Storytelling sessions for children as young as two, workshops and talks are some of our top picks for families at the 20th edition of the Singapore Writers Festival

If words make your world go round, get ready to spin in joy as the Singapore Writers Festival returns this November. Back for its 20th run, the event will feature over 300 authors, including homegrown writers like Anne Lee Tzu Pheng and O Thiam Chin, as well as international names such as Junot Díaz, Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why), and Dennis Lim (David Lynch: The Man from Another Place).


But it’s not all grown-up stuff. Under the SWF3 banner, this year’s edition of the Singapore Writers Festival carries an exciting line-up of events for everyone in the family, even for children as young as two. We’ve handpicked the most kid-friendly ones your budding readers and writers shouldn’t miss (see below). But first, a little more about the Singapore Writers Festival.

I’m not a writer leh. Why should I attend the Singapore Writers Festival?

Firstly, this year’s theme is Aram (அறம்). Pronounced “ah-ruhm”, this Tamil word invites us to explore the concept of being good and doing good, something we all want to introduce to our children, don’t we? In addition, if you’ve always wanted to share the power of the word with your children, or introduce them to the joys of being lost in the world of a book, the SWF events and activities for children are not to be missed.

Children from as young as two years can enjoy programmes that encourage a love for reading – from storytelling sessions to workshops and talks. As a nod to Singapore’s multi-cultural heritage, some programmes will be bi-lingual, so young ones can be exposed to a second – or even a third – language. Finally, there are events that foster inclusiveness as well. In a nutshell:

• For Preschoolers: Storytelling with craft sessions, storytelling with movement sessions, and puppetry.

• For Primary School students from 7 to 10 years old: Workshops on reading and writing by authors Philip Ardagh, A.L. Tait, and Eliot Schrefer.

• For Teens: Programmes featuring popular YA authors such as Deirdre Sullivan, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu, and Jay Asher.

• For Parents: Talks on cultivating creativity in children and bilingualism, plus tips and tricks from creative minds.

We’re also really pleased that this year’s SWF is embracing inclusiveness with programmes that suit young ones with special needs, as well as those with sensory sensitivities. These include The Joy of Quiet Adventures with Leila Boukarim and Barbara Moxham, and Shape a Story with Your Body with R. Chandran. The hearing-impaired can enjoy a dramatised reading of Si Ma Guang and the Giant Jar: An Experiential Storytelling Event which is performed in sign language as well.

So yes, there’s something to satisfy every mind and every interest at SWF this year. We can’t wait, can you? See you there!

Top Picks for Parents & Kids at SWF3

Shape a Story with Your Body! | Free

Morph into different objects, animals and more – using just your body! In this session with theatre practitioner R. Chandran, parents and children can enjoy fun and dramatic activities that will nurture creative self-expression. Suitable for children aged 2 to 6 years. Parent and child participation.

When Saturday 4 November, 11am – 11.45am
Where Tent@Empress, in front of Victoria Theatre
Web Click here

Image: SWF Facebook

Philip Ardagh: In Celebration Of Oddballs | Free

British author Philip Ardagh’s children’s books feature a host of fascinatingly weird characters, ranging from unusual families who find themselves on very funny adventures to mysterious stowaways and knights-in-training. Find out where he gets the inspiration for his bestselling series The Grunts, the Eddie Dickens trilogy and, most recently, The Secret Diary of John Drawbridge. Suitable for children aged 7 years and up.

When Saturday 4 November, 10am – 11am
Where The Arts House, Living Room
Web Click here

Make a Fun Family Portrait | $5

Israeli mixed-media artist Hanoch Piven creates caricatures using everyday objects. Expand your creativity in making your own family portrait together with your children. There’re lots of laughs and plenty of fun to be expected! This family activity is suitable for children from 4 years, and is made possible with the assistance of the Embassy of Israel.

When Saturday 11 November, 4.30pm – 6.30pm
Where Tent@Empress, in front of Victoria Theatre
Web Click here
Tickets $5 per person from here. Each ticket admits one person (parent or child) and you’ll need to purchase at least two tickets to attend the workshop.

Unleash Your Writing Superpowers | $10

Level-up in this workshop by A.L. Tait, the Australian author behind the bestselling series The Mapmaker Chronicles. Pick up tips on how to create exciting plot-lines, build mysterious characters, and develop a keen editorial eye. Suitable for children aged 9 to 13 years.

When Saturday 11 November, 10.30am – 12pm
Where Timbre Music Academy, Hall
Web Click here
Tickets $10 per person, from here

Jay Kristoff: Constructing Fantasy Worlds | Free

The Illuminae Files – a trilogy told through a compelling dossier of hacked documents – comes to an exciting close next year. Jay Kristoff, co-writer of this unique bestselling sci-fi series, tells us how he builds the dynamic and varied worlds featured in his works such as The Lotus War and The Nevernight Chronicle. Suitable for those aged 13 years and above.

When Saturday 11 November, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Where Funan Showsuite, Junction of High Street and Hill Street
Web Click here

Encouraging Creativity in Children | Free

Creativity is the future of work. As parents, what can and should we be doing to empower our children to embrace their creativity? What are some habits that can cultivate a child’s curiosity? Israeli collage artist Hanoch Piven, Colombian children’s book author Claudia Rueda, and Australian author A.L. Tait weigh in and share simple projects to encourage creativity in children. This session is recommended for parents and educators of all ages.

When Sunday 12 November, 2pm – 3pm
Where The Arts House, Gallery II
Web Click here

NEED TO KNOW

Singapore Writers Festival

When Friday 3 to Sunday 12 November 2017
Where Various locations around The Civic District
Tickets
Early Bird Sales (till 30 Sep): All tickets at 20% discount, including Festival Pass
Regular Sales (1 Oct – 12 Nov): Festival Pass at $25, 20% off SWF Stage, SWF Class and SWF tours with Festival Pass
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