SOTA launches new literary arts programme

The School of the Arts building in Dhoby Ghaut. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The School of the Arts (SOTA) launched a new literary arts programme on Monday (May 16), in hopes of encouraging more people to become writers.

The programme joins the school's five existing art programmes for dance, music, theatre, film and the visual arts.

SOTA said it was a natural step to introduce a literary arts programme, as there is already an active community of writers in the school and crafting a good story is a common skill among various art forms.

The literary arts programme aims to develop students who possess depth and versatility as writers. Students will also learn a range of writing genres to develop breadth and depth in the craft of writing. The genres include fiction and non-fiction, film and stage screenplays, short stories, poetry and prose, as well as journalistic writing.

Ms Lim Geok Cheng, SOTA's principal, said at the launch: "The introduction of the literary arts programme fills an important gap, where aspiring poets and writers can develop their imagination and craft to the fullest. Someday, these students will contribute significantly to the burgeoning body of Singapore literature, as well as in the fields of journalism and communications."

Also, at the launch was Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu.

The Literary Arts Advisory Panel will oversee the development of the programme. The panel includes Mr Philip Jeyaretnam, chairman of SOTA and a writer himself; Dr Meira Chand, chairman and chief fiction judge for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2012 and 2014 respectively, as well as an author of nine best-selling novels; Mr Yeow Kai Chai, festival director of the Singapore Writers Festival, a poet and writer; Dr Angelia Poon, an Associate Professor of English Literature at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Ms Adeline Foo, a writer.

Ethan Kan, 12, a first-year literary arts student, said that he likes the literary arts because he is able to express himself - such as his thoughts and feelings - through writing.

"I also love being able to learn many different techniques to improve my writing. I do hope to become a writer in the future because nothing lights up my life like writing does," he added.

Correction note: This story has been updated to accurately reflect Dr Meira Chand's designation.

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