Singapore Writers Festival Features Multilingual Works


The Singapore Writers Festival takes place from 3 to 12 November 2017 at various venues in central Singapore (such as The Arts House, National Gallery Singapore, Victoria Theatre and more. Make sure you download the programme - see below). 

This year it chose the Tamil concept of ‘Aram’ on ‘living a good life’. Dr. Lee Tzu Peng has also been chosen as Literary Pioneer.

The festival started in 1986 as a biennial festival. Now held yearly, the festival is a much anticipated event on the cultural calendar, presenting the world’s major literary talents to Singaporeans while shining a spotlight on home grown and Southeast Asian creative talents.

Attend Annaliza Bakri's launch of anthology titled Sikit Sikit Lama-Lama Jadi Bukit on 11 November 5 pm at The Arts House Gallery ll.

Attend Annaliza Bakri's launch of anthology titled Sikit Sikit Lama-Lama Jadi Bukit on 11 November 5 pm at The Arts House Gallery ll.

Over the years, the Festival has become an exciting meeting point of writers, academics and thinkers in a choice spread of panel discussions, workshops, lectures and performances in 10 days. It has hosted literati the likes of Nobel Prize winner Gao Xingjian, Whitbread Book Awards First Novel winner Tash Aw, British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Nebula winner Neil Gaiman and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham.

The Singapore Writers Festival is one of the few multi-lingual literary festivals in the world, celebrating the written and spoken word in Singapore’s official languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. This year, the Festival will be housed in the Civic District amongst historic buildings such as The Arts House, The National Gallery and the Asian Civilisations Museum.

"In line with our theme too, we believe SWF is for everyone, and that’s why we have enhanced our inclusive programming with more sign-language interpreters and note-takers for Deaf attendees. We have also reached out to children with mild disabilities and children from underserved communities with customised programmes," said Yeow Kai Chai, Festival Director.

"We open this year’s Festival with the Aram Conference, a series of panel discussions to engage audiences in exploring the meanings and nuances of the word from various viewpoints -- Aram in the 21st-century world and in multicultural Singapore, Aram in our spiritual lives, and Aram through the eyes of the youth. In particular, the key panel, Aram: An Intercultural Dialogue brings together Singaporean intellectuals from across different cultural backgrounds. Join us as we cross and push the boundaries, and create a uniquely Singaporean conversation about our common moral life," said Kwok Kian Woon, Chairman of the SWF Steering Committee (2017-2018).

"Multilingual and intercultural programming is a significant part of SWF as a means of promoting dialogue and interaction across cultures. This year’s highlights include Transcendent, a collaboration between Indian performing arts group, Bhaskar’s Arts Academy and Malay performing arts company, Sri Warisan on the concept of consciousness and beauty. And, if you’re a fan of rock music, don’t miss Lyrical Roots: The Poetry of Music , featuring two young poprock bands, as they perform in English and Tamil. Reflecting the cultural richness and diversity of ASEAN, we have invited writers from all 10 member states. They will regale us with their profound insights into the writings that speak to the unfolding human drama in Southeast Asia.

"There is much to experience in SWF 2017, and so much to learn. So, I ask you to take your time, participate in the discussions, soak in the atmosphere and discover what Aram means   to you," said Kwok.

Tickets to Singapore Writers Festival 2017

Festival Pass: $25.

Separately ticketed events: $10-$60

Festival Passes and tickets to SWF Stage events, SWF Class workshops and masterclasses and the SWF tours can be purchased at Tickets to SWF3 can be purchased at

For all other ticketing details, please refer to the programme write ups on the SWF website.

Download the Singapore Writers Festival 2017 programmes here (first part) and here (second part).

Ubud Writer’s Festival 2017, Bali

The Indonesian island of Bali is again hosting its Ubud Writer’s Festival on October 25-29 in the central mountains, about one hour north of Denpasar Airport. With more than 150 authors, artists and writers from 31 countries, the Festival is marking its 14th year.

It has signed up published and authoritative writers from countries as diverse as Iran, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines and Pakistan to help deliver a five-day program of impassioned live performances, workshops, literary lunches, and powerful stories, ideas and solutions.

What: Ubud Writer's Festival 2017

Where: Bali

When: 25-29 October 2017


Marina Mahathir will be at the Ubud Writer's Festival 2017

Marina Mahathir will be at the Ubud Writer's Festival 2017

The lineup includes the leading UK crime writer Ian Rankin, Canada’s literary star, Madeleine Thien, feminist icon Nh. Dini, and Malaysian minority rights activist and author, Marina Mahathir. Also attending will be Chinese author Jung Chang, whose family autobiography Wild Swans sold over ten million copies after being banned in his home country, and Tasmanian Saroo Brierley, whose memoir was adapted into the blockbuster film Lion.

The Festival will also stage special sessions where expert industry practitioners pass on ideas and practical advice to newstart writers. Advice sessions include Online Writing, hosted by Australian Brigid Delaney who has written for the DailyTelegraph in London as well as Guardian Australia.

The Festival not only helps promote Ubud as an arts and cultural centre, it also showcases Indonesian writers on an international stage and helps young Indonesians to reach their potential through associated educational programs and literature.

Proceeds from ticket sales go towards funding for free workshops for local children and high school students and teachers, and to subsidise attendances of local residents who could not otherwise afford to attend.