Singapore Writers Festival 2021 | Kid-Friendly And Youth-Oriented Programmes For All To Enjoy!

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The 24th edition of the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) is back, and will run from 5 to 14 November 2021.

Presented by Arts House Limited (AHL) and commissioned b Foy the National Arts Council (NAC), this year’s hybrid festival presents an exciting lineup of programmes for the whole family to enjoy together!

SWF Playground

This year, the Festival continues to nurture the next generation of literary arts lovers through programmes specially curated for children at the SWF Playground.

Adventures in My Lunchbox

Venue: Online 
Date/Time: 6 Nov 2021, 12pm to 1pm | 13 Nov 2021, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Fee: Free

Your next adventure is right in your lunchbox! Learn bento making skills and techniques with celebrity food artist and cookbook author Shirley Wong (Little Miss Bento), and make your very own adorably appetising character bento box — just in time for lunch!

This session is recommended for ages 7 – 12, with adult supervision. Click here to register!

A Tribute To Hedwig Anuar: Singapore’s First Lady Of Books

Venue: Online & On-site at National Library Plaza
Date/Time: 5 Nov 2021, 5pm to 10pm | 6 to 14 Nov 2021, 10am to 10pm
Fee: Free

We celebrate Anuar as the first Singaporean director of the National Library, champion of children's literature and a pioneer who built the foundations for our modern library system that continues to nurture generations of young readers by making books a part of our everyday lives.

Explore the 2021 Literary Pioneer Exhibition in-person - a playful space with giant books or virtually on our digital microsite.

Who Is Hedwig Anuar?: A Little Readers Guide To The Literary Pioneer Exhibition

Venue: National Library Plaza
Date/Time: 13 Nov 2021, 2pm to 3.30pm
Fee: Free with registration

As the writer and researcher for this year’s Literary Pioneer exhibition, Charlene Shepherdson can tell you (almost) anything about this year’s pioneer, Hedwig Anuar. Enjoy a special interactive kids exhibition tour and activity book session led by the writer herself! We hear there might be some prizes involved at the end, and you can totally quiz her after too.

This session is recommended for ages 7 – 12.

Hedwig's Adventures

Venue: National Library Plaza
Date/Time: 13 Nov 2021, 10.30am to 11.15am
Fee: Free with registration

Who is the woman behind the big glasses and curly hair? Everyone has little untold stories that make us who we are, including the amazing Hedwig Anuar. What was her least favourite subject in school? Did she really read books in a tree? Would she pick Enid Blyton or Nancy Drew? Discover more about the awesome woman behind our public libraries in this storytelling session with Amy J Cheng.

This session is recommended for ages 4 - 8.

Bilingual Storytime With Quek Hong Shin

Venue: National Library Plaza
Date/Time: 6 Nov 2021, 2pm to 2.30pm
Fee: Free 

Let your imagination take flight and have some creative fun with the sarong! Join Quek Hong Shin, the author of The Amazing Sarong and other books in the Heritage Picture Book series, in this bilingual storytelling session.

This session is in Mandarin and English, and is recommended for ages 4 – 8.

Bilingual Storytime With Abhi Krish

Venue: National Library Plaza
Date/Time: 6 Nov 2021, 4pm to 4.30pm
Fee: Free 

A magic box with an endless supply of junk food? What a dream come true for Paaru and Shivam! But something tells us that maybe we should be careful with what we wish for. Find out what happens in this bilingual storytelling session with Abhi Krish!

This session is in Tamil and English, and is recommended for ages 4 – 8.

Dogfoolery And Other Animal Shenanigans

Photo Credit: Chris Close

Venue: National Library Plaza
Date/Time: 7 Nov 2021, 2.30pm to 3.15pm
Fee: Festival Pass

What are the animals getting up to? Find out with Ross Collins, as he reads from some of his hilarious picture books, including This is a Dog and There's a Bear on My Chair. Then, see these animals get up to brand new mischief in the award-winning picture book author's live drawings.

This session is recommended for ages 4 – 6.

Write Your Next Adventure

Venue: Online
Date/Time: 6 Nov 2021, 8pm to 9.30pm
Fee: Festival Pass with registration

Know a young aspiring writer who does their best creative work at night? Join US-based Debbi Michiko Florence, author of the award-winning Jasmine Toguchi series in this workshop and learn tips for creating compelling characters. She shares how to use personal experiences, hopes, and dreams for young writers to create characters of their own.

This session is recommended for ages 7 – 9.

This programme is made possible with the support of the US Embassy.

Youth Fringe Programmes

This year’s Youth Fringe programmes dig into different facets of teen culture such as horror, (fictional) friendships and the Internet phenomena.

Rhianna Pratchett: Achievement Unlocked

Photo Credits: Arts House Limited (unless otherwise stated)

Venue: Online
Date/Time: 12 Nov 2021, 9pm to 10pm
Fee: Festival Pass Plus

Everyone loves a good game, especially if it’s jam-packed with intense swashbuckling action, death-defying protagonists, and deeply intriguing origin stories. Enter award-winning games writer Rhianna Pratchett, the creative genius behind popular game narratives like Tomb Raider and Overlord, and a recent author of a Fighting Fantasy adventure novel.

In this meet-the-gamewriter session, Rhianna explores what makes a compelling (game) storyline, and how she turned one of life’s greatest pleasures into an iconic moment in gaming history. #GLHF

This programme includes a live Q&A towards the end of the session.

The Anatomy Of A Wattpad Story

Venue: Online
Date/Time: TBC
Fee: Festival Pass

Wattpad: a platform that has been hailed by some as a treasure trove of literary masterpieces and by others as the death of literature as we know it. But what makes a Wattpad story? And why are millions of readers driven to indulge in these bite-sized pieces of escapism? United by a common expertise in Wattpad stories, this conversation unpacks the bustling phenomenon that is Wattpad fiction.

This programme is co-presented with Sing Lit Station.

How You Like That: Unpacking K-Pop

Venue: Online & On-site at The Arts House Chamber
Date/Time: 6 Nov 2021, 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Fee: Festival Pass

K-Pop – once described as ‘pop music on crack’ – is an inescapable global phenomenon that combines slick choreography, high-quality production and engrossing universes to create an army of die-hard fans. In this conversation, dive into music videos, teasers, comics, and secret notes of K-Pop superstars like BTS, EXO, and Loona to explore the intricate worldbuilding that goes into creating the K-Pop lore that has enchanted billions.

This programme is co-presented with Sing Lit Station.

SWF Classroom Sessions

Make Me A (Poetry) Sandwich!

Photo Credit: Hayley Madden for Spread the Word

Venue: Online 
Date/Time: 11 Nov 2021, 7.30pm to 9pm
Fee: Festival Pass with registration

Pancakes for lunch, kaya toast for dinner – who doesn’t love an all-day breakfast? No matter where you are or what time it is in your part of the world, gather round Cecilia Knapp’s dining table and churn out some delicious breakfast-themed poetry with her.

Script-Writing Workshop By Jamal Ismail

Venue: Malay Heritage Centre
Date/Time: 6 Nov 2021, 3pm to 6pm
Fee: $20

Learn from seasoned scriptwriter and director Jamal Ismail who has worked at the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), ASTRO (Malaysia) and several private production houses. In this workshop, he focuses on storytelling, developing plot and characterisation, and creating believable dialogues.

This session is in Malay and is co-presented with Unggun Creative.

Ticketing Information

Festival Pass Plus (includes access to all programmes including international headliners
20% Early Bird savings (now extended till 8 Oct 2021): $28*
Regular Price (1 Oct to 14 Nov 2021): $35*
Concessions for Students/NSFs/Seniors (1 Oct to 14 Nov 2021): $28*

Festival Pass (a taster pass that gains you access to selected programmes, excluding international headliners)
20% Early Bird savings (now extended till 8 Oct 2021): $16*
Regular Price (1 Oct to 14 Nov 2021): $20*
Concessions for Students/NSFs/Seniors (1 Oct to 14 Nov 2021): $16*

Separately Ticketed Programmes: TBC
Select experiential programmes to be ticketed separately. Tickets for select shows will go on sale from 4 Oct 2021 at 12pm. Stay tuned for more updates.

Festival Passes and tickets to other ticketed programmes can be purchased via SISTIC.

*excludes SISTIC’s booking fees.

For more information on the Festival and all other ticketing details, visit the SWF website and/or Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. #sgwritersfest, #swf2021, and #swfguiltypleasures


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This article is prepared by

Leona Quek
Blessed with 3 handsome and loving boys in her life. Two of them call her Mommy, the other calls her Wifey. Every night, she wishes for an early bedtime, but misses her babies as soon as they sleep.

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