It was a fantastic meetup at the Pigeonhole. Creative people of all sorts – writers, artists, bloggers, photographers, editors and academics – turned up and talked about the literary and arts scene in Singapore. It was a great opportunity to meet up with like-minded people, especially Louise and Pooja who co-hosted the event.
One of the topics was the literary scene in Singapore. The overall consensus was that it was still growing within a whole plethora of limitations. Writing in Singapore seems stuck on either poetry, “misery lit”, horror or assessment books. Perhaps, it’s high time to include other kinds of writing – like genre fiction, webfiction etc etc. I am writing this post after reading a short letter to the forum page (of the Straits Times) and I think a purposeful examination of how we should encourage writers is overdue. We need to encourage writers. But how are we going to do so? Many of the initiatives by the government seem targeted at the elite or the privileged. Likewise, many aspiring writers meet a wall when it comes to finding avenues – be it publishing, editing or finding the right mentor(s). I want to stress that many give up simply because of the obstacles.
The meetup also reinforced the need for a space for writers and arts/literary people. We all need to meet at a common place and to voice our concerns/brickbats/suggestions. A bimonthly meetup, anyone? ;)
I know that there are lists of publishers and “venues” to go to – but such knowledge should be made obvious. Otherwise, many people will end up groping in the dark. So, a list as I type…
1. The National Arts Council: The paperwork and red tape is hideous.
2. Singapore Book Council: Good lists of publishers and publishing houses.
3. The Singapore Writers’ Centre.
4. The Singapore Writers’ Festival.
1. Quartery Literary Review Singapore.
3. Two Trees Pte Ltd.
1. Bimonthly Meetups at the Pigeonhole???
My list is not exhaustive, but I hope it will help aspiring Singaporean authors out there!