Issue #3: a Potent Mix

Welcome to Issue #3 of SWAG, which promises a Potent Mix.

The award-winning author Joanne Harris, most famous for her novel Chocolat, is one of the top-billed names at this year’s Singapore Writers Festival. I was thrilled to have the chance to pose a few questions to her ahead of the biggest literary event on these shores.

Joanne mentioned how she likes to keep several writing projects bubbling away like pots on the stove. It seemed particularly apt that a renowned foodie like Joanne Harris would describe her work in these terms – a potent mix of ideas that spices up her writing.

Strangely, this image echoed through several of this issue’s interviews. Dr Darryl Whetter, who recently arrived from Canada to lead Singapore’s first taught MA in Creative Writing, also keeps several poems and novels simmering away. We discussed how his post-grad students will be encouraged to experiment too.

One of Singapore’s best-known writers, Ovidia Yu, took me for kopi to discuss her latest work – though sadly not to Auntie Lee’s cafe. Another multi-tasker, Ovidia has a new historical crime series on the boil.

We also go On the Record with two young Eurasian artists who are writing and performing the voices of a little-heard community.

Nowhere will a potent mix be more in evidence than at this year’s Singapore Writers Festival. We asked a number of Singapore-based writers for their hot tickets and must-see events.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the launch of Singapore Love Stories, a new anthology of short fiction published by Monsoon Books. My Singapore Writers Group colleague Raelee Chapman shares an insight into her labour of love.

Talking of love… what can you do if you lose your passion for writing? Marion Kleinschmidt has some literary viagra to keep us writers full of vim and vigour.

I hope you find something to delight you in this potent mix!

all the best, Jo Furniss

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