National Arts Council to Present First-Ever Showcase of Singapore Literature at London Book Fair 2013


The 2013 Singapore Pavilion marks the start of a three-year participation at the event to raise the international profile of Singapore writers and literature


Delegation of writers and publishers representing Singapore at the London Book Fair – (from left to right) Mr Fong Hoe Fang (Ethos Books), Ms Evelyn Chia (Pan Asia Publishing), Mr Edmund Wee (Epigram Books), Mr Syed Ali Semait (Pustaka Nasional), writer Mr David Seow, writer Mr Alvin Pang, Mr Denon Lim (Lingzi Media)


Singapore, 8 April 2013 – For the first time, the National Arts Council (NAC) will present a “Best of Singapore Literature” showcase at the London Book Fair this year, presenting literary works from more than 60 Singaporean writers.  In addition, a delegation of writers and publishers representing Singapore will be present at the Fair to participate in some of the trade events, as well as two public literary events held at popular bookstores. The full list of Singapore delegates is included in Annex A.


2          The London Book Fair is an annual event, and will be held from 14-17 April 2013 at Earl’s Court in London. It is one of the most important book fairs in Europe, attracting about 25,000 attendees from across 133 countries, and is a global marketplace for rights negotiations and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, television, film and digital channels. Having a Singapore presence at this fair creates opportunities for our local writers and publishers to forge valuable relationships with their international counterparts, to explore future partnerships and collaborations. Beyond the sale of rights and content distribution, the London Book Fair also has a unique focus on translation, providing ample opportunities for rights sales across languages and countries, including Asia. This is an ideal opportunity for Singapore’s multi-language literature, and exposes international buyers to our Chinese, Malay and Tamil literary works.


3          Says Mr Khor Kok Wah, Senior Director, Sector Development (Literary Arts), NAC, “This is the first time we are presenting our local works at the London Book Fair. We hope that through this Singapore showcase, we can generate greater interest in Singapore’s literary content, even within a crowded and competitive international publishing scene. We see this as an exciting platform to cultivate closer ties with international publishers, and explore opportunities with them for our writers and editors.”


4          Says participating publisher, Mr Fong Hoe Fang from Ethos Books, “For Singapore to present such a showcase at the London Book Fair is a significant milestone and step forward for the Singapore literary and publishing scene. We are excited to be part of this team representing the literary scene in Singapore, and to have this unique opportunity to present works of our Singapore writers internationally. I hope that people will begin to take notice of Singapore literature internationally, that serious literary content from this part of Asia can be equally engaging and exciting.”


5          In addition, NAC has appointed the National Book Development Council (NBDCS) as project manager for this showcase at the Fair. NBDCS will curate and set up the Singapore stand, as well as organise the different programmes and activities.


Programme Highlights

6          The Singapore events featured at the 2013 London Book Fair are as follows (open to trade delegates only):


(i)    Publishing event: Singapore Networking Night

Monday, 15 April, 5:00 - 6:30pm
Singapore Showcase, Earls Court Exhibition Centre


This is a private event organized at the Singapore Showcase for invited international publishers and agents to network with Singapore writers and publishers. At this event, NAC will also present Fiction Singapore, the latest directory featuring choice excerpts of Singapore fiction from living Singapore writers.  


(ii)   Publishing event: “New Voices from Singapore”

Wednesday, 17 April, 1.00 - 2.00pm
Wellington Rooms, Earls Court 1


This is a LBF event organised for international publishers interested to expand into the Singapore market or work with Singapore content. NAC’s Literary Arts director, Paul Tan, together with Singapore publishers Philip Tatham, Fong Hoe Fang and literary agent Jayapriya Vasudevan, will speak on opportunities in Singapore, funding options, intellectual property governance and Singapore as an access point to the South-East Asian market.


(iii)  Literary event: “Translation Flows into Asia”

Tuesday, 16 April, 4:45 – 5:45pm
Literary Translation Centre, Earls Court 2


This LBF event features well-known Singaporean poet, Alvin Pang, alongside a panel of international writers, to discuss trends and key issues with translation of literary texts written in languages other than English, with a special focus on literary translations within Asia.


7          In addition, some of our Singaporean writers and publishers have been invited to participate in these public literary events held in conjunction with the London Book Fair:


(i)    “Singapore Slingers – Meet the Authors Behind New Singapore Writing”


Tue, 16 April, 7.00 - 8.30pm
Daunt Books, Fulham Road


This is a free public event held in a popular bookstore to showcase a broad variety of literature from Singapore. The event will feature Singapore writers including multi hyphenated writer, Colin Cheong, poet Alvin Pang, and children’s author David Seow. The featured writers will share with participants more about Singapore through the lens of fiction (and verse).


(ii)   “Un(dis)covered Treasures? Writings from a Unique Island”

Wed, 17 April, 7.00 - 8.30pm

Woolfson & Tay Books, Bear Lane


This free public event features a panel discussion among Singaporean contemporary literature writers, Joshua Ip, Alvin Pang, and Colin Cheong, alongside Singaporean publisher Edmund Wee. They will discuss the relevance of Singaporean writing in the global context and market place.