Words Go Round 2013 takes literature beyond books


 Singapore Writers Festival’s School Programme returns with
diverse literary programmes and exciting creative talents


Singapore, 28 January 2013 – Words Go Round (WGR) returns to schools in 2013 with new and interesting ways for students to explore literature, through genres such as comic creations, travel writing, and song-writing. For the first time, the Festival has expanded teacher workshops to include Chinese language talks as well. From 25 February to 9 March, WGR 2013 will feature a total of 46 literary programmes from 39 international and Singapore writers, poets, playwrights and lyricists, kicking off the annual Singapore Writers Festival’s year-long programme.


2          Says Mr Paul Tan, Director for the Singapore Writers Festival, “ This year’s edition of Words Go Round reminds us how literature is a mirror of life and how the creative use of language conveys life’s truths to young readers in touching and meaningful ways. Of course, we also want students to enjoy themselves during the programmes – whether it is in the song writing sessions, penning their own comics or poetry – and we hope through that fun, they discover the powerful potential of the written word.”


Programme Highlights

3          WGR 2013 offers an exciting series of programmes for students. Some highlights for the schools’ programme include:

(i)    Learn how to pen lyrics and put them to song with well-known local musicians, Jack & Rai, and Mandopop lyricist, Xiaohan.


(ii)   For students who enjoy comics, let comic artist Ang Thiam Poh share with you how he finds that magical blend of words and images when he creates his comics.


(iii)  Students will get to meet and interact with bestselling authors, whose books have been adapted to films, including Andrea Hirata (The Rainbow Troops), Ho Minfong (Sing to the Dawn) and John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas).


(iv)  One of our youngest Singapore writers, Jolene Goh, who recently released her touching memoir, Jolene’s Story, will share her personal story of how she overcame a troubled childhood and her wayward teenage years to pursue a passion for writing.


(v)  For the first time, WGR will offer Chinese language workshops for teachers, to look at techniques and ways on how they can encourage students to enjoy and write in their mother tongue.


For the full list of programmes, please visit www.singaporewritersfestival.com/wgr


 4          The public can enjoy some of the programmes as well. Two of our internationally acclaimed writers, Andrea Hirata and John Boyne, will be holding public sessions at The Arts House. Audiences will get to enjoy a film screening of Laskar Pelangi (trans. The Rainbow Troops), one of Indonesia’s most successful films, followed by an appearance by the author Andrea Hirata. John Boyne will share his thoughts on the convictions and complexities of two young soldiers during wartime in his latest novel The Absolutist in a free public talk. (For more information, please refer to Appendix A)


 Pocketful of Pantun Competition

5          Besides appreciating literature, WGR also encourages students to create literature through a creative writing competition so they can learn about traditional poetic forms. This year, the Singapore Writers Festival is proud to present Pocketful of Pantun, a fun and accessible contest that encourages students to engage in creative writing through the traditional Malay poetic form of a pantun[1]. There are separate English and Malay categories, as well as different age-groups. To encourage more students to have fun writing together, there are prizes for the student classes who submit the most number of entries. Winners will stand to win up to $3,000 worth of prizes and the prize giving ceremony will take place at the WGR Literary Open House on 2 March 2013. Winning entries will also be posted on www.singaporewritersfestival.com/wgr/contest.html


 Annex A : Words Go Round 2013 Public Programmes


[1] A pantun is a traditional Malay poetic form that takes on a four-line verse, with alternating rhyming lines.