#BuySingLit 2018 to spread more love for Singapore literature

13 February 2018

Nationwide movement runs from 9 to 11 March for 2nd year

Singapore is set to get a higher dose of the love for Singapore literature this March, as the #BuySingLit movement returns for a second edition. The nationwide initiative will run from 9 to 11 March with more than 50 programmes spread across the island.

Riding on the success of the inaugural edition in 2017, #BuySingLit 2018 features close to 40 programme partners, including 15 new ones, who are driving the effort from the ground up to reach out to more people in four languages. Over three days, Singaporeans will get a taste of SingLit through a wide variety of events, including authors’ appearances, readings, workshops, plays, music performances, exhibitions, book swops and even supper.

One major highlight this year is Love Letters To Singapore, a project by publisher Ethos Books in partnership with Singapore Post. Twelve writers have penned an ode to their own neighbourhood, and 240,000 copies of their letters will be sent out to Singaporeans living in these neighbourhoods to make a connection through words.

In addition, the “City of Books” Bras Basah Complex will play host to four outdoor art installations, curated by the visual arts organisation OH! Open House. Inspired by the booksellers at Bras Basah – Maha Yuyi, Evernew Book Store, Basheer Graphic Books and Popular Bookstore – three artists Kelly Limerick, Berny Tan, and Lai Yu Ting will create artworks in a tribute to their stories.

#BuySingLit is an industry-led movement to celebrate stories from Singapore. Advocating “Buy Local, Read Our World”, homegrown book publishers, retailers and literary non-profits have come together to encourage more people to discover and embrace Singapore’s literature. #BuySingLit 2018 boasts a few other highlights. Including:

1. Chatbooks

Using social media platform Facebook, readers can delve into “Chatbooks” – a chatbot that features real authors including Farihan Bahron, Nuraliah Norasid, Sithuraj Ponraj, Tania De Rozario and Xiao Han waiting to share their stories, complete with audio and video experiences. The public can chat with them in four languages by clicking “Send Message” on the #BuySingLit Facebook page, www.facebook.com/buysinglit/

2. Tikam Books

SingLit gives a nostalgic spin to a childhood game, Gachapon-style! Look out for customised #BuySingLit Gachapon (capsule dispensing) machines at various bookstores in Singapore. Each capsule contains a mini-booklet, a limited edition book cover pin (eight designs available), and a $10 #BuySingLit book voucher.

3. Programme highlights

From children to food lovers and theatre buffs, the extensive line-up of programmes has something for everyone. There are food-themed events with writers (诗的夜宵 [Poems for Supper]; If Food Be The Love of Words); outdoor events for children (Ada Monster Dalam Taman [There Are Monsters In The Gardens]); illustration and travel writing workshops (Illustrating SingLit; The World In A Book); as well as a play that celebrates the romantic comedies of the late Se Ve Shanmugam, affectionately called the Bernard Shaw of Singapore (Maappillai Vandhaar [Here Comes the Groom]).

4. Textures – A Weekend with Words

Co-commissioned by #BuySingLit, The Arts House launches Textures – A Weekend With Words to celebrate the community that contributes to the rich literary landscape in Singapore. Created not only for avid readers, Textures provides access points for anyone who wishes to get acquainted with Singapore literature in all its myriad of forms. With over 30 panels, workshops, performances and exhibitions that span an array of genres—melding fiction and theatre, music and poetry, and crossing cultures and languages in translation, Textures celebrates the country’s literary community, whose words reach into the past, capture the present and look to the future.

Says Mr Kenny Leck, co-chair of the #BuySingLit Working Committee and owner of the BooksActually bookstore: “Taking root for the second year, the #BuySingLit festival is poised to reach a wider audience with curated programmes catered to everyone who loves a good read. This is the year for SingLit to shine.”

Ms Selena Chong, VP, Corporate Sustainability at Singapore Post says: “This collaboration to spread messages that inspire love for the neighbourhood and concern for the community by Singapore writers resonates deeply with SingPost. As Singapore’s postal service provider for more than 150 years, SingPost has been integral in connecting people and communities through the provision of an affordable and reliable postal service.”

The #BuySingLit movement is supported by the National Arts Council. The secretariat is the National Book Development Council of Singapore, and the official advertising agency is DDB Group Singapore. The partners are Singapore Post and Ho Printing. The venue partners are the Housing Development Board and National Library Board.

#BuySingLit runs from 9 – 11 March 2018. For the full programme line-up and locations, please visit https://buysinglit.sg/

Click here to download Annexes
Annex A: What the partners are saying
Annex B: Programme Highlights
Annex C: Textures Highlights
Annex D: Love Letters by Cyril Wong and Nur-el-hudaa
Annex E: List of participating bookstores