Singapore Writers Festival 2020 Returns With Specially Curated Family Programmes!



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The Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) is back for its 23rd edition, and will be going digital! Opening this weekend on 30 October (till 8 November), SWF 2020 has curated a lineup of 30 family-friendly activities in SWF Playground.

Photo Credit: Singapore Writers Festival

Photo Credit: Singapore Writers Festival / Facebook

Featuring interactive storytelling sessions, up-close workshops with leading children's book writers, hands-on craft sessions, here's what families can look forward to enjoy with the little (and not so little) ones in SWF Playground 2020:

1. Talks And Workshops

The Write Weekend

A three-part programme hosted on Zoom.

Photo Credit: Singapore Writers Festival / Facebook

Ticket Price: $10 (available for sale via the SISTIC Live website) | Includes a talk and a workshop delivered in two parts

  • [TALK] Beyond the Book by Nat Amoore

Date/Time: 31 Oct, 10am to 10.30am
Venue: Zoom

Do your kids write or draw stories in notebooks? How can they build on this? What do authors actually do? Get a secret insider’s look with Nat Amoore, the award-winning children’s author of The Power of Positive Pranking. Drawing on her experiences - from growing her podcast and YouTube channel to getting slimed on national television and more - your kids will discover the many shapes an author can take and learn three simple steps to growing their ideas into a book.

Some things your kid will learn: Writing vs telling stories, where ideas come from, life of an author beyond the book.

For ages 8 to 12.

  • [WORKSHOP] Host Your Own Podcast with Nat Amoore

Date/Time: 31 Oct &1 Nov, Various Timings
Venue: Zoom

Anyone can have their very own podcast. Really. Nat Amoore, author and host of One More Page, a podcast for lovers of kids’ books with over 60,000 downloads, will show your kids how easy it is. With Nat’s guidance, your kids will brainstorm ideas, write scripts, learn how to ask good questions, plan episodes, select music and record content. Working together with other participants, your kids will create a 3-ish-minute podcast. All future podcast superstars start somewhere -- take the first step and book your seat today!

For ages 8 to 12.

  • [WORKSHOP] Rhythm and Poetry with Karl Nova

Date/Time: 31 Oct &1 Nov, Various Timings
Venue: Zoom

If you can’t see why your kid should get interested in poetry, let Karl Nova, one of the UK’s leading poets who used to find poetry boring, change your mind. Through interactive exercises, Karl will show your kid how poetry can uplift and inform and guide them through writing their very own performance piece.

For ages 10 to 14.

Furry Tales by Leia

Date/Time: 7 Nov, 1.30pm to 2.30pm
Venue: 
The Arts House, Living Room
Ticket Price: Free with registration

Have you ever wondered if your pets were leading secret double lives, and if, in an alternate universe, they were the leads in dramas of their own making? If so, join our favourite fur friend, Leia and her hooman, Daniel Boey, as they talk about Furry Tales by Leia, their latest fairy tale collection inspired by pets.

Interspersed with animated readings, find out about animal adoption and be inspired by the secret lives of our pets, then use that as the inspiration to create your very own fuzzy fairy tale! After all, what is “dog” spelt backwards?

2. Crafts

Photo Credit: Singapore Writers Festival / Facebook

Elly's Art Show featuring Evgenia Golubeva

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue:
 SWF Youtube
Ticket Price:
 Free

Craft (quite literally) your own character with filmmaker Evgenia Golubeva! Your kids will watch one of her magical short films before making their own character that moves with Mint, Berry and Mocha the Cat!

About the craft: Create your own character that moves!

For ages 4 to 6.

Elly's Art Show featuring Nur-El-Hudaa Jaffar

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price: 
Free

Help! Berry Bubblegum has written a story and can't figure out how it should end. Good thing author Nur-El-Hudaa Jaffar has come to save the day and guide Berry to complete his story. If your kids struggle to finish their stories, join in and pick up some tips!

About the craft: Make a fun hat with Elly to inspire more stories.

For ages 4 to 6.

Elly's Art Show featuring Baek Heena

Date/Time: 7 Nov, 10am to 10.30am
Venue:
FB Live on SWF Facebook
Ticket Price: 
Free

An online art show with a twist! Join Singapore-based children’s book illustrator Elieth Sardiñas “Elly” and her co-host Berry Bubblegum on a journey with arts, crafts and lots of fun! Together, you'll meet artists from Singapore and across the globe who make incredible children's content that can inspire you and your kids to create art in an intimate and personalised way.

Have you ever thought of living in a picture book? Well, the amazing Baek Heena who was recently awarded with the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, might inspire you to create a magical world of your own!

This session is in Korean and English.

For ages 7 to 9.

Elly's Art Show featuring Illustrator Patrick Yee

Date/Time: 
Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price: 
Free

What different artworks can be used to represent a story? Find out from award-winning illustrator Patrick Yee as he introduces many kinds of picture books (and more!) in a colourful artwork party.

About the craft: When one medium doesn't seem enough...use them all! Join Elly and friends as they stamp, draw and paint at the same time in this interactive craft party.

For ages 7 to 9.

3. Storytelling

Pinocchio

Photo Credit: Singapore Writers Festival / Facebook

Date/Time: 1 Nov, 10am to 11am
Venue: 
Zoom
Ticket Price:
Free with registration (limited slots available)

Enjoy a retelling of Carlo Collodi’s Italian fairytale, Pinocchio, with storytellers led by Alice Bianchi-Clark. Embark on a magical journey with music, song and puppetry! Step into digital break-out rooms where your kids can engage with characters from the story - the formidable puppeteer, the compassionate Blue Fairy and the tricksy Cat and Fox - in small, interactive groups.

For ages 7 to 9. 

Asian Folktales

Date/Time: 31 Oct, 4pm to 5pm
Venue: 
Zoom
Ticket Price:
Free with registration (limited slots available)

Journey to different digital break-out rooms and enjoy three powerful stories -- The Mountain Yamanba, The Foolish Man Who Moved Two Mountains and Brinjal Curry!. Then, your kids can share their ideas and help storytellers Juriah Atan, Wong Swee Yean and Priti Modyiyer create a fourth folktale!

The Mountain Yamanba: In Japanese folklore, a yamanba is a female sorcerer known to change shapes, making itself look like a monster or animal. Long ago, the yamanba's baby descended on a village demanding rice cakes be sent to him and his mother. The villagers made the rice cakes but no one dares to deliver them . . .

The Foolish Man Who Moved Two Mountains: Most ancient people considered it impossible to alter the natural landscape, but a 90-year-old Chinese man once succeeded, as legend suggests. This is his story of determination and perseverance.

Brinjal Curry!: An extremely lazy man craves brinjal for a curry and takes it from his neighbour’s garden with “permission” from the field! How his neighbour pays him back is the rest of the story.

This is a live session. For ages 9 to 12.

Jungle Beasties or Besties? told by Jumaini Ariff and Shalni Doshi

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price: Free

Would your kids be meanies to their best friends, just to be part of a crowd? In a jungle where fights and quarrels are the norm, two fox besties Ali and Abu thought it would only be right if they too became as unfriendly as the others. Their choice results in some unexpected results -- find out more with storytellers Jumaini Ariff and Shalni Doshi!

This bilingual session is in Malay and English and is for ages 4 to 9.

Unexpected Encounters told by Abby L Kahei and Roger Jenkins

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price: Free

A rabbit runs into a tree (literally) while Baby Frog makes a new friend when he bumps into Baby Snake. An alien invader and a Singaporean plum seller find communication (even in sign language!) difficult. Enjoy these stories with Abby L Kahei and Roger Jenkins who will give your children much to laugh at and more to reflect on.

This bilingual session is in Chinese and English and is for ages 4 to 9.

Lots and Pots of Wisdom - Indian Folklores retold by Kalah Rajesh and Roger Jenkins

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price: Free

Enjoy four stories sometimes comical but always wise, involving water, pots, a mean older brother, and Birbal running rings round everyone!

This bilingual session in Tamil and English is for ages 4 to 9.

4. Performances

Grace, the Girl on Wheels

Photo Credit: Singapore Writers Festival / Facebook

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price: Free

Grace cannot walk, so she travels everywhere by wheelchair. She spends lots of time with her best friend Shelly playing games, reading books and watching TV. One day, Shelly decides to take Grace for a walk. Unfortunately, they come across obstacles like steps, drains and uneven tracks that are challenging for the wheelchair to navigate. How will they proceed? This dramatised storytelling session features Nikki Ang, who lives with muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair bound, with actress and educator Amy J Cheng.

This is an inclusive programme suitable for participants of all ages and abilities.

Dancing Leaves

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price:
 Free 

"Leaves shouldn't hang around and make food for the trees and plants." That's what Nip the leaf believes in this tale written by author, actor and director R Chandran. Nip comes up with the bright idea to encourage his friends to dance to the music of the breeze. Join actress and educator Amy J Cheng in this participative presentation as she leads the audience in basic dance movements followed by a craft session exploring the shapes and textures of leaves found around us.

This is an inclusive programme suitable for participants of all ages and abilities. Teachers and care-givers are encouraged to have an assortment of leaves in preparation for the show.

Billy Goats Gruff

Date/Time: Available from 30 Oct
Venue: 
SWF Youtube
Ticket Price:
 Free 

The beloved children’s story of how three goats outwit a troll to cross a bridge will be brought to life with mime and sign language, supported by narration in this performance adapted by R Chandran. Join mime artist, Gophi Nathan, as he introduces key words from the story in sign language and guides your kids to create simple goat puppets of different sizes with actress and educator Amy J Cheng.

This is an inclusive programme for children of all ages and abilities. 

Books to Life: Di Mana Rumah Saya?

Date/Time: 8 Nov, 11.30am to 12.10pm
Venue: 
Zoom
Ticket Price:
 Free with registration (limited slots available)

Come join us for a different workshop experience for your little ones. Books to Life is a series of workshops that celebrate stories and authors, and encourage your little ones to think about what the story means to them. Your children will be treated to an interactive storytelling session with ACT 3 International, followed by a drama workshop exploring the themes in the stories.

This workshop will feature Nur-El-Hudaa Jaffar’s book, Di Mana Rumah Saya?.

This session is in Malay and is recommended for ages 4 to 6. 

Books to Life: Blow Me A Kiss

Date/Time: 8 Nov, 10am to 10.40am
Venue: 
Zoom
Ticket Price:
 Free with registration (limited slots available)

Come join us for a different workshop experience for your little ones. Books to Life is a series of workshops that celebrate stories and authors, and encourage your little ones to think about what the story means to them. Your children will be treated to an interactive storytelling session with ACT 3 International, followed by a drama workshop exploring the themes in the stories.

This workshop will feature David Seow's book, Blow A Kiss.

Recommended for ages 4 to 6. 

So start your journey with SWF 2020 (with just a click of a button!), and immerse yourself in the Festival’s offerings while spending some quality time with your kids and letting them grow their imagination and sense of wonder!

SWF Playground programmes are also now available on the SWF YouTube Channel for the rest of the year till November 2021.

For more information, please visit the festival website here.


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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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