Keeping on the write track

Writing fiction and poetry may be a lonely journey with little monetary return, but the Singapore literary scene is lively. And readers, you play an important part.

There is no escaping the economics of literary publishing and the constraints of Singapore's small market. PHOTO: ST FILE
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Over the years I have given numerous school talks about the arts, ranging from cultural policy to the value of the aesthetic in our lives and the power of the written word. Inevitably, there will be questions from students, perhaps impressed by meeting a published writer, about making a living from creative writing.

In response, I might first whet their imaginations by talking about J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter series whose novels have sold in the millions and been translated into over 80 languages. On top of eight blockbuster movies, there are the spin-off board and video games, theme parks, the musical, the merchandising... the list goes on. Clearly, there are multiple revenue streams when one becomes a global cultural phenomenon.

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