Joelyn's Book Bites

Book Bites: UNDERCOVERS: The Singapore Writers’ Festival 2009

Book Bitse

The Organisers of the Singapore Writers’ Festival 2009 bring you:


This is going to be a huge enough post because it’ll comprise of the opening, the first day and a big enough plan on the way for this site and yours truly.

Opening Day:

So I got invited to the opening of the Singapore Writers’ Festival 2009: UNDERCOVERS together with Sarah Coldheart and Raven Silvers. It was held at the front lawn of The Arts House, where they had this stage and the huge installation in front of the Arts House (as shown above).

Funnie #1 for the day: I went to the registration counter and said, “NAC invited me but I’m not that sure about what I’m invited under. But you could just check for Joelyn.”

Thanks Michelle for helping me clear it up. HAH.

So grabbed a drink with Raven Silvers and Sarah came taking photos as usual. After which it was just personal updating and searching for Wena Poon. Who arrived taking photos as well. I so need to get a digital camera soon.

Mingling mostly included chatting with Sarah, Raven Silvers, Sarah’s friend and Wena. Not to mention getting our pictures taken. And taking pictures. Surprisingly, I ended up meeting Danny Yeo (Radio lecturer from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Year 1) there as well. Pleasant surprise.

Speeches came from three people: Professor Edwin Thumboo, Philip Jeyaratnam and the Guest-of-Honour, Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew.

Right now, may I take this moment to say that my phone can’t zoom and hence, I need to get a digital camera soon. But nonetheless, NaNoWriMo got a shout-out from Chairperson of the Organising Committee (Philip Jeyaretnam)!! Yes, we’re the National Novel Writing Month Singapore Chapter, not an organisation.

So after the speeches we all had to clear the way for the Guest-of-Honour and all the important people to unveil the installation that was to mark the opening of the Singapore Writers Festival 2009.

Okay, to be brutally honest I was expecting a literal unveiling of something totally cool underneath but this was just as cool. Then we headed for food. FOOD!!! There were waiters walking around with food trays, making it look really really posh but I thought the stuff they were serving were actually really cute.

Of course there was more stuff than this but I think we were so busy eating it all up there wasn’t really much left to the photography. Hmmm…

So after all that food, we headed up to the Arts House and lo and behold…

The banner hanging behind the counter of what was set up in the gallery room: Books Actually (!!!) Omgosh it’s like writer-reader heaven. So we all went crazy, happy and magical and stuff over everything and met Wena talking to other people again.

Then we saw the Biophilia Omnibus.

*cue dramatic music* We’ve been waiting for this for months! And we didn’t wanna lose the chance of getting it so the three of us bought it on the spot (And told Nerwen to come early the next day so that she could get it). After that was chatting and chatting and more chatting with Wena and the rest before we decided to head off and get more food because some of us were still hungry. HAH.

But speaking overall, the opening was pretty good, so to speak. Started with a bang, with great people and everything was pretty well in place. In short, we were all excited. Good start.

Day 1 (24th October 2009):

Rushed down from class to the Arts House. I had Media Law in the morning so I didn’t end up going for Wena’s reading before that. Thanks to Sarah who managed to update me about it =).

So I went to the Arts House, dumped my stuff at Earshot where the HSWG girls were (Hi Nerwen!) and quickly headed up to get the book signed. Little did I know that I wasn’t just going to get my book signed, I got a lot more than that.

So after that we had all this chat about writing our own stuff, getting copyright and all that (Thanks for all the insights Wena!!) and then, she said she have souvenirs for us but because I didn’t go to the earlier session I had to get it later.

Funnie #2 of the day: Because Earshot was so busy that day, I ended up having to gulp my peach tea (Tea, peach chunks and all) in less than five minutes just to be in time for Wena’s dialogue session.

Nerwen and I sat at the second row from the front while the forum was going on. Wena Poon and Montreal-based Filipino born writer Miguel Syjuco spoke while I was kinda serving as Wena’s “photographer”. HAH.

Apart from it being great, the dialogue was totally relatable, coming from writers who have to sustain themselves with a day job and write on the side, which is something Nerwen and myself are practically doing. Stephen (the moderator) pointed out this question which I thought was very relevant, both authors being born and raised in Asia but have set up current home base in North America. So there were pretty perceptive insights there.

After the whole dialogue, we ended up meeting Sarah and Raven at the queue to Mark Waid (Comic Writer) after about half an hour’s worth of talking on the blue couches. But all the same, both of them got their Mark Waid autograph and Raven got her autographs from regional artists Lat and Sonny Liew.

Impending Plan:

Okay, this came about when someone told me, “There’s Raven Azure, there’s Raven Silvers. Can you girls choose another name?!”

So I was thinking about it throughout the day and I realised that there will be impending problems with pen names and stuff. But I won’t go into details just yet because it’s still in process.

However, stay tuned and look out for a huge change that’s going to happen with this site and yours truly.

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