11 March 2016

Masterclass co-organised by NBDCS and NTUC
Supported by the Media Development Authority
Room 903, NTUC Centre, 1 Marina Boulevard Singapore 018989

1:00 - 6:00pm

Game Writing vs. Narrative Design: A Masterclass on Understanding the Game Content Industry

Toiya Kristen Finley


This 5-hour masterclass, led by game designer, writer and editor Ms Toiya Kristen Finley, is designed for local media and literary professionals with at least intermediate experience in writing and/or the game industry. An interactive and engaging session, the masterclass looks at various aspects of a game’s story and how they can be implemented into its narrative design.

You will be able to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the game structure and the integral role of the narrative in games.
  • Master game writing techniques and tools to develop game stories through world-building and character design.
  • Work in teams to develop a game script.
  • You will also learn how to build your portfolio, and the art of networking and finding the right clients.

Discover how to write compelling game storylines and make persuasive pitches to stand out from the crowd.   

* * *

Game Writing vs. Narrative Design is the first in a  series of Story Lab programmes led by the Media Development Authority (MDA). A key media industry initiative under the Infocomm Media 2025 Plan, Story Lab brings together media practitioners, emerging talent, students and members of the public to explore new techniques and develop their skills in the art of storytelling to produce compelling content across various media platforms.

For more information of the Story Lab initiative, visit Story Lab webpage.

The Festival organisers reserve the right to change speakers, events, session times, dates and/or other details when necessary.

12 March 2016

Seminars and Panel Discussions

Possibility Room – Level 5
Imagination Room – Level 5
Visitors Briefing Room – Level 1
9:00 – 10:00am


At NLB lobby near VBR entrance

10:00 – 11:00am

Keynote – Writing for Progress: Development Journalism in South East Asia

Tony Lambino
Moderator: Tan Jun Ya

The keynote discusses the history of development journalism in Asia, the impact of reporting about underdevelopment, and the opportunities open to development journalists in the region.

11:00 - 11:15

Waking Up From Life: Fringe Activity by NUS Literary Society

"I've never felt so alive." 

In a world where the dead congregate, two suicide kids talk about the once living.

NUS Literary Society presents "Waking Up From Life" by Gina Chew, a winning piece from NUS' annual Creative Writing Competition 2015. Performed by NUS majors from the Theatre Studies Programme, let’s follow the dynamic dead duo as they navigate the realm of the once-alive, contemplating choice and circumstance alike from a world away. 

11:15am – 12:15pm

Redefining Content For Radio and TV: The Challenge of Social Media Integration

Harry Corro Jo Furniss
Moderator: Gamar Binte Abdul Aziz

How are more traditional media platforms such as radio and television coping with social media integration? What are the challenges in ensuring content is packaged to meet the demands of the social-media-savvy consuming audience? This session looks at how traditional media is coping with social media integration in all communication forms.

Retelling Stories as They Are Told: News Events of South East Asia

Suzanne Jung Manfred Rist
Moderator: Leong Wee Keat

Featuring seasoned journalists, the session is an interactive panel discussion of the favourite stories they covered, and the impact such stories have made to them as content creators, and to the people they report about.

People of Singapore: The Power of Engagement

Robin Ann Rheaume
Moderator: Ajay Govinda Menon

How does one create content, manage it and distribute it to a broader and much discerning audience that is constantly distracted by other things online? Engage yourself in a discussion with the writer and photographer behind People of Singapore and discover the possibilities of social media engagement.

12:15 – 1:00pm

Lunch Break with Breakout Fringe Sessions

12:30 – 1:00pm

In the Winners’ Circle: Selected Winners of the 2015 National Youth Film Awards

Annette Lee Jonathan Choo

Featuring winning screenwriting entries from the recent National Film Youth Awards, the session looks at what it takes to translate words into a piece that speaks to audiences and retains its message during transcendence.

Film Screening & Discussions: Singapore Polytechnic

Dalene Low Mei Jun Nicole Ong Xin Tong Shantel Neo Rui En Jasper Yeo Kait Xun

The fringe features works by student-filmmakers from local polytechnics, and the challenges and opportunities they faced while making the films.

Monologues R’ Us: Fringe Activity by NTU Epiphany

Reginald James Kent

A monologue is presented by a single character and often expresses their mental thoughts aloud. Monologue crafting however is not only a skill applicable to plays, the form is a useful tool to use when exploring characters in fiction, personas in poetry and can even be injected into non-dramatic mediums. In this short workshop participants will be introduced to the facets that make a good monologue.  Shakespearian and modern ones will be examined and participants will have a hand at crafting one for themselves.

1:00 – 2:00pm

The Thrills and Frills of Review Writing

Genevieve Sarah Loh Jeremy Sing Alvin Chong
Moderator: Raymond Tan

Everyone’s a critic, they always say. But is doing it as a career a viable path for writers to take? Engage with reviewers, both online and on traditional media platforms, in this session that looks at reviews and the writers that make them happen.

Understanding Your Rights: Rights and Contracts for Young Authors

Samuel Seow Catherine Carvell
Moderator: Peter Draw

Many first-time authors find themselves in a sticky situation after they sign contracts whose fine print they do not bother to read. What should young and upcoming authors look out for to protect themselves and their book rights? This session features rights experts who will discuss how to take care of oneself in publishing deals.

Strike the Prose: Fashion, Travel & Special Interest Blogging

Laila Lu Jemimah Wei
Moderator: Alisa Maya

Special interest blogs are on the rise, because of the ease of platforms available and the prospects of monetising blogs. What opportunities are open to aspiring bloggers who want to make their blogs more profitable? Which content sells and how do you sell it?

2:00 – 3:00pm

The Business of Writing: Branding You and Your Work

VJ Yamat Christopher Tan Leslie Tay
Moderator: S Mickey Lin

The session talks about branding oneself as an author of particular content, as well as transcending such branding to one’s work, enough to sell a package, instead of just an idea or a piece of work.

Mobile, Native, Impressionable: The Changing Faces of Writing Ads

Andrew Hook

The ways to reach audiences through advertising are evolving. Gone are the salesy pitches, and they have since been replaced by mobile and more native forms of advertising, particularly when targeting millennials. What skills does a writer need to learn for him to adapt to the changing world of advertising? What opportunity holds the new content creator in this world of social integration and new media?

Getting Your Work Out There: Panel of Young Writers, Artists & Translators

Jamie Uy Vincent Tantra Justine De Jesus Ingrid Liu Seo Young Lee
Moderator: Clara Fong

So you're a young writer or artist who would like to get your work "out there" and meet other passionate young writers and artists - where do you start? This panel will discuss how students can become involved with online literary and art magazines to publish their work, develop their craft, and become part of a community. The panelists are students who are senior staff members of Parallel Ink, an international online literary and art magazine.

3:00 – 4:00pm

SINdie Session: Writing A Film Review

Jeremy Sing

Movie reviewing might be one of the least scientific forms of writing in the universe of written material. There is no fixed formula and the best reviews are not the sum of their parts. In Singapore, the confines of editorial space, common knowledge and function have necessitated certain easily recognisable and formulaic forms of review writing. Thankfully, the blogosphere remains a playground for writing of a more contrarian or analytical nature to grow. While there is no science to producing a good review, good reviewers are easily identifiable. They have a presence so compelling, every word of their writing rings in your ear. 

Jeremy Sing, founder of SINdie, an online journal dedicated to Singapore films, shares his journey in making sense of movie writing, and finding a voice for himself.

Victoria JC Book Launch

3:30 – 4:00pm: Book Launch by Victoria JC Writers' Circle

In this spirit, this collection of short stories entitled “Time” was written, a collection of works by a variety of aspiring writers, all with one common goal – To find their true expression, to “bleed”. The eponymous theme inspired writers to search themselves and stretch their creative minds in looking for new, unique takes on the theme. 

Words Go Round @ All In!: The City and Beyond Series: Modern Spaces: Writing As Reclamation

Verena Tay Marc Nair

Singaporeans collect stories in notebooks and on the Internet to help them make a connection to this city which keeps changing. Join this conversation between Singapore writers Marc Nair and Verena Tay. Marc will delve on his site-specific, inter-disciplinary series Musicity. Verena will share the inspiration behind Balik Kampung, which is a series of short story collections on writers’ recollections of places which they grew up in. 

4:00 – 5:00pm

Flash Fiction, Short Stories and More: Completeness in Brevity

Yeo Wei Wei Damyanti Biswas
Moderator: Peter Draw

Quick and witty, flash fiction and short stories have always been fun to write but challenging to structure. How do these written forms fare in the literary arts scene in Singapore? Is there a market for them in South East Asia and beyond? The panel talks about how these stories have evolved and adapted in these changing times.

YOUTHspeak: The Future of Writing in Singapore – A Paper Presentation

Moderator: Ignatius Tan

How do young authors and content creators envision the future of writing in Singapore and beyond? Listen to young writers and their current experiences as budding authors, poets, novelists and playwrights in this interactive paper presentation of essays on Singapore’s evolving writing landscape.

Words Go Round @ All In!: The City and Beyond Series: Wartime Cities: Writing Dangerous Truths

Atia Abawi

Truth is a relative thing but how does one discern right from wrong when one does not have access to full information, especially in times of conflict? Join freelance American journalist Atia Abawi who will zero in on her experience sieving truth from falsehood as as a former foreign correspondent in Afghanistan. Born to Afghan parents in Germany, she covered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden as part of NBC’s news team in May, 2011.  

5:00 – 6:00pm

The Story Behind the Song: Writing the Lyrics of the Soul

Desmond Moey Lewis Loh Anise Bittymacbeth (Beth Yap)
Moderator: Geraldine Song

In a generation where artists and musicians vie for attention from avid listeners and viewers, how does one write the perfect song that piques the right chords to make it a sure hit among its target audiences? How do songs and their lyrics reflect society, and can they be used for social change? The session looks at the power of music and words and how it is reshaping today’s youth.

ACJC FRINGE: Performance and Launch

Performance: The Human Doll aims to highlight the plight of marginalised female workers, and is performed by Adria Lim of ACSian Theatre. Through the use of text and organic movement, Adria portrays the abstract ideas of loss and confinement that female workers in Singapore endure today. 

Book Launch: The Heart of the Matter is a book written by Benjamin Mak, a former member of National Debate team, and a graduate of the University of Cambridge. Benjamin's book is written for young debaters. There will also be a short exhibition debate as part of the launch event.

Words Go Round @ All In!: The City and Beyond Series: Going Wild: Writing As Nature Disappears

Jan Latta N Sivasothi Ow Yeong Wai Kit

Living in the hustle and bustle of the cities, it’s easy enough to forget how global warming impacts our natural world. Join this panel comprising three writers, namely, Australian non-fiction on endangered species writer Jan Latta, Singaporean nature advocate N Sivasothi and educator Ow Yeong Wai Kit, who is the co-editor of From Walden to Woodlands, an interfaith anthology of poetry about nature in Singapore. They will discuss the beauty of nature and the risks posed to it, ranging from Earth’s endangered species to Singapore’s biodiversity.

The Festival organisers reserve the right to change speakers, events, session times, dates and/or other details when necessary.

13 March 2016

Workshops & Masterclasses

Possibility Room – Level 5
Imagination Room – Level 5
Visitors Briefing Room – Level 1
10:00am – 1:00pm

Game Writing: Building Worlds of Stories

Toiya Kristen Finley

Little do people know, there are writers who develop storylines for all kinds of videogames--from first-person shooters and MMOs, to match-3s and mobile games. This class helps young writers to understand storytelling opportunities in the game industry, and guides them in collaborating as narrative designers and game writers on a variety of projects. The session will be conducted in groups.

Creative Teaching for Creative Writing: A Workshop for Language Teachers

Claudine Fernandez

Focusing on teachers who teach creative writing, the workshop looks at how educators can make creative writing classes even more creative, by tapping on both conventional and novel means of instruction. The session is intended for young teachers who are honing their teaching and writing craft. Participants should bring  a laptop with WiFi connection, and their favorite object or a photograph of their favorite object to the session.

Documentaries and Development Journalism: Writing Scripts for Change

Alemberg Ang

The class looks into the working structures of writing documentaries in the light of social change. Towards the end of the workshop, attendees will write a short segment script for broadcast.

1:00 – 2:00pm


Lunch not provided

2:00 – 5:00pm

Fiction Writing – Short Stories: Developing Stories Through Unconventional Stimulus

Don Bosco

Short stories can be read in one seating, but can you write one in just three hours? This hands-on session talks about the elements of effective and impactful short stories, and how you can pique the reader’s interest through unconventional and witty methods.

Crafting Creative Stories For Young Readers: Young Writers for Young Readers

Monica Lim Lesley-Anne Tan

Helmed by renowned Singaporean children’s book authors, the class helps young writers to distinguish good writing from great storytelling by understanding the elements of an effective and provoking children’s story. Attendees will be asked to write their own 300 to 500-word children’s book manuscript.

Book Cover Concept & Design for Children’s Books

Low Joo Hong

Featuring illustrator/designer Low Joo Hong, the workshop features the rudiments of book cover design for children’s books, including an understanding of the considerations based on content, layout and overall feel of the story. Attendees will be asked to draw a book cover based on a given story or of their own.

The Festival organisers reserve the right to change speakers, events, session times, dates and/or other details when necessary.