Buy SingLit movement growing from strength to strength

We agree with Mr Woon Wee Min that Singapore Literature (SingLit) contributes to our nation's identity (Fire up interest in local literature by reprinting classics, July 6).

For instance, we have supported publishers to take well-loved, out-of-print works to readers.

Singapore publishers like Marshall Cavendish, Lingzi Media and Crimson Earth have continued to make some well-known works of SingLit, such as The Adventures Of Mooty (written by Jessie Wee and illustrated by Kwan Shan Mei), Rice Without Rain (by Ho Min Fong), Death By Perfume (by You Jin) and Flowers At Dawn (by Singai Ma Elangkannan) available to the public.

Epigram Books carries both original and translated works by our Cultural Medallion recipients, such as Suratman Markasan.

The National Arts Council (NAC) provides funding support to the industry-led movement #BuySingLit with the tagline "Buy Local, Read Our World" which is growing from strength to strength. The events this year attracted about 45,000 attendees across 100 programmes in our four official languages.

Our survey shows 74 per cent of respondents expressed a higher level of interest in SingLit after attending a #BuySingLit event.

Singapore's pinnacle literary event, the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF), actively promotes SingLit.

The SWF features more than 300 programmes, with a large majority of Singaporean authors, so as to encourage greater awareness of home-grown authors and their works. There is also an annual spotlight on our nation's literary pioneers within the festival to celebrate their contributions to our literary canon.

NAC works closely with the National Library Board, our educators and schools to cultivate a love for SingLit in young readers, taking authors to schools in programmes like Words Go Round, and supplementing school libraries with a selected list of works by Singapore authors.

While much has been achieved by different stakeholders, we also hope for more to come on board to support SingLit, and strongly encourage more Singaporeans to discover and embrace our stories and poetry.

May Tan

Director, Sector Development (Literary Arts)

National Arts Council

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2019, with the headline 'Buy SingLit movement growing from strength to strength'. Print Edition | Subscribe