MEET THE SPEAKERS!
All In! Young Writers Festival 2017 is just a few months away, and our speakers and workshop facilitators are already revved up to meet you all!
We’ve asked our speakers about their passion for writing, and here’s what they’ve shared with us:
1. What got you into writing in your industry/profession?
While I was still studying for a literature and communications degree from NUS, I stumbled upon the live poetry scene in Singapore. There were two or three main nights where poets who identified themselves as performance and spoken word artists would get up in front of medium-sized but very encouraging crowds, delivering pieces that really spoke and came from the heart. I was drawn to that and started competing in what they Poetry Slam.
After university, Chris Mooney-Singh and Savinder Kaur of Word Forward offered me regular work teaching slam poetry in local secondary schools. My writing, performing, teaching and archiving just spiralled on from there.
2. What convinced you to pursue a career that involved writing?
I didn’t need convincing. It was something I felt I needed to do with my life. It’s important to find the thing you are most disciplined in doing. That is meant for you. If you find it hard to come to the work, then it’s not meant for you.
3. What inspires you to continue doing what you do?
Having found a very gracious and dynamic literary community with many passionate institutions and individuals involved who were willing to embrace me and offer me opportunities definitely helped.
4. What opportunities can young writers expect from your line of work?
The literary arts is an extremely diverse and multi-disciplinary sector. This is because when you think about it, a lot of things start out with writing. Theatre. Film. Games. All are story-forms that need writers. Poetry is now also experiencing a renaissance in its performative aspects. There are many spaces where a young writer may experiment and get their sea legs.
5. What message/tip can you share with young writers out there?
Learn to take criticism. This is how you learn about the effect your writing has. Good writing engages people so if someone is critical, that actually means you’re on the right track. It is better than if they had nothing to say except, “It’s very nice.” or worse, nothing at all.
6. How do you think a co-operative model could help in your line of work?
Co-operation is definitely important in getting feedback for your work at certain stages when it’s ready. You shouldn’t find yourself in a place where you’re too anxious about whether people like what you’re writing, but you shouldn’t be closed off to the world either especially at the final stages of drafting. Find a balance.
Co-operation is also important between writers in terms of promotion. As a writer, developing your opinion of other writers and their works, and talking or writing about it, will help both you and your community become better.
7. What do you think of the power of collaboration in your industry/profession?
The power of collaboration is in understanding your art as well as the art of others. It forces a writer to get out of the usually self-centred mode of writing to a mode with multiple focal points. It’s good for your character and growth. And it produces very interesting art.
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Join Jennifer and the rest of the speakers and moderators at All In! Young Writers Festival 2017. Get your tickets here on Facebook or at our website: http://all-in.bookcouncil.sg/!
All In! 2017 is recognised as an NAC-AEP. Schools can tap on the Tote Board Arts Grant to get up to 50% subsidy on regular ticket rates. PM us for more details!
See you at the Festival! #ALLINSG2017
Original article HERE