Joelyn's Book Bites

Joelyn’s Book Bites: #1.47

Book Bitse

Maybe it’s because it’s NaNoWriMo and there’s an influx of writer-y, literary sources of inspiration so there’s this whole flood of issues regarding writers in Singapore and what not. Or maybe it’s just because everyone is so hyped up writing and stuff that an ongoing issue has suddenly spiked a lot of interest. Either way, the topic now in the writerly circles (well at least mine) has become clear.

The ignorance of local, potential writing talent.

Just so that I can place everyone on the same page here, when I say…

  • Potential – I mean not published, or published but not recognised.
  • Writing – I mean fiction. BOTH literary and genre fiction are on the SAME level here.
  • Ignorance – I mean by Publishers, Agencies and People from the Literary Scene in SG

So yes, there have been tweets and blog posts and stuff like this. But you know what? I’m not going to care anymore. I’m not going to say anything whatsoever…


Whether you are a reader, writer (whatever type), literary academic, teacher etc… I would like to hear from you about this issue:

What is the literary scene like in Singapore to you and why?

Add your thoughts in the comments section below and let me know what you think =). I’m gathering as many comments as possible for this so do link this blog entry to your friends and stuff.

Until the next blog entry, would love to hear from all of you!

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4 thoughts on “Joelyn’s Book Bites: #1.47

  1. Well, you already know my thoughts on the Thing that got this little kerfuffle started.

    But really, I just wish there was more acceptance of speculative fiction & other sorts of genre fiction as literary works too. I think restricting what counts as good fiction is only going to ensure that Singapore’s literary scene remains small, very niche–and dare I say it–atas. Certainly it isn’t going to inspire a new generation of Singapore writers.


  2. AFAIC the Singapore Literary Scene is something I ignore. I’ve spent years poking around the edges of it and trying to understand the people who get recognized in it and trying to figure out how it works, and now I have decided that doing so is a waste of time. I refuse to write for some tenuous, undefined and ultimately superfluous concept which revolves around deliberately creating an officially sanctioned divide between what’s good and what’s not. Yes, that divide exists, as can be seen by the drivel that appears everywhere, but there’s no need to set the government stamp on it by offering selective funding.

    As to myself? I do not write for the government. I do not write for government funding. I do not write for readers who tread the atas line. I write for myself and anyone else who cares (but I don’t care about them either). Yes, you can say I can afford to do that because I already have a name in a different kind of writing. But the bottom line is that I don’t consider myself part of any literary scene or such terminology. I consider my relationship with readers and scenes to be on a par with my relationship with sex and God. They exist somewhere out there, they brush shoulders with me and say hi and we are willing to accept that each other might actually be real and concrete and hey, might even be fun, but we don’t go out of our way to cater to each other. Simple. Straightforward.

    Now I am going to get all the religious people, the romantic people and the rabid pro-artist people jumping on me screaming that I ought to care and it’s people like me who are making the Singapore Literary Scene (note capitals) go extinct. Whatever. If you are one of those people, don’t expect me to go out of my way to cater to you either.

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