Simon Armitage and Xia Jia among writers from around the world at Singapore Writers Festival

(From left) Chinese science-fiction writer Xia Jia. Singaporean Sharlene Teo, author of the novel Ponti. Anna Holmwood, the Scottish translator who took on Jin Yong's wuxia epic The Legend Of The Condor Heroes series.
(From left) Chinese science-fiction writer Xia Jia. Singaporean Sharlene Teo, author of the novel Ponti. Anna Holmwood, the Scottish translator who took on Jin Yong's wuxia epic The Legend Of The Condor Heroes series.PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL

SINGAPORE - Advance passes for the 21st Singapore Writers Festival, which will run from Nov 2 to 11 this year, are now on sale.

British poet and Oxford professor of poetry Simon Armitage returns after a popular lecture at last year's edition.

He was among the 16 writers announced by the festival, an annual event organised by the National Arts Council, on Friday (Aug 10) in a first look at this year's line-up.

He joins award-winning Chinese science-fiction writer Xia Jia, American young adult and Marvel comics writer Margaret Stohl, Legends Of The Condor Heroes translator Anna Holmwood and the first aboriginal Australian to receive the international Windham-Campbell Literary Prize for Poetry Ali Cobby Eckermann.

Singaporean writers at the festival include veteran poet Edwin Thumboo, Chinese-language writer and scholar, Professor Wong Yoon Wah, and novelist Sharlene Teo, whose debut novel Ponti was published earlier this year.

This year's festival theme is Jie, a Chinese word which can mean "world" or "boundary".

The country of focus is Germany. German writers at the festival will include spoken word artist Fatima Moumouni, journalist Miriam Meckel and novelist Julia Franck, whose book Die Mittagsfrau (The Blind Side Of The Heart), set in two tumultuous post-war periods of World War I and II, won the German Book Prize in 2007.

The Festival Pass allows audiences entry into more than 100 events. It will be sold at a discount till Sept 3.

BOOK IT/SINGAPORE WRITERS FESTIVAL

WHERE: Various locations, the Civic District

WHEN: Nov 2 to 11

ADMISSION: $20 for advance festival passes from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg), regular price $25. Tickets for individual events to be released in September

INFO: www.singaporewritersfestival.com