There’s more than just book-related events at this year’s Singapore Writers Festival

Just last month, the Singapore Writers Festival gave us a sneak peek at the authors who’ll be here from Nov 4-13. Now, they’ve announced the full program, amounting to over 300 events with more than 300 writers participating. The line-up includes writer-journalist Lionel Shriver who wrote the 2003 prize-winning novel We Need To Talk About Kevin, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri, broadcast journalist Atia Abawi and more. There is also a comparable number of Singaporean and Singapore-based authors at this year’s SWF—over 240, including Epigram Fiction Prize winner O Thiam Chin and Singapore Literature Prize winners Cyril Wong and Josephine Chia. Full list here.

Early bird tickets are already on sale, but before you dismiss it as a purely literary event for the nerds and geeks, there’s also a slew of events that don’t revolve around books per se. Here are some you might want to check out.

Theater productions

If you’ve ever wondered what keeps theater going and what it’s like for a stage actor behind the curtains, local writer, poet and playwright Alfian Sa’at scripts and stages a one-woman show titled An Actress Prepares, based on the Konstantin Stanislavski book An Actor Prepares. Here, the performance will chronicle her journey from an eager student who discovers the power of literature to the respected actor she’s become. Nov 13, 5pm, Play Den at The Arts House. $25.


One of more interesting things happening at this year’s SWF is a traditional letterpress printing workshop conducted by Yao Yu, founder of Typesettingsg. Come prepared with a quote or two and he’ll teach you how to typeset the phrase into a memento you can bring home. He’ll also talk about the history of letterpress, which is essentially the foundation of typography and graphic design. Nov 5, 2:30pm, Living Room at The Arts House. $50.

You’ve seen beautiful stop-motion animation all over social media, but do you know how much effort goes into even a short, one-minute film? Local creative studio Paperplane is holding a Lego-Stop Motion Filmmaking workshop where you can learn the nitty-gritty of creating your very own stop-motion film. Just remember to bring your own Lego characters for the class. Nov 13, 2pm, Living Room at The Arts House. $10.

Film screenings

If you didn’t manage to catch the screening of Dheepan at The Projector, here’s your chance. The Palme d’Or winning film directed by acclaimed French director Jacques Audiard tells the story of an ex-soldier, a woman and a little girl who pose as a family to escape the Sri Lankan civil war and begin a life together in a housing area just outside of Paris. Stay on for a post-show dialogue with the film’s lead actor, Shobasakthi. Nov 6, 2pm, Ngee Ann Auditorium at Asian Civilisations Museum. $20.

There’s also an SWF first where the adaptation platform Utter sees four Singaporean short stories in four different languages filmed by four directors then stitched together to create a feature-length film thanks to Sinema. Titled One Hour to Daylight, the film is set in an estate in present-day Singapore, where social and cultural tensions run high. The four stories may be told separately, but they all have one thing in common. There’ll also be post-show dialogue sessions with the producers, authors, scriptwriter and director. Nov 6, 10am, Screening Room at The Arts House. $20.

Live performances

There’ll be a bunch of performances over at the Pop Stage at The Arts House. One band you can look forward to is Seyra, who’ll be playing their usual repertoire of dreamy folk pop and alternative indie music. You can also catch other acts like The MadHatter Project, Ciao Turtle, ZeeAura, Lew and more across the duration of the festival. Nov 5, 1pm, Pop Stage at The Arts House. Free.