I’ve always had a soft spot for Singapore. It was, after all, where I first laid eyes on my wife …

So when I heard that the island nation was hosting its Writer’s Festival around the same time as an official “family function” in Negri Sembilan, I leapt at the opportunity of attending both.

What really attracted me to the Writer’s Festival was the Publisher’s Symposium being held over 2 days. I was pleased to see Sharon Bakar there. She asked if I could attend “Readings” on Saturday since it was, after all, Halloween. But, unfortunately, I couldn’t.

I also met Philip Tatham of Monsoon books (publisher of Growing up in Trengganu) for the first time. We previously only had email contact. There were lots of other interesting people in the industry there, particularly the writers of children’s books, including Shamini Flint (the Sasha series), Adeline Foo (The Kitchen God etc.) and Emily Lim (Prince Bear and Pauper Bear etc.).

Well, that’s enough of the name dropping for now.


The Writer’s Festival was held at The Arts House which is located at the Old Parliament House, a beautiful building adjacent to the current parliament. What struck me as I strolled past parliament was its heritage nature, its accessibility and unpretentiousness.

It seemed too small for such important work. But that’s Singapore.

Efficient as ever.