Monday, November 21, 2016

Coming into her own at the Singapore Writers Festival

Another Singapore Writers Festival has come and gone, and this year, Lesley-Anne was the participant from this family, not me.

She was invited to speak at two panels. The first, Singapore Through Their Eyes, which focused on writing about local characters set in local contexts.

The second was targeted at teens: Write This Way,  where four teens shared their experiences and advice for writing.

After the second session, some friends and fans approached Lesley-Anne for autographs and advice.

She has received quite a lot of publicity for this year's SWF.

An SG Now Feature: "8 Singaporean writers you should know about"

As one of the writers interviewed for a Today newspaper article: "Words by Women".

And a full feature interview and writeup on 

Funnily enough, it's not the writing or speaking that she's most daunted by - it's the publicity. Over dinner before her first SWF session, I asked her how her week has been. She looked cross and said "bad". I thought maybe she didn't do well in some essay or was swamped by work. Turns out, someone in Yale-NUS had found out about her Today newspaper feature and spread the word, so random strangers had been stopping her and asking her about her books. What a nightmare for Ms Anti-Social.

Watching Lesley-Anne this SWF, it was evident to me how much she has developed as a writer and speaker. Her mindset on writing has definitely expanded, as demonstrated in her quote in the Today article: 
“You (as an artist) are not just there to showcase how well you can do your craft, you have to use your craft for something ... More than just providing entertainment, you are supposed to start a discussion of neglected topics in society.”

Having participated at quite a number of official events now, her confidence and eloquence have grown. Even among adults, she holds her own. In fact, some of the things she was talking about made me mutter, " Aiyoh, so cheem".

Nevertheless, it makes me proud to see her come this far. It especially warms my heart to see her talk to teens and kids about her passion. To be able to possibly make a difference in someone's life, that's something special right there and I'm glad to be part of her journey.

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