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Singapore Writers Festival 2018: All The Highlights You Have To Know

Good news for the literary-minded — the Singapore Writers Festival is back with its 21st edition. Taking place from November 2 to 11 at the Civic District, this year, the event appears to have taken on a more holistic approach towards engaging its audience. The latest theme focuses on the Chinese word 界 (jiè), which is commonly be translated to mean ‘world’.

With its tent-pole position as Singapore’s premiere literary festival, expect a rich offering of lectures, meet-the-author sessions, workshops, art performances and even a smattering of film screenings over the 10 day duration. As with such large-scale festivals, it can be a tad overwhelming to go through each and every program — here, we’ve picked out some highlights you ought to catch:

The Next Wave: Singapore’s Emerging Writers Speak Out
As folks who’re always on the lookout for the next generation of talents, we’d totally be down for this group panel discussion featuring four rising local wordsmiths — Natalie Wang, Crispin Rodrigues, Marylyn Tan and Suffian Hakim (pictured above) — who will be sharing stories of their writing journeys. 5 Nov, Mon 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM  The Arts House, Chamber Festival Pass The Idea of "Authenticity" in Travel-Writing
Travel listicles multiply like rabbits these days — name a location and there’ll be a “Top 10 Places To Check Out…” about it. This panel discussion seeks to weed out the Instagram-happy from the seasoned globe-trekkers, which include new author Paige Parker (above), Shivaji Das and Lee Siew Hua. 7 Nov, Wed 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM  The Arts House, Blue Room Festival Pass In Pursuit of Less: Minimalism in Art and Lifestyle
Minimalism was birthed as an arts movement in the ’60s — and despite the deplorable more-is-more Instagram-ready lifestyles a lot of people are gunning for these days — it’s only grown to become a juggernaut not only in art but in design and lifestyle as well. Three curators — Russell Store, Eve Hoon and Goh Sze Ying — will be discussing the movement’s merits. 6 Nov, Tue 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM  The Arts House, Play Den  Festival Pass Through the Generations: Women Writers Speak Out
Three leading female creatives across various art fields — academic/poet Shirley Geok-lin Lim, artist/educator Charlene Shepherdson (above) and actor/writer/director Aidli Mosbit — convene to discuss the various challenges and obstacles women have traditionally faced throughout the decades 9and probably still continue to do so) and what can be done to improve the situation. 6 Nov, Tue 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM  The Arts House, Chamber  Festival Pass The Ghost in Your Head
If talks aren’t your thing, consider the multi-sensorial offering that is The Ghost In Your Head. There’ll be filming screenings of rare Japanese gems including the animated work Paprika and a 1989 feature film, Raffles Hotel. It’ll be accompanied by a dreamy soundscape by local artist Mervin Wong and delicacies inspired by the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, among other attractions. 8 Nov, Thu 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM  8 Nov, Thu 9:30 PM – 11:30 PM  The Arts House Ticketed Kafka's Room:MetamorphosisVR
Big Kafka fan? You can now immerse yourself in the late author’s typically nightmarish landscapes via a virtual reality space called metamorphosisVR, held at the Arts House. Visitors can only enter the VR installation individually — so do be prepared for an unsettling experience — each “experience” will last about 5 minutes. 6 Nov, Tue 12:30 PM – 9:30 PM  The Arts House, First Floor  Free event   The House That Jack Built
Danish auteur Lars von Trier’s latest controversial work, The House That Jack Built, focuses on a serial killer who looks back at the four murders that’s defined his “legacy”. It stars a powerful cast of Matt Dillon as the titular murderer and Uma Thurman, Riley Keough, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, and Sofie Grabol as his victims. Be prepared for a mind (and stomach) churning piece, as is signature with all of von Trier’s films. 4 Nov, Sun 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM  National Gallery Singapore, Ngee Ann Kongsi Auditorium  Ticketed event