Interview: Philip Jeyaretnam for Singapore Writers Festival 2011

What is the most important ingredient for the local literary scene?
We as a society need to focus on arts education for young Singaporeans growing up and exposing them to different literary forms. This is crucial as it would inspire the scene, and in turn attract youth to pursue arts-based careers.
What are some recent developments that have impressed you?
There is something brewing in the country, with the introduction of new quality journals like Ceriph and online outlets like Poskod. The vibrancy is never about producing big international literary stars because you can never plan for that but what you can do is build a conducive environment for writers to exchange ideas, create networking opportunities and connect with publishers.
What do you hope to achieve with The Singapore’s Writers Festival?
It’s a great opportunity for Singaporean writers to garner a wide audience. The publishing symposiums will also expose the local literary community to folks from abroad. We hope the big international names will inspire the next generation of writers too. And it’s also great that this would become an annual event to look forward to in our city.
The Singapore’s Writers Festival is on from Oct 22-30 at various venues in the city. Log on to for more details.