In this 2018 edition, the National Arts Council (NAC) presents the 21st edition of the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) in the Civic District from 2 to 12 November with the theme – 界 (jiè). The Chinese character refers to the different world(s) we live in and is nuanced with multiple meanings, expressing the idea of endless worlds which range from one’s imagination and virtual reality to geographical borders and man-made boundaries.
SWF for Families (SWF3 )
SWF3 is a special track at the Singapore Writers Festival comprising of programmes for children as young as two years old to enjoy with their families. These include storytelling, workshops and talks. The aim is to encourage a love for stories and books, spark the imagination, nurture young authors and provide a platform for family bonding.
This year, SWF3 will have a writing ‘camp’ which includes a workshop and a talk by Singapore and international writers. These sessions are recommended for children 9 – 12 years who are keen on developing their writing skills.
There are also programmes for children with autism and Down syndrome.
EXPECTING SOON?: Read This as You Prepare for Baby's Arrival
Look out for:
Create Your Own Dance Story
3 Nov, 10 – 10:45am | The Arts House, Play Den | Free
Oh no, someone’s scattered the pages of Just Teddy, a charming tale by award-winning author Emily Lim, all over the floor! Help put a story inspired by these pages together and let The Kueh Tutus, a collective that creates dance-based experiences, bring your new story to life. Participants are encouraged to bring their own teddy bears.
Recommended for ages 2 to 4. Parent-child participation.
Mabel Moves to Singapore
3 Nov, 10 – 10:45am | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Mabel the penguin has to move from her icy Antarctic home to sunny Singapore, and she’s not sure what to expect. In a story session with author and illustrator, Fleur Vella-Chang, find out why Mabel’s two homes experience such different climates and create a simple 3D pop-up scene based on the book. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. Parent-child participation.
Make Yourself Heard!: Create Your Own Spoken-Word Piece
3 Nov, 11:30am – 1pm | Asian Civilisations Museum, Discovery Room | $10
Have something to say and not sure how to express it effectively? Script and perform your own performance poetry inspired by your own experiences in this workshop by award-winning Australian performance poet, Jesse Oliver. Learn how you can get inspired by disparate influences like music lyrics and video game narratives. Recommended for ages 13 to 16. Seats for the workshop are limited.
Visit makeyourselfheard.peatix.com to purchase a ticket.
3 Nov, 11:30am – 12:15pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
When the king orders a girl to spin straw to gold in the classic folk tale Rumpelstiltskin, a little imp like man offers to help her in exchange for a number of things, including her first child. Find out how she saves her child in this reading by art@homesg, a collective of art teachers who love stories. Then, create a Rumpelstiltskin of your own to enjoy the story again at home. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. Parent-child participation.
Of Growing Up and Moustaches
3 Nov, 2 – 2:45pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Louis, the protagonist of The Boy Who Wanted to Grow a Moustache, can’t wait to grow up. What happens when he decides to glue a spectacular moustache on his face? Find out from the book’s author, Melvin Koh, and create your very own hand puppets (with moustaches). Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
The Incredible Basket
3 Nov, 3 – 4:15pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Travel back to the 1970s with Xiaoming in this reading of The Incredible Basket with author and illustrator, Quek Hong Shin. Then join in some fun activities to reimagine what the Chinese wedding basket could be. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
The Middle Stories
4 Nov, 11 – 11:45am | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Sandwich fillings, colours and doors. What other in-between things, or things in the middle, can you and your children think of? Join Priscilla Tey as she reads from her debut picture book, In-Between Things, and have fun drawing and colouring with the author and illustrator. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
Agnes and her Amazing Orchid
4 Nov, 12:30 – 1:15pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Did you know that Singapore’s national flower, was created by a girl named Agnes Joaquim in the 1800s? Uncover her story and passion for plants with Linda Locke, Joaquim’s great grand-niece. Learn more about the different characteristics of orchids before creating, colouring and naming your very own orchid. Recommended for ages 4 to 8. Parent-child participation.
Colours, Shapes and Textures
4 Nov, 2 – 2:45pm | Asian Civilisations Museum, Discovery Room | Free with registration
Explore the beauty of colours and textures with arts educator and children’s author, Patrick Yee. He will introduce an art experience, which encourages creative expression and develops fine motor skills. As a parent, you can also create a simple artwork with your child that you can take home. Recommended for children on the autism spectrum or with sensory sensitivities. Parent-child participation. Seats for the workshop are limited.
Visit shapesandtextures.peatix.com to register. You’ll need to register for at least two seats to attend the workshop.
Learning English Through Football
4 Nov, 2 – 3pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free with registration
Football fans can improve their English language skills through learning from their favourite sport. Benedict Boo, co-author of the Superkicks series featuring a group of children who love football, will demonstrate what shooting goals have in common with closing stories. He will also share other principles that would help to develop language and narrative skills. Recommended for ages 9 to 14. Seats for the workshop are limited.
Visit englishandfootball.peatix.com to register.
Sing and Dance with ‘Anak Itik’
4 Nov, 2:30 – 3:15pm | The Arts House, POP stage | Free
Anak Itik (Little Duck) strays too far from mummy and almost gets herself in big trouble. Enter the world of Anak Itik with this dramatisation of the story, written by celebrity author, Rilla Melati. Pick up simple Malay words as you sing and dance along in this interactive bilingual session.This session is in Malay and English and is recommended for ages 3 to 6.
Ken Kwek: Why Stories Matter
4 Nov, 3:30 – 4:30pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Did you know that every good story ever told contains the same ingredients? Find out what they are from Ken Kwek, award-winning film-maker and author of Timothy and the Phubbers. Using examples from popular children’s films and his own experiences as a film-maker, he will explain how these ingredients could enable any child to write their own stories and, in turn, make sense of their world. Recommended for ages 9 to 14.
Stories, Kuih and Five Stones
4 Nov, 4 – 4:45pm | The Arts House, POP stage | Free
What bite-sized snacks (or kuihs) are shaped like five stones, the traditional kampung game, and includes ingredients such as grated coconut and palm sugar? Find out from children’s author, Rilla Melati, as she reads Kuih Untuk Adil, the latest title from the beloved Adil series and learn how to play five stones. This session is in Malay and English and is recommended for ages 7 to 9.
The Poetry of Dark Dreams
4 Nov, 4 – 6pm | Asian Civilisations Museum, Discovery Room | Free with registration
Enter the shadow-wrapped world of dark poetry and create haunting and macabre poems of your own. With Christina Sng, poet and winner of the Bram Stoker Award, as your guide, you’ll learn to edit and improve your poems, and discover more about this eerie world that poets like Anne Sexton and Neil Gaiman call home. Recommended for ages 13 to 16.
Seats for the workshop are limited. Visit darkdreams.peatix.com to register.
Stories For Good
6 Nov, 1:30 – 2:15pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Get your kids immersed in age-old values, such as friendship and the triumph of wisdom over might, from The Panchatantra, the oldest collection of Indian fables, by the good folks from The Storytelling Centre Limited. Enjoy the stories and create a simple paper puppet of your own. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
Hello, Goodbye Little Island
6 Nov, 3 – 3:45pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Making friends can be tough. Saying goodbye to them when they move to another country can be even harder – as Maja, the protagonist from Hello, Goodbye Little Island, learns. In this reading, the book’s author and illustrator, Leila Boukarim and Barbara Moxham, share with children (and parents) that goodbyes are not forever. Children will then get to make, write and mail postcards to their special someone. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
Why Creative Learning Matters
10 Nov, 10:30 – 11:30am | The Arts House, Living Room | Free
Every parent wants their child to excel, but what is the best way to achieve this, and what does it mean anyway? Three speakers – Woo Yen Yen, educator and creator of Dim Sum Warriors; John Tan, founder of Saturday Kids, a centre that teaches digital literacy and design thinking; and Ye Shu Fang, visual artist and deputy director of education at National Gallery Singapore – weigh in. The trio will discuss what it means to learn creatively and share habits you could nurture to inspire creativity and ideas in your children. Recommended for parents and educators of all ages.
Yoga Storytelling: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
10 Nov, 10:30 – 11:45am | SWF Empress Tent | $5
Move, quite literally, through Eric Carle’s beloved tale of The Very Hungry Caterpillar with your child in this yoga-storytelling session by international yoga teacher, Kathy Gabriel. Build imagination, learn creative relaxation and focusing techniques that can be practised both on and off the mat, and enjoy a new way to experience the story with your child.
Please dress comfortably and bring a bottled water. Yoga mats will be provided.
Recommended for children of ages 3 to 7. Parent-child participation.
Visit yogastorytelling.peatix.com to purchase a ticket. Each ticket admits one person (parent or child) and you’ll need to purchase at least two tickets to attend the workshop.
Different Places, Same Home
10 Nov, 12 – 12:45pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
How does one live in many places while remaining in the same house? With a house on wheels, of course! Explore new places to live with Mr Bu Gu and his special home in this delightful retelling of Mr Bu Gu Moves House <布谷先生搬家> by educator and reading advocate Liang Huiyu. Then, create your very own paper house. This session is in Mandarin and English and is recommended for ages 4 to 8.
How to Write About Kueh (And Other Foods)
10 Nov, 2:30 – 4:30pm | Asian Civilisations Museum, Discovery Room | $10
There’s more to writing about food than meets the eye. Have a taste of being a food writer in this delicious two-hour food writing workshop by Joyceline Tully and Sim Ee Waun, veteran food journalists and the authors of The Little Singapore Book. Taste and discover Singapore’s food heritage and put your new skills to the test with a bit of creative food writing. This workshop includes a tasting of several kuehs. If your child may have food allergies, please contact us at the link below before purchasing a ticket.
Recommended for ages 9 to 12. Seats for the workshop are limited.
A Trishaw Ride Around Chinatown
10 Nov, 3 – 3:45pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Go on an adventure around Chinatown with the character, Wei, as he hops on a trishaw and searches for his missing teddy bear in the children’s book, Go Trishaw Go. In the story set in 1960s Singapore, Wei passes numerous buildings and places of interest on his journey. Enjoy a reading by Francis Wong Hooe Wai, an architect and the book’s author, and learn more about the featured buildings in a fun, interactive game. This session is in Mandarin and English and is recommended for ages 7 to 12.
Where It Ends, We Begin: A Poem-Inspired Movement Workshop
11 Nov, 10 – 10:45am | The Arts House, Play Den | $10
Walk down interesting and imaginative pathways with dance company, RAW Moves. In this movement workshop inspired by Shel Silverstein’s timeless collection of poems and drawings, Where the Sidewalk Ends, children will stimulate their imagination and develop creativity through movement. This session will promote learning and cognitive development through physical movement. Recommended for ages 7 to 9. Seats for the workshop are limited. Visit whereitendswebegin1.peatix.com to purchase a ticket.
Hearty Tales and Dim Sum
11 Nov, 10:30 – 11:15am | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Dousha Bao tries very, very, very, very, very, very hard to put Chashao Bao to bed, but he’s not going down easily. What should Dousha Bao do? Find out in a reading of Little Dim Sum Warriors: Papa, I’m Still Not Sleepy, by its creators, Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen, and create a yummy character of your own! Recommended for ages 4 to 8.
How to Create a Page-Turner
11 Nov, 11am – 12:30pm | Asian Civilisations Museum, Discovery Room | $10
An ancient Egyptian curse? Mysterious attacks on a theatre production? There’s no mystery Poppy Pym, the lead character in the detective series of the same name, can’t solve! Join Laura Wood, the award-winning British author behind the series, and uncover what it takes to create your own stories with the right amount of charm and suspense to keep your audiences hooked. Eecommended for ages 9 to 12. Seats for the workshop are limited.
Visit pageturner.peatix.com to purchase a ticket.
Where It Ends, We Begin: A Poem-Inspired Movement Workshop for Children with Different Needs
11 Nov, 11:15am – 12pm | The Arts House, Play Den | Free with registration
Walk down interesting and imaginative pathways with dance company, RAW Moves. In this movement workshop inspired by Shel Silverstein’s timeless collection of poems and drawings, Where the Sidewalk Ends, children will stimulate their imagination and develop creativity through movement. This session will promote learning and cognitive development through physical movement. Recommended for children with down syndrome or on the autism spectrum from ages 7 to 12. Parent-child participation. Seats for the workshop are limited. Visit whereitendswebegin2.peatix.com to register. You’ll need to register for at least two seats to attend the workshop.
Same, Same and (Not So) different
11 Nov, 12 – 12:45pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free
Join storyteller Grace Kalaiselvi as she shares stories on accepting and celebrating differences with the help of her muppet, Meera. Enjoy the interactive tales and learn what it means to respect each other while picking up simple phrases in Tamil. This session is in English. It introduces simple Tamil phrases and is recommended for ages 4 to 8.
Of Art and Flash Fiction
11 Nov, 2 – 4pm | KCAE | $10
Learn to craft flash fiction inspired by visual art in this workshop by writer and art historian, Eva Wong Nava. Participants will first go on a short guided tour to view selected artworks, including ‘National Language Class’ by renowned painter Chua Mia Tee. Then, uncover the basics of flash fiction and learn how to use the paintings and their characters as prompts for writing stories. Recommended for Intermediate and Advanced-level writers of ages 11 to 14. Seats for the workshop are limited. Visit artflashfiction.peatix.com to purchase a ticket.
The Different Duckling
11 Nov, 2 – 2:45pm | SWF Empress Tent | Free with registration
The Ugly Duckling is a reminder to everyone that those with different qualities are sometimes side-lined and how their strengths can be overlooked. Enjoy a retelling of the beloved fairy tale by The Storytelling Centre Limited, followed by a simple puppet-making craft activity. This session is recommended for all children ages 4 to 8, including those with disabilities. Parent-child participation. Seats for the session are limited. Visit differentduckling.peatix.com to register.
Origami, Animals and Stories
11 Nov, 2 – 3:30pm | Asian Civilisations Museum, Discovery Room | $5
Have fun folding simple origami animals with your family in this workshop by paper artist, Rae Lim. Using the paper animals as key characters, you can let your imagination shine as you create your own lively stories set amid lush jungles, deep seas and more. This session is a family activity and is recommended for ages 4 and up. Visit familyorigami.peatix.com to purchase a ticket. Each ticket admits one person (parent or child) and you’ll need to purchase at least two tickets to attend the workshop.
The Buzz About Bees
11 Nov, 2 – 3pm | Funan Showsuite | Free
How do bees make honey? What can we learn from these amazing insects? Find out more about these often-misunderstood creatures from John Chong, beekeeper and founder of BEE AMAZED Garden, a unique centre that educates visitors about honeybees. Don’t miss the chance to see empty bee hives as well as beekeeper suits up-close.
The Write Morning
Develop your child’s narrative writing skills with practical tips and hands-on exercises in this series of programmes by authors AJ Low, Debra Ann Francisco and Laura Wood. Each child will attend one workshop and a talk which will introduce them to writing sci-fi, mysteries, food-inspired poetry and more. Recommended for ages 9 to 12. Parents should return to pick their children at 12.30pm. Participants are advised to bring writing materials, a sweater, a water bottle and light snack to for the break.
Early-bird tickets are available from now till 30 September via SISTIC at bit.ly/swf18tickets and bit.ly/swf18festpass. All early-bird tickets will be sold at 20% discount, including the Festival Pass at SGD 20 (regular price SGD 25).
Singapore Writers Festival 2018 – SWF for Families (SWF3)
Start date: 2/11/18 0:00
End date: 11/11/18 23:59