#BuySingLit : A Singaporean Reading Initiative
As a voracious reader and a hard-working writer, I dream of a world where reading is promoted and writers find support. In Singapore, the country I call home, it does not look like an improbable dream, with initiatives like #BuySingLit.
From Feb 24 to 26 2017, Singapore will host #BuySingLit, the first-ever industry-led, nationwide initiative to promote the reading and purchase of Singapore literature, affectionately known as SingLit. Organized by more than 30 partners from the Singapore book industry, including publishers, distributors, booksellers and non-profits, the #BuySingLit initiative hopes to encourage more Singaporeans and Singapore residents to ‘Buy Local, Read Our World’.
With more than 40 activities planned in all four official languages, from storytelling sessions and book fairs to guided tours, interactive shows, workshops and book treasure hunts—there’s something for everyone to look forward to: be it young or old, aspiring writers, avid fans of SingLit, or SingLit newbies.
Special commissions for #BuySingLit include:
- A set of four Ticket Books which offer new stories, poems and illustrations
alongside a NETS FlashPay card to use on public transport – featuring authors and illustrators such as Paatheral Elamaran, Balli Kaur Jaswal, Noridah Kamari, Xi Ni Er, Joshua Ip and Chempaka Aizim.
- Three editorial center-spreads in The New Paper featuring poems and short stories by Singaporean writers; these will be distributed on Feb 20, 22, and 24.
- Visit the #BuySingLit site for all the details of events and participating bookstores.
To help this along, I’m helping the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) give away #BuySingLit vouchers to three Singapore-based commenters on this post, via a random selector: 100 Singapore Dollars each, which will be valid in all the participating bookshops in Singapore.
I know that a lot of the friends of this blog are from beyond Singaporean borders. For them, I plan to give away (via post) the three books NBDCS sent me (written by Singapore-based authors) :
- As the Heart Bones Break by Audrey Chin (nominated for various SIngaporean Literary awards)
- 3 by the bestselling author Krishna Udayasankar, and
- Middle & First Stories by Simon Tay
My bookshelves carry a fair bit of Singaporean fiction. By sending these three books outside of Singapore, I hope to introduce my blog-friends to Singaporean writing, and add to the #BuySingLit initiative.
Are you a reader, a writer, or both? If a writer, do you receive support for your writing writing from your government and the publishing industry? As a reader, do you think enough is done in your community to promote reading? Have you read books by Singaporean authors? If you are a Singaporean book-lover, what books would you recommend to those beyond the Singaporean borders?
Please drop a line in the comments to win #BuySingLit vouchers (100 SGD each for 3 winners) if you’re Singapore-based, or to win one of the three books mentioned above, if you live outside Singapore.
Here’s hoping reading and writing receives the support it deserves not just in Singapore, but the world over.
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