Words Go Round 2014 kicks off with bestselling children’s authors


Singapore Writers Festival’s School Programme returns with first-ever multi-language Flash Fiction contest for all students from 7 to 19 years old


Singapore, 13 January 2014 – The annual Words Go Round (WGR) programme kicks off the year-long Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) 2014 with an exciting line-up of school programmes which include talks by notable international writers such as bestselling Australian children’s author Morris Gleitzman, and prolific Taiwanese children’s author Fang Su-Chen. For the first time, WGR’s annual writing contest will be multi-lingual and take on a Twitter theme, challenging students to tell a compelling adventure story in 140 characters or less.


2          This year, WGR will also introduce new programmes specifically designed for pre-primary students (4-6 years old), including interactive storytelling sessions that engage these young ones using finger puppets, singing, tapping and clapping. From 3 to 15 March 2014, WGR will feature a total of 54 literary programmes from 41 international and Singapore authors, poets, journalists, television producers and illustrators. For the past three editions, WGR has reached out to more than 22,000 students across primary, secondary and junior college schools.


3          Says Mr Paul Tan, Director of SWF, “Words Go Round is a highlight in our outreach programme for schools. It is a festival of shared stories and a celebration of the written and spoken word, with a special focus on young readers and budding student writers. This year, we're expanding to pre-primary programmes and introducing a flash fiction contest in all four of our official languages. We hope all these will engage our students, excite them about literature and creative writing, and also deepen their love of their mother tongues. Over the past few editions, we have also observed that the students enjoy interactive workshop settings – hence we have created more workshops for schools this year, allowing students to interact and connect more directly with the featured authors in an intimate learning environment.”


 School Programme Highlights

4          WGR continues to bring an array of creative school programmes to students from primary to junior college levels, such as talks on arts journalism, flash fiction, as well as workshops on storytelling, comic art, and filmmaking. This year, WGR will feature more small-sized workshops, allowing students to learn more effectively within a smaller setting. Some of the highlights include:

(i)    Filmmaking Workshop – Cooking up Films with Local Flavour by Kat Goh

(ii)   Drama Workshop – Working Towards Simplicity in Theatre-making by Chong Tze Chien

(iii)  TV Screenwriting Workshop – Writing for the Small Screen in A Big Way (in Tamil) by TT Dhavamanni

(iv) Storytelling Workshop – Become a Prop Wizard: Turning Everyday Objects into Storytelling Props (in Mandarin) by Fang Su-Chen


 5          In addition, highlights from the new series of pre-primary (4-6 years old) school programmes include:


(v)  Tap and Clap with Badang, Sang Kancil and Kucinta – Let the little ones join storyteller Rosemarie Somaiah as she brings local traditional tales alive through an interactive storytelling session.

(vi) Story Express! Fun Stories for Very Little Ones (in Mandarin) - Experience the wonderful, magical world of storytelling as children’s author Fang Su-Chen brings stories to life with picture books and finger puppets.

(For more WGR school workshops and talks, please refer to Appendix A)


Public Programme Highlights

6          In addition to the school programmes, WGR will feature a series of free public programmes open to all parents and young children (4–9 years old). To encourage Singaporean parents to read stories to their children in the Chinese language, Fang Su-Chen will be sharing on how to tell a lively story at a free talk for the public on 6 March, 7:30pm at The Arts House. Parents can also look forward to an afternoon of fun with their children at storytelling sessions by Rosemary Somaiah and Fang Su-Chen held at Little Arts Academy.

(For more details on the public programmes, please refer to Appendix B)


#140: My First Flash Fiction Contest

7          Inspired by the micro-blogging site Twitter, this year’s WGR contest challenges students to tell a compelling adventure story in 140 characters or less. For the first time, the contest is conducted in all four official languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. All students from 7-19 years old can take part, and submit their extremely short story at http://www.singaporewritersfestival.com/wgr/contest. Winners will stand to win up to $3,000 worth of prizes.