to grace the event too

Returning this Nov 1-10 is the long-standing, annual literary fiesta that is Singapore Writers Festival, with new festival director and poet Pooja Nansi at the helm. Themed "A Language of Our Own", the festival is now in its 22nd edition and will explore the role of language through the formation of communities and expression of identities in today’s age.

An exciting line-up of esteemed writers await, with festival headliners such as winner of the 2015 Man Booker prize for his novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James, presenting the festival prologue; as well as Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko, a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, participating in an exclusive meet-the-author session.

To examine the function of languages, SWF 2019 will delve into linguistic anthropology—its role in society, its influence on our social lives and its future. And in what will truly be a discussion of the theme, look forward to conversations about Singlish, our uniquely local, colloquial language that unifies and defines us, at a series of mini-lectures titled “The Words We Love”, or consider which is the most versatile Singlish word and more, during conversations all surrounding Singlish.

A multilingual literary festival, SWF will also provide cross-cultural programmes for all to enjoy. Find “Perang Spontan”, a Dikir Barat rap battle performance; the return of “Translation Circle:Live!”, a live translating session which demonstrates the challenges of translating across languages and cultures; as well as a calligraphy panel and tour.

Additionally, in an effort to engage young adults this time round, a new festival segment, SWF Youth Fringe, will also be introduced. Curated by youths from various institutions including Temasek Junior College and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, the programme will spotlight a series of subjects that interests youths, such as YA fiction, zine-making and memes.

Headlining the new youth programme is Nicola Yoon, the New York Times-bestselling author of YA novels The Sun is Also a Star and Everything, Everything. And with the recent film release of The Sun is Also a Star, her appearance at SWF will no doubt be a big hit.


Singapore Writers Festival will be held from Nov 1-10, at the Civic District. Find tickets here and more information here.