Singapore Writers Festival 2005 - Text In The City


Singapore Writers Festival 2005

~ Text In The City ~

26 August – 4 September


Get your pulse racing with Text!

The biennial Singapore Writers Festival returns this year with a bigger, bold and tantalizing celebration of the written word.  Packing 66 of top local and international literary names from 16 countries and regions into 82 riveting events, the multi-lingual Festival with a focus on Asian writers and literary content expands its reach in inculcating the practice and appreciation of both creative writing and reading in Singapore.


With a theme “Text In The City”, this year’s Festival explores the use of text in urban spaces, expressed either through themes in fiction writing or in unconventional ways through performance, new technology and other forms of media.  Popular, contemporary forms of writing, such as blogging, graphic novels, science fiction, crime, food and travel, will be explored, together with the spotlight on exciting young, emerging Asian writers in the literary scene today.  The Festival also includes an outstanding series of innovative events which frame reading and writing in a more accessible light.  With graffiti writing events, online writing competitions, a celebrity chef cooking session, film screenings and literary-based performances, the events aim to attract and engage the wider community in the appreciation and experience of literary arts.


 “The Singapore Writers Festival does more than showcase top local and international literary talents to people in Singapore.  With multi-disciplinary practice in the arts, popular culture and new technology, literary arts are being enjoyed and practiced in more ways than most people realize.  By showcasing the best in traditional notions of writing with accessible contemporary forms of engagement in text, the Festival continues to enhance the range of events for writers and Singaporeans to indulge in the literary experience,” says Mr Lee Suan Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of the National Arts Council.


Ms Ginney Lim, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for Singapore Press Holdings says: “The Writers Festival brings more world-class writers and fun literary events to Singapore this year.  With an expanded range of programmes, even more people can come and participate in the joys of literature and writing.  We hope to contribute towards nurturing a more creative and articulate society through our sponsorship of this premier literary event.”


Exciting Line up of Text Stars

Among the renowned authors who will be gracing the Festival are Goenawan Mohamad (Indonesia), Nuri Vittachi (Hong Kong), Yu Hua (China), Manju Kapur (India), Peter Goldsworthy, Doris Pilkington and Andrew Bovell (Australia), Dominique Wolton and Yasmina Khadra (France), Alberto Ruy-Sanchez (Mexico), Robert J. Sawyer and Cory Doctorow (Canada), and Bruce Sterling, Norman Spinrad, R W Apple and John Burdett (United States).


The Festival also presents rising stars from the Asia-Pacific such as Ouyang Yu (Australia), Wei Hui (China), Ayu Utami (Indonesia), Tarun Tejpal and Aniruddha Bahal (India), Rattawut Lapcharoensap (Thailand), and Amir Muhamad and Jerome Kugan (Malaysia).


Prominent Singapore talents participating in the Festival include Meira Chand, Gerrie Lim, Huang Kaide, Ng King Kang, Michael Vatikiotis, and Isa Kamari. Look out for short story writer, You Jin, NAC Young Artist Award recipients Felix Cheong, Tan Hwee Hwee, playwright Elangovan and poet Cyril Wong, as well as blogger Mr Brown.


Stimulating Events For Everyone

The literary stars will participate in a wide range of events from forums, discussions, workshops, talks to readings, book signings and networking nights.


Highlights include the Festival Opening Forum titled “New Asian Writing – Finding a Voice on the Global Stage” and a panel discussion on “Sexuality, Love and Desire in New Asian writing” by Asian writers Wei Hui, Gerrie Lim, Ayu Utami, Isa Kamari. There are also masterclasses conducted by Ho Che Anderson and Colleen Doran; workshops with crime and thriller writers John Burdett, Aniruddha Bahal and Kathryn Fox; and an evening with award winning chef Kylie Kwong in Friends For Dinner... Cooking with Heart and Soul as she whips up a cosy dinner with chef Christopher Millar. The Golden Point Award ceremony which celebrates winners of the biennial NAC-SPH poetry and short story writing competition is another event not to be missed. 


Other lively and interactive activities include Generation Txt, a host of activities presenting popular, modern-day notions of literature.  In Graffiti Text, quotes from books by participating writers will be painted on walls and hoardings in highly prominent public spaces in the city. A series of Spoken Word Performances features popular Spoken Word Filipino-American group as well as a Korean-American artist from the United States.


Meanwhile Blog On – Writings In Cyberspace will star Singaporean celebrity bloggers Mr Brown, Xiaxue and Mr Miyagi as well as one of the world's most legendary bloggers, Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing.  Among the events highlights will be the opportunity for bloggers to network with celebrity bloggers at Rouge, Official Club of the Festival.


To push the boundaries of literature is Second Link: The Singapore-Malaysia Text Exchange staged by Wild Rice and is also the Festival finale. This performance is based on a collection of Singapore and Malaysian literary works performed by Singaporean and Malaysian actors and is directed by Krishen Jit and Ivan Heng. 


Meanwhile raising temperatures a notch will be the late night sessions titled Bedtime Readings – Writings From The Naughty Side.  Writers such as Wei Hui and Alberto Ruy-Sanchez will be reading from their work revolving around sexuality, love and desire.


The public can also contribute their own literary work in two online competitions: The 100-Word Epic Challenge short story writing competition, co-organised with ZoCard, and Get Intimate with Sing Lit, co-organised with National Library Board to get people to find out more about Singapore’s store of literary works through the Online Repository of Artistic Works (NORA).


With the line-up of stellar names and slate of rousing events, the Singapore Writers Festival 2005 promises to excite and engage audiences from all segments. 


Please find the following annexes enclosed for information:



  • Authors’ List  
  • Programme Highlights
  • List of Festival Partners