Schools can help support local authors

Schools are a formidable force in the drive to get Singaporeans to appreciate local literature ("Support local literature, it's a part of us" by Ms Lim Peng Peng; Feb 10).

They can help local authors reach out to young minds and defray publishing costs by buying some of their books.

But this is easier said than done.

I have written some books for schoolchildren.

The stories are set in housing estates in Singapore, with schoolchildren as protagonists.

I wrote to many schools but failed to get them to buy my books.

I even donated some books to a primary school near my home in Hougang, but the school did not place the books in its library.

It is an uphill struggle to sell my books in Singapore, so I cannot be a full-time author.

I find solace in the support of the National Library Board, which bought my books and made them available in its branches, and the National Book Development Council of Singapore, which took two of my books to the London Book Fair 2015.

My readers have told me that the stories brought back memories of their youth.

Stories like mine infuse shared experiences of Singaporeans for the benefit of future generations.

I hope schools can find a place in their libraries for local literature.

Raymond Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Schools can help support local authors'. Print Edition | Subscribe