Past Festivals

2018: 界 / jiè

In its widest manifestation, the character refers to the world at large, the universe which we all live in. Across its continuum of meanings, it also alludes to endless worlds, ranging from an imagined dominion of one’s mind to geographical and man-made boundaries which separate nations and peoples. In this sense, it reflects the current world order, with all the attendant tensions, transgressions and opportunities as communities trek across lands and cross waters, either as worldly citizens, refugees or migrants who seek better lives elsewhere. The Singapore Writers Festival revels in the realm of imagination and beseeches writers, thinkers and audiences to look inward and outward, and explore multiple possibilities of reading, writing and living.

Download programme booklet here.

2017: Aram

What are the meanings of being “good”? Aram, a Tamil word, zeroes in on the universal ethical concept. A term with rich connotations, it exhorts us to ask tough questions regarding conscience, virtue, and societal values. It envisions an ideal which humanity can aspire to -- in thought, words and actions. Aram is mentioned in the ancient Thirukkural (1st-3rd century B.C), widely revered as the most influential work in Tamil. The Singapore Writers Festival investigates this common creed and how it can help one to navigate the trials and tribulations in an increasingly complex world.


Download programme booklet here.

2016: Sayang

The 2016 Singapore Writers Festival delves into the multi-faceted human condition with the theme, Sayang. A Malay word with multiple layers of meaning, it is used as a term of endearment, expressing effusive love and adoration. At the same time, it can also refer to pity and a bittersweet sense of lost opportunities. Join us at the Festival as we examine life’s riches and ambivalences together.


Download programme booklet here.

2015: Island Of Dreams

John Lennon sings: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And we will live as one.” Likewise, the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival celebrates everyone’s dreams, hopes and aspirations, with the theme, Island of Dreams. So, what is your dream? How does one make one’s dream come true? What do all the dreams add up to? What is the society you want to live in? The Festival poses these questions to writers and audiences, inviting them to look within and reflect


Download Programme Booklet Here