Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SWF 2015 :: Concluded

Really disappointed that Justin Cronin couldn't make it to Singapore Writers Festival 2015. (SWF 2015) For health reasons, it was stated. Truth be told, I bought the festival pass solely because he was scheduled to speak at two sessions and host a writing masterclass on building worlds. HAIZZZ. Yah, am a giant fangirl.

Hate starting on any series that haven't been completed. Yelled to high heaven when I made the mistake of finishing Justin Cronin's 'The Passage', only to realize the final book of the trilogy is only published in 2016. Grudgingly flipped through 'The Twelve'. It's been three years. Now, I would have to re-read the two books before wrapping up with 'The City of Mirrors', which has been promised a release next spring. There's even a date announced- May 24 2016. It better be!!!

I don't look at festivals as a whole when there's a range of events for me to choose from. I simply decide which ones I'd like to attend. Am glad most of the sessions I wanted to attend at SWF didn't clash and they were somehow scheduled one after the other. Whewww. I really like the switch of venue to the Civic District. Housing majority of the events at The Arts House make for a more conducive sprint from room to room, instead of from building to building across two roads.

A very engaging panel moderated by Gene Tan- 'Bright Lights, Dark Cities' with authors
 Fuminori Nakamura, Nicholas Hogg, Amir Muhammad and Troy Chin.

The one thing I keenly felt- this year's festival seemed more inclusive. It felt less like an intimidating literary event for the scene and its fans. The curation was tight and made no qualms about wanting to reach out to a wider audience. It did. Spreading out the sessions over two weeks made for easier logistical planning on the part of the organizers, and for audiences, it simply eases traffic on the calendar. Love the stronger and wider emphasis on music, and the involvement of musicians in the creative process of producing thought-invoking stories.

The only issues, or perhaps not, are- the dates and duration of Ubud Writers Festival and Shanghai International Literary Festival (rescheduled from its usual March to late October this year because its usual venue closed) both fell on SWF's dates. Unless we're sharing authors and speakers, then it makes total sense for air-tickets and geographical scheduling. The discussion/dialogue topics sounded friendlier; speakers and moderators include a good mix of overseas and local writers. Overall it felt less like events hosted by an exclusive club that outsiders aren't privy to on most days.

Great job, SWF 2015.

Gwee Li Sui's 'New World' written for SWF 2015.

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