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I would probably go see Stephen Black at the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival
Posted on January 4, 2015
A Facebook event page has been created. If you would like to see SB at the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival, check out this page. THANKS The Singapore literary scene is very small but dynamic. The National Book Development Council, the Arts Council,the National Heritage Board, the Economic Development Board, the Singapore Memory Project and other agencies have funded numerous books, projects and events. Publishers like Epigram, Ethos and Monsoon are "punching above their weight" and creating international interest in Singapore as they also succeed within the country itself. As an artist/writer based on the island since 2002, I have been fortunate to interact with all of these companies and organizations, as well as individuals involved with the art and business of writing. I write now to raise the possibility of me, Stephen Black, appearing at the 2015 Singapore Writers Festival.I cannot deny that I will benefit but equally important, if not more so, is the fact that my inclusion will, within Singapore and beyond, recognize and further validate self-publishing. With each passing day there are more examples of self-published books successfully connecting with people, like this. Has the SWF recognized any self-published authors? "Self-publishing is the future" is not true: ask Jane Austen. Or Proust. I humbly propose the following notes for the Singapore Writers Festival's consideration. 1. Relevancy to the SWF's stated theme; to "have a strong focus on Singapore authors and themes". Nearly all of my books are related to Singapore and its history, especially I Ate Tiong Bahru. Three years in the making, I Ate Tiong Bahru was completely self-funded. Full of first-hand observations about life in Tiong Bahru, as well as original research and interviews, IATB is likely to become a Singapore bestseller (2000 print copies sold) in 2015. This despite a nearly anonymous cover with no blurbs or eye-catching illustration. "... the anecdotal tales you have recorded jump back at me through time. It is a rare occasion when I get the opportunity to meet someone who is so dedicated to writing up the heritage of the area with stories from the street." Donald Wyatt, resident of Tiong Bahru since 1942 Stephen Black's musings of Singapore's most famous neighborhood are at once whimsical,nostalgic and humorous. From stories about local delicacies to "Soymilk Blues" (sung to Johnny Cash's famous song), I Ate Tiong Bahru is a must-read for gourmets, architects, historians and just about anyone who wishes to learn more about this evolving neighborhood. -5 star review on Amazon 2. The projects of Book Merah (the name of my book "incubator") represent an important aspect of the zeitgeist of the publishing world. Obama Search Words, written and produced in Clement,i was very likely the first ebook produced in Singapore to be sold on Amazon. Contact With Shadow, a novel packed with historical information about the Armenian Street/Fort Canning area was probably the first Singapore-based project on Kickstarter. Contact With Shadow is now featured on Unglue-it, a revolutionary site devoted to the creation of free ebooks. Furikake, which has the "ugliest cover on Amazon" was written in 2007, and is set in the area near West Coast Park.The sequel to I Ate Tiong Bahru is near completion. The book, called To Eat Tiong Bahru, may be crowd-funded. Fires, by Singapore Literature Prize Winner Cyril Wong was most likely the first book by a Singaporean poet to appear on Kindle. 3. As far as being Singaporean, I have held a newborn baby in Mount Elizabeth Hospital and twice watched the sad machinery at Mandai. I've lived on Emerald Hill Road,in Hougang, in Clementi, Boon Lay and the Mitre Hotel. I have had a company, an employment pass and a huge variety of uniquely Singaporean life experiences. I probably had SARS. I survived a Singaporean Chinese wedding. 4. FWIW 1: Singapore Biennale text with Michael Lee, as well as other contributions to Michael Lee's text projects. Contributing writer to Singapore Architect magazine, producing articles on a wide range of topics including the Red Dot Museum, the works of Amanda Heng, Art Stage Singapore and more. 5. FWIW 2 I have been invited to speak at Hubud on January 8. I've presented at various gatherings and conferences, including TEDx Youth in Singapore. Acted in Boo Jun Feng's Changi Murals. Have held a newborn baby at Mount Elizabeth, suffered through weddings and twice watched the sad machinery out in Mandai. 6. SPOKEN, created with Singaporean Eugene Soh, not only features a variety of international artists including Stelarc and Yasumasa Morimura, but Singaporeans Vincent Leow and Godwin Koay. Writers include Sjon (SWF 203), Xu Xi (Man Booker Prize nominee and other talented writers from a wide range of countries, from China to Nigeria, from Turkey to London. 7. Being in the SWF would give me another opportunity to thank BooksActually, Booktique and my very supportive production team members. 8. It would be an honor and a privilege to meet some of the people who have bought I Ate Tiong Bahru and/or received the free ebook version. Thank you all in advance for your time and consideration.This may seem like self-promotion. It is, but part of the reality of being independent is understanding the fact that if you don't do it, no one will.