Buying Local Literature to Read Our World (Part 1)
By Shawn Pang
Having entered its 19th year in 2016 with a record attendance, the Singapore Writers Festival has brought many literary talents to Singapore whilst promoting new and emerging Singaporean and Asian writing to the wider public through the years. But some have argued that the annual literary event caters more to the converted bookworms. What about the local literary readership in Singapore?
Fortunately, the local book industry has come together and organised the inaugural “#BuySingLit” campaign to promote the reading and buying of Singaporean literature (SingLit).
Something Literary for Everyone
Themed “Buy Local, Read Our World”, the #BuySingLit campaign was coordinated by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and funded by the National Arts Council (NAC). More than 30 partners from the Singapore book industry were involved, including local publishers, distributors, bookstores and non-profit organisations.
Launched on 2 February 2017, the campaign’s highlight was a weekend of activities across Singapore from 24 to 26 February 2017. Divided into five categories, a total of 42 programmes in Singapore’s four official languages were held:
SingLit Out There let the public discover local poetry and prose via guided tours by writers and outdoor installations. SingLit In Person engaged the public directly through live interaction in debates and discussions on literary topics, and storytelling sessions with children’s book authors. SingLit Hands On encouraged younger readers to become part of the story through workshops, craft sessions, and a range of immersive games, as well as an island-wide treasure hunt in various bookstores. SingLit On Stage aimed to keep Singaporean literature alive through theatre adaptations, video performances, and spoken-word events. Meanwhile, SingLit For Sale was a series of SIngLit book fairs at Gillman Barracks, VivoCity, Raffles City, Forum the Shopping Mall and the Plaza at the Central Public Library.
Please look out for Buying Local Literature to Read Our World (Part 2)
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