R. L. Stine, Tan France, Ocean Vuong among Singapore Writers Festival's 'guilty pleasures'

The 24th edition of the annual festival will run from Nov 5 to 14. PHOTO: SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - This year's Singapore Writers Festival wants reading to not be a chore but a guilty pleasure, with headliners from horror writer R. L. Stine to television host Tan France.

They will be joining acclaimed authors such as screenwriter and novelist Yan Geling, one of China's most feted contemporary writers, as well as prize-winning poet Ocean Vuong and Marvel and DC Comics writer G. Willow Wilson.

Also in the line-up is veteran Singapore Malay-language writer Hamed Ismail, who this year received the prestigious Tun Seri Lanang Award.

Early-bird tickets go on sale from noon on Friday (Sept 3) for the 24th edition of the annual festival, which will run from Nov 5 to 14. Some events will be in person and some online, but organisers have yet to reveal which.

This year's theme is "Guilty Pleasures". Festival director Pooja Nansi, 39, said in a statement: "Everyone needs a light-hearted pick-me-up. This year's rather cheeky theme hopes to bring about some cheer and laughter to the local and international literary community.

"By exploring complicated relationships between guilt and pleasures, we are hoping that these novel pursuits will appeal to a wider audience and signal that the festival is not afraid of pushing boundaries to move Singapore's literature scene forwards."

Stine and France may not seem like the typical headliners of a literary festival, though both are best-selling authors.

Stine, the American author of beloved horror series Goosebumps and Fear Street, has sold hundreds of millions of copies of his books for children and teens.

France, the British-American fashion designer who co-hosts reality TV series Queer Eye (2018 to present), published his New York Times best-selling memoir Naturally Tan in 2019.

Fashion designer, Queer Eye co-host and author Tan France. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TAN FRANCE

For poetry lovers, there is Vietnam-born American writer Vuong, who won the prestigious T. S. Eliot Prize in 2017 for his poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds.

Comics and speculative fiction fans can look forward to seeing Wilson, the American writer who co-created the groundbreaking superheroine Kamala Khan, a teenage Muslim American who takes on the mantle of Ms Marvel.

Also in the line-up are Singaporean personalities such as chef-owner Bjorn Shen of restaurant Artichoke; Pamelia Chia, the author of cookbook Wet Market To Table (2019); and Sivadorai Sellakannu, one half of home-grown singing duo Jack & Rai.

Pamelia Chia is the author of cookbook Wet Market To Table. PHOTO: GOLD AND GRIT PHOTOGRAPHY

This year's festival will be presented by Arts House Limited and commissioned by the National Arts Council, which was previously the organiser.

Book It

Singapore Writers Festival 2021

When: Nov 5 to 14
Admission: Early-bird festival passes till Sept 30 - $28 for all programmes including international headliners; $16 for selected programmes excluding international headliners. Normal festival passes at $35 and $20 respectively from Oct 1. Select experiential programmes will be ticketed separately. Tickets are available at Sistic website.
Info: Singapore Writers Festival

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