Joelyn Speaks: Events – Bar Camp SG

The AdCrew signed up for this year’s Bar Camp, set up in conjunction with the Open House of the National Art Gallery, Singapore. This adventure included quite a few of us including the usual peeps (Sarah, Avariel, Nicole a.k.a. TumbleNC, Mintea and June a.k.a. Miss Hallejulah).

We met at the City Hall building (the one with all the pillars, not the train station as most people our age would assume) and headed up to the 3rd floor where the Bar Camp talks were held. It was crowded.

According to the site itself, there were almost 500 people turning up for Bar Camp. While we knew it might have been less, it was still teaming with people.

June was there as a helper known as Merlin (the name was just to annoy Sarah. Haha) and the rest of the other National Art Gallery, Singapore (TNAGS) were giving out Bar Camp T-shirts to the people queuing up to write name tags, topics and votes.

Post-Its up with their topics.
Bar Campers looking and choosing topics.

Our topics for the day were, “Finding Fun in Singapore” (AdCrew related) and “Nanowrimo: How to write 50,000 words in 30 days”. Sounds very much like us? It ought to.

After getting our schedules down and stuff, the first topic we went to involved motion comics, something close to the hearts of Sarah and Mintea. Saw Hisham there, all geared up and ready to tweet or blog about the event.

Michael Lee setting up with bloggers in the background.

I would leave the detailed comments to Mintea and Sarah because they are the comic buffs but I would say that it was really cool that we got to watch a few motion comics during the talk. Something like a 70s cartoon but set with a contemporary mood.

Our break had us getting snacks and drinks (From Mr. Teh Tarik!) at the Snack Fair and swooning over the items sold at the Flea Market. But it wasn’t long until we went for our next talk, which was how to write a bestseller.

The flea market with good stuff within.

The talk was by this guy called Pugalenthii who had sold quite a number of horror fiction across Singapore and Malaysia. At first I thought it sounded like a very die-cut kind of talk. Like if you want to make money writing in Singapore, it can only be done in horror or self-development and all that jazz that the writers I’ve come to know and love so much probably have heard too many times.

But this changed when I asked a question about the above stigma hitting the publishers, who had their concerns on profitability as well. His answer proved that us HSWG peeps and friends were on the right track.

Pugalenthii giving his talk.

“They’re afraid of the new wave and people like you make up the new wave and soon, people will be wishing that they wrote like you,” (Pugalenthii, 2010)

I like.

Soon after that, we went for our own showtimes. Sarah presented for the first presentation and got a really creepy “marriage proposal” because someone was so amazed at her Lara Croft-ness. The Nanowrimo talk was presented by the self and Mintea.

Sarah being awesome with her presentation

That resulted in something entirely awesome because of what came after.

Eli James and Pandamian, the founders of Novelr.com, a site dedicated to Web Fiction, came to speak to us with regards to the future of books in Singapore. Had a great discussion in one of the break out rooms with Kevin Lim a.k.a. Brainopera joining us.

Check ’em out. They’re really cool people.
In conference.

We missed a talk which we wanted to go for but it was SO WORTH MISSING. The entire group walked away happy. Could see something bright for the literary scene in the future.

Quote “Merlin”, “Magical things happen in Bar Camp!” magical things have indeed happened. Not counting us running after the Milo truck because Milo from the truck tastes better. And the fact that “Merlin” got really cool WTF/ FTW scrabble rings and Kevin was wearing a badge that said, “Man Whore” which nicely blended with the pink tee he was wearing.

“Running” after the Milo truck

Hence, I finish off by giving the organisers of Bar Camp SG 6 (Preetam and gang) and the people of TNAGS (Walter, Kevin and gang) a big thank you for putting this event together.

You guys rock our socks!

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