The Singapore Writers Festival seemed like a godsend to individuals, such as myself, who were keen to know more about not only books and authors, but also writing techniques and methods. This year, food writing was given a bigger chance to shine in the limelight by having six events dedicated to this sub-genre of non-fiction, some of which were conducted in Malay and Mandarin. Books by the featured speakers, writers and authors were made readily and easily available for purchase at the event’s main pavilion.
Prominent names in the Singapore food scene such as Violet Oon, Devagi Sanmugam, Rita Zahara and Christopher Tan were on hand to provide their expertise on food-related subjects. Also present to talk about one of Singapore’s favourite pastimes were bloggers Brad Lau (ladyironchef) and Dr Leslie Tay (ieatishootipost).
Purchasing the “Festival Pass” was money well spent – very well spent, to be precise. The insights and knowledge flaunted by the panelists, authors, bloggers and speakers were priceless. Indeed, it opened my mind up to different angles as to what food and food writing is all about. Prior to this, I have never seen more enthusiasm brought about by people who share similar interests and passion about food and writing about food. Smiles were often seen at the end of each session, but the real happy point was gaining more knowledge with regards to food, particularly in the local context.
My only gripe was that KF Seetoh, of Makansutra fame, wasn’t featured as a guest speaker in any of the events. I would have loved to see his genuine, laid-back and easygoing personality as a person, but he is definitely no pushover when it comes to food. A positive note, however, was that the 9th – and latest – edition of the Makansutra guide was on sale at the main pavilion. Sealed in clear plastic, they were down to the last two to three copies when I glanced upon the bookshelves yesterday evening (from close to 50 copies; aligned on the very same shelves the week before).
In any case, I, for one, am definitely looking forward to next year’s event – should they decide to organize it. Bring on the food writers, authors and bloggers, and don’t forget the food!
*Singapore Writers Festival logo obtained from http://www.facebook.com/sgwritersfest