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FEATURE: All In! Young Writers Festival
All In! 2015 Programming
Message from the Festival Director
55-Word Fiction Competition 9 • What is it?
• 2015 Entries
FEATURE: The Book Council
All In! Young Writers Festival is organised by National Book Development Council of Singapore 50 Geylang East Avenue 1 Singapore 389777 +65 6848 8290 | firstname.lastname@example.org | http://bookcouncil.sg
All rights reserved NBDCS © 2015 Book design by CB Peña
All In! Young Writers Festival
All In! Young Writers Festival is an annual event for aspiring writers between the ages of 13 and 25. All In! brings together a wide array of writing mentors and industry experts in publishing, broadcasting, blogging, creative writing, screenwriting, journalism and advertising, and many more, to share their expertise with todayâ€™s young writers. The Festival showcases talented individuals and motivated professionals who have chosen writing careers and the paths they took to get there. In 2015, All In! was held at library@orchard. The roster of sessions were divided into seminars, panel discussions, and workshops, over two days. A total of 220 delegates registered for this yearâ€™s All In! All In! is supported by the National Arts Council as an Art Education Programme (AEP). Schools can use the Tote Board Arts Grant of up to 50% subsidy of festival ticket costs.
10.30 am 11am12pm 12pm01pm 01pm02pm 02pm03pm
03pm04pm 04pm04.30 pm 04.30 pm-05.30 pm 05.30 pm-06.30 pm
28 February 2015 | Saturday Registration | library@orchard Level 3 KEYNOTE SPEECH The Rise of Graphic Novels in Asia by Lim Cheng Tju Moderator: Adan Jimenez WELCOME: THE AUTHOREDITOR Felix Cheong & Samantha de Silva Moderator: Linn Shekinah
MONETISING YOUR WRITING Patrick Balo Moderator: Kelvin Ang
LUNCH BREAK AT 10SQ, Level 10 Orchard Central Mall SELF-PUBLISHING: DANGERS & OPPORTUNITIES
SOCIAL MEDIA: UNDERSTANDING THE TERRAIN
Wendy Wong & Sarah Mounsey
Hirzi & Muna
Moderator: Zed Yeo
Moderator: Andrew Chow
WRITING FOR THEATRE IN ARTSY SINGAPORE
BLOGGING AS A CAREER CHOICE
Geetha Creffield & Joel Tan Moderator: Carina Hales
Liyana Othman & Melissa Koh Moderator: Peter Lin
BREAK WITH PERFORMANCES BEING A FULL-TIME AUTHOR Dave Seow, Zed Yeo, & Otto Fong Moderator: Linn Shekinah
HARD & SOFT: JOURNALISM AT ITS CORE Gregory Loo & Stacey Anne Rodrigues Moderator: Andre Frois
WRITING FOR CAMPUS RADIOS Radio Heatwave & Harry Corro
PANEL PRESENTATION ON MEDIA LITERACY NUS, NTU, SMU, SP, NP
All In! Young Writers Festival
1 March 2015 | Sunday 10.30 am 11am02pm 02pm03pm 03pm06pm
Registration | library@orchard Level 3
SHORT FILM WRITING Ray Pang, Filmmaker
SPEED-PITCHING: BASICS & PREPARATIONS Catherine Carvell, Author
BREAK (NO LUNCH PROVIDED) | Performances and Awarding of Prizes IMPROVING COPYEDITING & PROOFREADING SKILLS
CRAFTING EFFECTIVE CHARACTERS, PLOTS & SETTINGS
Samantha de Silva, Author/Editor
Verena Tay, Author/Storyteller
The All In! Young Writers Festival is an annual festival for aspiring writers between the ages of 13 and 25. Join us as we bring writers from a variety of fields – playwriting, blogging, creative writing, screenwriting, and journalism, among others – to meet and mingle with today’s young writers.
MESSAGE FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR
Kenneth Quek Deputy Director, NBDCS
Welcome to the seventh annual All In! Young Writers Festival! For the past six years, All In! has become the place for young writers to converge and share their ideas and creations with industry professionals and key media players. The festivalâ€™s goal has always been a simple one: helping young writers reach the next step in their burgeoning literary arts careers. With this goal in mind, All In! tailors its programming so that young writers can learn from seasoned professionals and then meld the tried and tested methods with their own exciting insights and processes, creating a mix of the new and the stalwart! This year, we have prepared an exciting array of speakers and workshop leaders who will share their industry experience and cultivate a mesh of ideas and content that is unique to All In! Furthermore, we have added a few fringe activities that showcase works by students, with the intent of highlighting how much potential the next generation of writers has to offer. We invite you to immerse yourselves in both the technical and creative activities to get a fullfledged feel of this youthful Festival. On behalf of the All In! team, thank you for joining us in cultivating the culture of writing among the young and the young at heart. I wish you all the best in your journeys, and I hope to see all of your names shining in lights.
55-WORD FICTION COMPETITION
All In! Young Writers Festival conducted a pre-festival competition called the 55-Word Fiction Competition, where entries were exactly 55 words and were posted on the Festival Facebook wall. There were two winners: the Judges’ Choice and the People’s Choice. Launched in 2013, the initial run received 121 entries. This year, 55Word received 154 entries. Winning this year’s Judges’ Choice award is Michael Foo from Singapore Polytechnic. The People’s Choice award went to Trisha Vergara from Innova Junior College. This compilation presents the entries from this year’s 55-Word Fiction Competition.
Two policemen were in my house. One scanned my expansive bookshelf while the other stood over my motionless body and whispered: “…I think she dieded with OD.” “…Must be recently die.” “…Many books, English sure best.” Like a defibrillator, I was electrified out of my cocaine-induced deathlike comatose. That night, only English was murdered.
I see silhouettes dancing around me. My vision becomes clearer. I notice humans…with wings. Something soft and delicate touches my skin. They lift me up, slowly, caressing me like a baby. Someone whispers to my ear, “Not yet, child.” I woke up, startled. I see a feather beside me. I escaped death for now.
AILING RANNER UNTITLED
Life's a little complicated but, Little Johnny Boy insisted to go out and play. Papa John didn't want him to, Neither did Mama Bell want him to go out and play. Little Johnny Boy ran out to the field and played on his own. "Oh dear, I fear he has become insane," said Mama Bell.
AIN NURUL IMAN HEARTBEAT
He clutches the frail hand of his mother's, the beeping of the heart monitor providing him a strange sense of comfort. "You won't leave me, right, Mother?" She nods feebly, unable to form words. He flashes her a smile that fills her with hope. He awakens, never to hear the beeping of the monitor again.
ALEXIS ONG REPORTING YOU
Reporting: You. Case: Hypertension and asthmatic characteristics. Symptoms are sporadic, usually induced by standing within approx 10m radius of you (subject to change depending on line of sight). Compensation: (a) Lunch together. (b) If (a) is not applicable, then 5 tubs of Ben and Jerry’s and 1 best friend’s shoulder to cry on.
ALIA ALKAFF DREAM JOBS
‘Envision and achieve,’ I’ve always told myself. I stared at my list. ‘Humanitarian worker, Playwright, Filmmaker…’ I am seventeen years old and I knew what I wanted. But looking at it, I couldn’t smile. My torso felt contorted. My hands itched. Something was off. Something was missing. I froze. Where did the word ‘Mother’ go?
ANG MING WEI CALL THE EXORCIST
Mary watched as the baby-blue-eyed children tore away at each other in their innocent game of tag. The growing tumult made her dizzy, nauseous even. Dazedly, she stared at the creamer swirling, swirling in her coffee. Panic filled her â€“ tossing turning gnawing away within. And she heard only this: hearts going thump thump thumpâ€Ś
ANG PIN YUAN AND TO YOU, MY FAVOURITE AUTHOR
"It was a lifetime filled with countless shames, spent with only lies being told." â€“Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human As though you've planned it from the start, the lines are spinning, curling around my head. How could I deserve to be sad; a depression of my own choosing? I, just a mere lover of literature!
ANG YAN NING A FEARFUL NIGHT
The clock struck 12. I lay wide awake. I heard strange rustling sounds downstairs but I was too afraid to move an inch. I tried to scream but nothing came out from my mouth. I was so fearful that I covered my whole body with blankets but the rustling sound just would not go off.
ANNA TSENG RUI-WEN TRANSFROGAMATION
“Time for a long awaited reunion, and my all-important proposal,” Victor’s triumphant exclamation of succession reverberated through his lab, absolute determination and ultimate satisfaction shown in his bloodshot eyes. Holding a mysterious greenish liquid in the glass bottle, Victor, filled with eager anticipation, drank it. “Ribbit!” Then POP, a ring tumbled out. For his bride.
ARUN AYER THE DANCE
Another drop of sweat trickled down his eyebrow, he was quite nervous while performing the complicated steps. As he took his finishing pose, the fans went crazy, ridiculously roaring. Abruptly his phone rang; it was from, “John–the electrician.” He shrieked into the phone, “I THOUGHT YOU TOLD ME THAT YOU HAD FIXED THE FANS?”
BENJAMIN FOO MARKED FOR DEATH
An odourless scent that made my eyes and nostrils water filled the burrow. It struck fear in everyone's hearts and made them shudder. The whole burrow was being torn apart, bit by bit. My whiskers started to twitch, I felt myself losing consciousness. My instincts screamed "FLEE!" but my limbs were glued to the ground.
BENJAMIN LESTRANGE SUFFOCATE
Breathe in, breathe out. Think aloud, lest you forget. You feel your sweat roll slowly down your temple; so slowly, almost on purpose. The silence, how it deafens you; the maddening melody of nothingness played on repeat. Your eyes widen, your chest tightens. Thump thump. You gasp for air, only to scream your lungs out.
BRIAN TAN NS WOES
The pernicious claws scratched the throbbing tendons in my shoulders as I shifted the monstrous weight, trying to get some relief. The long row of open seats tempted me like a seductress. Should I? Could I? “Young man, why you don’t sit? Scared get stomped ah?” the kindly octogenarian inquired. I could only smile weakly.
CALEB TAY IGNORANCE & INNOCENCE
“Can we have air-con tonight?” “No, use the fan.” I didn't notice how her words got shorter. “Can we have air-con tonight?” “No.” Or how she covered her arms. She came back late one day and fell on her back. “Can we have air-con tonight?” She answered with a hoarse whisper: “Okay.” …I should’ve noticed.
CHARMAINE NG QIAN CI UNTITLED
They told me not to run. So I didn't. Nod. Barely breathing in the musk-scented night. Anything. Just give me my freedom back. I've been good. Please. Cold silence meets the cries of spilled sunshine seeping into the termite-ridden wood. It's always been this way. Tears, but this time not mine. Shove, into the redâ€“
CHERRILYNN HARMS UNTITLED
I lay motionless in a puddle of blood. I was securely bound. My lips were sealed with tape. There was no escape. A masked man appeared before me and released the tape while pointing a pistol to my temple. "Madgunster1999, I know it's you! Set me free or I'll exit the game!" my fingers replied.
CHIA SHAO BIN CATASTROPHE
Like a shooting star in the sky, A fire ball shooting down to Earth, Hope was all lost. In just seconds, Lives were lost, Millions of dollars was on fire. Emergency vehicles rushing to the scene, Passers-by watching helplessly. Thick smoke seeping out, It was evident. A plane's life ended in a tragic catastrophe.
CHIANG JUN WEI WOODEN SPLINTER
The pointed spear pierced through the skin causing immense pain and causing red liquid to gush out like water from a geyser. He dragged his leg, fighting against the pain until he was in a comfortable position. "Ugh! What a lucky day to step on a wooden splinter" he said, feeling annoyed and pissed.
CHUA PEI CI REPLACEMENT
"Alas for her! Reveal her name." "Lips, red as the rose. Hair, black as ebony. Skin, white as snow." In great anger, the Queen destroyed the poor truthful mirror and burned it into ashes. Her destiny shall be my fate. Wanna guess who I am? Bingo! I am the second magic mirror for replacement.
CHUA POK WAN LAST CHANCE
“Let’s meet at the usual place.” The usual place, the playground that we used to play at. She’s definitely there, she has to be. A gut feeling, I knew she had to be there, she will be there. I wouldn't let this chance slip away, not this time. My final chance of seeing her again.
CLAIRE LOW THE KARANG-GUNI UNCLE
A shout of a horn announces his presence. The common friend, among us. Weight of paper in shiny coins he returns. This strain of work, beyond us. Yet now we get our news from other means. The newspapers, too slow for us. The horns are now but a distant memory. This part of history, dust.
CLAIRE NG THE RAIN
It's raining, I'm scared. Inside the room choked with the smell of disinfectant, the long beeping sound ensues. It's raining, everyone's soaked. Inside the wooden box lay the cold empty vessel that once brought all of us warmth; everyone is silent. It’s raining. In everyone’s eyes. It’s raining. In my heart. I hate the rain.
CRYSTAL LIM HIM
My dad is a mute, he works at a hawker stall, cooking fried rice. He always rides me to school with his motorbike, He waves goodbye to me but I didn't care. One day, I met with an accident. I saw him crying in the ambulance. I woke up, but he laid down.
EDMUND CHEW THE LAST SHOT
A photographer starts off his morning with his clients. They consist of a couple with two girls, who are difficult to get their attention. He bends and squats just to capture the requested shots by them. However, his clients were the ones taking the last shot instead, as they want him to be in it.
EE HUI QUEK MOM LEFT
I didnâ€™t want Mom to go. I didnâ€™t want her to leave me, all alone and vulnerable to the predators that lurked among these white walls. The predators who wore the same clothes and read the same books as me. The predators whom gave me the bruises under my shirt. Yet Mom still left me.
ELIZABETH YEE RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN
“While time travelling,” I tell Isabella, “you should never reveal yourself to your other incarnations.” She looks at me warily, not understanding yet. I carry on, “Unless…you wish to remove said incarnation and take her place.” Isabella backs away now, asking, “And what is your name?” I smile. “Why, it’s Isabella too, of course.”
EUNICE WONG MY LIFE
I hear loud thumping comingâ€“giants running around the floor. The black object on their feet was enormous to me, potential life threat. I stood under a shelter, hoping not to squashed, while continuing my journey to the kitchen, in search of food. Then, I lay under a finger, never awake.
HUANG QIANHUI A MOMENT TOO LATE
The clicking of her heels echoes down the deserted corridor, yet she only hears the fear drumming in sync with her heartbeat. “We’re very sorry.” All she could take away: the fluttering of the white shroud, the final glimpse of his face, the moment of shell-shocked silence. She collapses on the cold white tiles, crying.
IAN ALEXANDER PARK THE UNDERGROUND
Walking down the ladder, into something I would always regretâ€Ś Dreaming, I thought I was dreaming, when I heard the cursed screams of all these scattered dreams. Dying, I was just reminded, hearts are washed in misery, with no chance of coming out. Laughter, there is no more laughter anymore. I am in the underground now...
ĂŒAN HEIDIE ZURAIMI THE DEFENSELESS REBELLIONS
Palms sweating, heartbeat pouncing, millions of thoughts surge into my mind, my eyes locked on the hospital filled with baffled notorious rebellions. I hear the cries of my fellow men due to lacerations in the midst of war, as I fire the last rocket at the hospital, I drowned in the blood of the rebels.
IRNY IRDINA BTE ABDUL HALIM PULL THE PLUG
“But it will...” “Just do it,” I interrupted. “Nurse Jackson, I'm a failure! I've made so many mistakes in my seventeen years of life and my family had to suffer the consequences. I'm just a heavy burden. They would be better off without me.” “You can't just waste your...” “Just pull the damn–” Everything stopped.
ISABELLE ONG XUAN FEI WHATâ€™S GOING ON?
locked up between four walls one mattress, one window and a toilet meals of plain rice and plain water, nothing else. everyday, thinking, regretting. isolated alone, depressed and ashamed of my sins. counting the number of days in here, could easily be a thousand. staring at the white walls, suddenly someone knocks, what's going on?
JACEY MIZUKI KIM I NEVER KNEW
I never knew how you felt Too dense to notice, too self-centred to care Pampering love with selfless thoughts Your heart is gold that only belongs to me all these while I never knew until the day Cold sea and thunderous rain When you beg with death, exchange your soul Now I'm here, youâ€™re gone.
JACOB YEO XIAN PING CHEMISTRY OF ENGLISH
Alphabets are like the elements of the periodic table. It is remarkable how writers are able to react these twenty-six “elements” together to form a massive variety of “compounds” under perfect experimental conditions, including the absence of grammatical errors and witty use of vocabulary. Under local conditions, unconventional “compounds” formed are classified under “Singlish Compounds.”
JAIME HAN PLASTIC
For the longest time, I refused to give in to the temptation of artificial beauty. Superficial, thatâ€™s what the society is. Perfection? How unattainable. Unfortunately, i was born blessed with neither admirable genes nor face morphing puberty. Friends got married one after the next. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. It will all change soon.
“You must do well tomorrow.” “Don’t put me to shame.” It’s not the first time, but I'm still anxious. Scared. So this is what fear feels like. The clocked ticked, mocking me. My vision began to blur. Tomorrow, maths. I'm unsure if I can do it. I went to bed, my pillow soaked. It’s tomorrow.
JIAYEW WOO TOMORROW
JODY NG SILENT SCREAMS
She hears punctuations of footsteps. Light, taunting, and spelling her doom. “Why aren't you screaming?” She glares viciously at the lithe figure, biting down hard on the thick rope muzzling her mouth. “Oh. The gag's getting in your way?” He chuckles sardonically. “But don't worry. I have more than one way to make you scream.”
KALENE LAM YING YAN FUNERAL
I awoke to Chopin's ‘funeral march’ playing outside. I banged the wall exclaiming, “I'm trying to sleep!” That didn't work. Now people were screaming. I sat up grumpily and cracked my head on the ceiling. Groping around, I found myself packed in on all the sides. That explained the commotion, then. This was my funeral.
KAREN TAN A UNION OF OXYMORA
Her makeup was natural while I was a fine mess. Turning a blind eye to it, I wore my lace-up loafers. We looked awfully good and were the perfect misfit. “…in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” The silence was deafening. “I do.” I was terribly pleased. The banner read, “Happily married!”
KIRSTY LAI 34 MORE STEPS TO GO
‘34 more steps to go.’ The other day she was slapped because her handwriting. “Wasn't neat enough.” ‘33 more steps to go.’ The other day she was thrown out because the water “Wasn't boiled properly.” Confused; Lonely; Desperate. She continued on, ‘10 more steps to go...’ And sighed. Plunging 34 steps back Down to Earth.
LAI JINGYI THE LAST TEAR
It hurts. She is hurt. It was protruding out. She was left alone in the dark cold night. “Help!” she shouted. No one there. None to help her. She thought about her family and friends. Her entire life flashed through her mind very quickly. “Thank you,” she said softly as she dropped her last tear.
LAU KA YAN THE FAMILIAR STONE
I stood in front of the familiar stone. I sat in front of the familiar stone. I rubbed my beard, then my hair. “Hey babe,” I whispered with a soft smile. Putting his favourite chips down. Still smiling. Vision blurring now. I touched the familiar polished stone, engraved with his beautiful name. “I love you.”
LEE MYNN-HUEY UNTITLED
Her guards were down, tears streaking down her face. “I need you, but you make me reckless,” she gasped a sob. “You mean so much,” she regained her composure, stopped the waterworks and said sternly, “I can't afford to have you. I’m sorry.” She looked at her empty purse and walked away from the bookstore.
LIM JIA TONG HOLMES & WATSON
Mr Holmes had left for years, leaving his friend in grief. Afternoon tea and crime-solving were no longer happening at 221B. Standing at the spot where he jumped off, screamed Mr Watson, “Wait for me, best friend! I'm coming!” Side by side, laid the coffins of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, the two best buddies.
LIM TYE KUAN GLENN THE ROSE
“Smile, John. Smile.” My father passed me a stalk of rose. I held it in my hand, as he slowly lost his liveliness. My father contracted terminal cancer, and recently lost the battle. At home, I kept turning the rose in my hand. “Dad, I will smile. I won’t disappoint you,” I muttered to myself.
LIU JIA ZHENG THE LAST TIME
A blood drop on the floor in the haunted place in her memories. She died on this very place, by the speeding car, a monster drunken coming out of it. Her spirit started making blood fall from her mouth. This time, she is going to give him his punishment. This time, she is coming.
LU WEI XIAN THE FIFTY-CENT COIN
â€œGirl ah, go and put money into the donation box lah...â€? Mum handed me a fifty-cent coin, all dressed in white. Tears bursted out and rolled onto my cheeks. It reminded me of Ye Ye's smile, and the coins in my piggy bank. Those coins that Ye Ye always gives, but not from now on.
LYNN NG GRATITUDE
An excruciating pain made me fall to my knees. He cried, wanting to shout for the doctor, but I held his hand tightly. I did not want to miss a last look of him. Tears flowed down my cheeks uncontrollably. I closed my eyes and smiled, “Thank you, thank you for coming into my life...”
MAC TEO YU KAI FEAR
Steam swirled around me as I felt caressed by the invisible. Eyeless, it gazed at me. Fingerless, it gripped me. Chills went down my spine. I shivered but decided to stand Strong, withstanding the heat surrounding me Was it cold or hot ? Was I stubborn or strong? I thought as I took the current head-on.
MAHIKANSHU CHAUHAN ME AS A TODDLER
ME AS A LITTLE TODDLER GOT A BOXER THAT BOXER GAVE ME A CHOPPER DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO USE A CHOPPER SO MY DAD GOT ME A COPPER AND THEN I BECAME A TOPPER AFTER THAT I BECAME A COLLEAGER GUESS WHAT? I BECAME A FOOTBALLER AND I COULDN'T STAY ANY LONGER THEN A DIE(R)
MARK NEO A VERY SHORT STORY
I joined this competition To ease my constipation So short Couldnâ€™t think of what to write With such little words in sight About dinosaurs, aliens, or princesses Or about boy that makes messes I cannot decide What I might Be able think of a story with fifty-five words? I might as well be a bird!
MAVERICK LOH KAI RUI THERE GOES THE ALUMINUM SAUSAGE
A winged aluminium sausage was flying in the air. Evil spirits plagued the sausage and its passengers. Flashes of lights and monstrous sounds were heard and seen by its passengers. The sausage descended after encountering the disaster. The sausage stopped flying and sunk into a sink filled with blue liquid. There goes the aluminium sausage.
MEREDITH TJANDRA UNTITLED
You once asked me how it felt to be me. It made me wonder how I really felt inside. Who was I? What did I have? The good and bad in life, what were they? I never thought about them but now I know. Life is simply a choice. You donâ€™t have to be me.
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: ALVARO TAN
“Boom!” the plane crashed. Marc’s face smashed. Looking through the window with fear, out came a deer. Seeing it, his face went taut. He lay there stunned like a rock. Thinking how to survive, he looked around and saw a knife. Ending his suffering, he stabbed himself while crying.
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: BRITNEY KON
It has been happening lately. A sinister being has been following me. Everytime I turn a corner, I sense a dark presence. What does it want? Is this a joke? I turn around quickly, only to find nothing. What is happening? The place is so eerie and silent. Someone! Help meâ€Śmake it go away, please...
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: CHOO ZHI QIAN
Under the scorching sun I grabbed my bat, staring at the pitcher. Focusing only on the ball he held, I firmly gripped my bat and prepared to swing. The ball came closer and I swung my bat! Next thing I heard were cheers from my teammates. I ran a full circuit of bases. Home run.
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: INSHIRAH TAN
She stared at the blood on her hands, then at the dead girl on the floor. A smirk twisted its way on her face. “Cut them, free them, hunt them, kill them,” she breathed. With bodies of her victims scattered around the floor, she felt victorious. She would never be mocked. Never again.
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: LEE JIA YUN
Flipping through my photography journal, reminiscing each and every single moment. I stopped and smiled at a silhouette of an elderly and his dog. They have an unbreakable bond and it was extremely beautiful. Oh! To be able to capture such extraordinary moment that is otherwise gone foreverâ€ŚI am indeed fortunate!
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: MIRA HA
“Clara, tell me, what do you think would happen if we didn’t have each other?” “Hmm, what about what would happen if we had each other? I’ll tell you my answer regardless the question – 42.” “What do you mean?” “4 and 2 in Japanese translated is shi and ni, and when combined together, means…” “Death.”
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: MUHAMMAD ANAS
He has no friend. He loves to play on his computer. His teacher said, “Exams is in five days. Go home and study!” When he was studying, his computer was calling out to him to play. “I want to study. After exams, I will play with you. Can you sleep?” The computer said okay.
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: SOUMYA VANKA
A foul smell jolted me awake. I opened my eyes, trying not to shiver with fear. My blanket lay on the floor instead of on my legs, and that made me shiver with cold. I am afraid of darkness. I bent down to get my blanket. A skull grinned at me under my bed. I screamed.
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: TYANA FOO
Shivering really hard with goosebumps everywhere. Feeling lost and terrified. Running aimlessly in a maze. Something was chasing me. I shouted for help desperately, but no one came. Feeling so hopeless and tired of running, I gave up. The sensation was just behind me. Then the fangs pierced through my neckâ€Ś
MAYFLOWER SEC SCHOOL: VANESSA CHIU
The light jazz music played from the cafeâ€™s stereo system. The smell of the freshly baked waffles wafted into my nose as my brain started imagining how tasty it would be: crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. The combination of those beautifully crafted waffles and a cup of cappuccino, would be simply perfect.
MICHAEL LEE UNTITLED
Every morning, we would gather outside our classroom before going down for morning assembly. Sometimes the announcements made by teachers to urge us to go down is too soft to be heard and the marching song played every morning can rarely be heard. Therefore, we came up with a simple solution for us all today.
MICHELLE ANGELINE YEO TRUE FRIEND
My friends have never stayed long enough for me to call them my friends. Until now, I think I finally found my very first best friend. One that shares my pain and my emotions. Someone who truly understands and accepts me for who I am. We disagree at times, but it makes our bonds stronger.
MILDRED ANG BY THE LIGHT OF THE GLASS
The light glints off the wine glass’ shards on the fur rug. Mixed with the sanguine liquid is a darker, stickier substance. You sweep everything under the rug, like you always do. But you can’t forget; unlike how the others have forgotten. You will always remember me by the light that glints off your glass.
NAMITA DABRAL THE SHOP
“Sweetie, take the list and get these from the shop!” her mom would say and she would do so. No one knew what would happen in the shop, except her and the shopkeeper. She would tell no one, it would embarrass her, she was only 6. It would happen every day. She could do nothing.
NEO SHAO YUN SOCCER MATCH
“Never falter! Remember our mission!” That was the voice of our commander. “Tut! Tut! Tut!” “Boom! Boom! Boom!” Players fell; domino pieces, one after another. Red flashed repeatedly, as penalties piled up on top of each other. Opposing teams struggling with one another. A piercing pain. “Goal!” Looks like game's finally over. Only for me.
NG XI QUAN A SECOND WIFE OF A KING
Today is my motherâ€™s wedding. She is wearing a nice off-white dress, while the groom is someone I had never met. I am sure he is not my father. After her marriage to Evil, we became mimosas, hiding from both Torture and Tease. My mother was like a queen, a second wife for a king.
NG SOAR Z UNTITLED
The past, people scarred, took away, brought dark night into day. Past experiences follow me around into the future, everywhere, like shadow. Engulfed in the darkness of night, stars appear as glimpses of hope. They granted my wish for day and rainbow. Shadows may stay, but never mattered ever again. Thank you, my true friends.
NG YU BIN UNTITLED
She likes to do the laundry, ironing, cooking and mopping. She never complain and like to go to my school gate and talk with her friend. People have iPhone and she has Nokia. Mummy tells me call her Jie Jie but other people call her Mary. And I always like to tell her, â€˜Thank You!â€™
NOOR SYAFIQAH JAMAL OKAY? OKAY.
We stepped out of the movie theater. Verdict? The Fault In Our Stars book was way better than the movie. Well, at least the Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters relationship was acted out almost perfectly. “See you tomorrow, okay?” I said. He nodded. “Okay?” I repeated, my eyebrows raised. Another nod. I gave up. Maybe okay will never be our always.
NUR AMIRAH STORY OF A SAD SPOON
I’m a spoon and I’m a reflection of everything yet also nothing. I see the words you’ve said and I’ve bent in the anger you hid inside. I’m a spoon and I see the world more than you have discovered but here I am, a sad piece of metal junk going to another waste land.
NUR IFFAH MONSTERS & MAZES
Running through the Labyrinth with the actual, live, not at all mythical Minotaur chasing him made Brandon run faster than he ever did in any gym class. His brain felt like mush. His aching legs gave him the idea that maybe being eaten wasnâ€™t so bad. And then, it happened â€“ he slipped, falling forward.
ONG ENG HUI INSTAJOY
It is a snapshot of exuberance frozen in that instance: arms flung, legs raised, up in the air against the backdrop of an exotic monument. She chooses a filter, edits it carefully, and hits the Upload button with triumph. Job done, her joy disippates: back to the reality of fatigue and an annoying travel partner.
ONG YAN TING PERCEPTION
He beamed as the waiter served two drinks. He lifted his cup and gestured a toast. Silently, he took a sip, his eyes looking amorously... into an abyss. His reticent but elaborate actions enticed discretionary eyes filled with bigotry. Oblivious, he conversed with the empty chair, presumably in the midst of everyone elseâ€™s modus operandi.
PEH JIA WANG SAYING GOODBYE
My sickly lungs heave, forming mists on the funny-looking mask. I couldn’t really see, but I think Anna didn’t cry. Anna is a brave girl. My breaths weakened to a whimper. I stared at Anna, pleading. “Jack…” Anna chokes. So she cried after all. My poor Anna. She holds my paw as the jab comes.
PERRIN TAN REMEMBER TO FORGET
Strolling through Labrador Park, I caught glimpses of tiny red dots; saga seeds. Those red little demons transported me back to the tragedy of 1977. Sister was far away, asphyxiating and screaming silently with her eyes to me as those saga seeds got into her nose.That image will forever be etched in my mind.
PORO FARHAN UNTITLED
I woke up from my deep slumber and I looked at the calender. I cried in agony. I started complaining to myself, why my life was so depressing. My body was still in a resting state but I had to change it into a working state. I stopped crying and started preparing. It was Monday.
RUTH CHAN THE LAST CHANCE
Glaring into the cruel, merciless eyes of the soldier – with mine, bloody and bloodshot – I said defiantly, “Death before dishonour.” The cold eyes narrowed, the lips curled and the raspy voice whispered, “It’s your choice.” The last thing I registered was a raised bayonet and a second of blinding pain. Then, darkness. It was over.
SAKTHIVEL MONISHA YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TOâ€“
The silence is too loud. Cradling my precious bundle close, I smile adoringly down at him. His eyelids are closed. His cheeks are pale. He is so small. He is perfect. I press a lingering kiss to his forehead, remembering the stack of baby shower invitations I am going to have to convert to obituaries.
SAM XIN HUI ANGELINA A WINTER SUNSET
“Have you stood at the doorsteps of a short winter sunset?” Warmth and optimism belted along the mountains. The harsh, cold sea winds opposed it. Despite the ugly span of day, All remaining beauty ironically encapsulated in the descent. My open palms reached towards comfort. Yet the clear sky was solely felt. Gone it was.
SEAH MIN JUN THE CYCLE OF A FAILED RELATIONSHIP
Love, one of the things that will never break apart, will forever remain in you. Hate, one of the things that will never fade out, even when you're satisfied. Jealousy, one of the things that turns you monstrous, exist with competition. Sadness, one of the things that will always accompany you, blue of the moon.
SEE CHIN YI FAMILY OUTING
Yay, finally Mummy and Daddy are bringing me for an outing! We reach the place. Itâ€™s so scary here. So many trees, grass and stones. Mummy and Daddy brought me to one of the stones. Isn't that Jie Jie's face? So pretty and cool! Suddenly Mummy crying with Daddy, but I brave! Never cry with them.
SEOW HUI QIN TREASURE
Purpose was a distant thought, lost behind a mountain of negativity. I pulled out a picture of my father from my drawer. It was the only thing I had of him left. It gave me warmth, like a fire in a fierce snowstorm. It was a sanctuary I could hold in my own bare hands.
SERIAYU ADRIANI REGRET
She feels unloved and worthless, she made one mistake as a teenager and itâ€™s hung over her ever since. School, reputation, everything; it was all wasted. She wished she could start all over again. Tired of getting yelled at everyday by her spouse, she finally ran away from home.
SHAYANNE CHANG SHE
She runs the extra mile to make it seem worthwhile. She starves the night to make it seem all right. She paints her face so it doesn’t go to waste. She becomes someone she’s not, to show them what she’s got. She breaks her heart a million times, she’s really beside her own true self sometimes.
SHIVANI GANESH THE DOLL
The plastic doll lay motionless, head tilted, staring unwaveringly at the child who was watching the bright screen with an expression of nothingness. The child seemed to mirror the dollâ€™s very features; both were immobile, blank and voiceless. Lifeless. Their curls still, eyes wide open and lips parted, they were conquered by the meaningless, moving images.
SITI ZULAIKHA HIM
His warm embrace. His soft kisses on my forehead. His strong masculine cologne that pulls me in. His delicate touch on my hands like as if I was a fragile being. His perfect jawlines and beautifully black yet mesmirizing eyes. His voice were like the melody to my ears. He was mine.
TAMMY LEE TORTURE
“N-n-no, please...” she whimpered. A man loomed over her, a syringe in his hand. He grasped her wrist in a vice-like grip. As the syringe approached her arm, her cries became more frantic, sobs more hysterical. “No! Stop!” she screamed in agony. Her mother groaned. “For heaven’s sake, it’s only an injection! Don’t be dramatic!”
TAN YUMU UNTITLED
Time flies, twenty years since the incident. He now squats under shadows of agony, suffering from sin. Pictures of people screaming amongst sea of flame flashes past his eye. These pictures slash his heart, his mind. The pain is intolerable, yet strangely relieving. He took a lighter along with gas, prepared to create another misery.
TANG SI IK BEATRIX GONE
I could have screamed and shouted for help or even jumped into the water to save him but I did not. I just sat there misty-eyed and silently as he inched closer and closer to the watery jaws of death. He was my only brother. My one and only blood kin. Going. Going. Going. Gone.
TREVOR TOH DOTA 2
“YOU FEEDER LAH! SO NOOB!” Invoker mocked the Drow Ranger. “ARROWS,find your target!” Drow Ranger chanted. “ARRGH! I’m under attack!” Drow Ranger shouted as she ran away from the Sniper. The Sniper has a far range and he used his ultimate skill. “ULTI GG! HAHAHAHAHA!” Sniper laughed and escaped after killing the Drow Ranger.
TRICIA JEAN VERGARA ALONE WITH MY MIND FOREVER
I hear sobs and murmurs. Chants and prayers surround the room. “What are they doing? Where am I?” My body tenses. I’m awake, aware, but I can’t move. I see nothing. I hear everything. Then it dawned on me. I’m trapped. I’m dead. This is the start of an eternity. Will I ever get out?
TRIFANI JULINDA CLUELESS
My vision got watery, as you slowly shut your eyes. You vanish from this world, not my heart. The “juice” didn’t stop flowing out of your body. I was clueless. Not knowing what to do, I just stared. Regretting it all. Tried keeping myself busy, but Sister, you had never left this heart of mine.
V VARSHINI OBLIVION
He closed his eyes and let the memories of his life flood in. Lying all alone, his breathing became shallower and oblivion was starting to repulse the consciousness in him. He knew the inevitable came. All he did was close his eyes and feel the essence of life slip away from him Inch by inch.
VARUN GAUR THE ROCK ON THE ROOF
For the first time, he heard God. The booming voice, dripping with power, spoke when he needed it most. “Do not end your life.” He stepped back, dizzy, amazed, and happy. He looked down upon the vast expanse of the city from the tall building he stood on. “I won’t!” Then he tripped, and fell.
VASUNDHARA KANDARPA CHANGING BATTERIES
The cuckoo’s rosewood finish seared with pain. It saw it in the distance–the limp, lifeless face that was once alive since the accident. Choking back a cry it would never be able to make–its batteries fell onto her clammy hand. It thought, “Now you’re fixed.” The dull thud of wood filled the room.
WEI QINING IMPOSSIBLE
“It’s impossible for you,” they’d said. “This is reality; just accept it.” But I refused to. So while they were enjoying themselves, hanging out in Starbucks and eating cakes, I gritted my teeth, and pushed myself on. And while they went onto overseas holiday trips, I stayed. Time and time again, I proved them wrong.
WINNIE GOH FAVOURITE PLACE
Mommy’s fridge is his favourite place Where the sun is purple and trees are grapes Dinosaurs walk among us and ducklings too Because Bobby’s little drawings can make everything blue Buildings fly and so can we Superman and daddy are having tea The school bell rings, he rushes out Time to show Mommy the masterpiece
WONG MAN SHUN LUKE 12:15
Sand sprayed everywhere as Aphrodite pulled up in her Lamborghini. She walked gingerly to her place of birth. The seagulls cried, “Welcome home, Aphrodite!” Ebb and flow matched her heartbeat. Shimmering seas beckoned her touch. She closed her eyes. Waves cresting. Oysters singing. Acceptance. Wipe. Opens her eyes. Returns to revel in mens’ shallow praises.
XAVIER TAN SAD LIFE
I wake up, it’s nine o’clock. I eat breakfast, then begin to revise. English, Maths, History... Finished! It is one o’clock. I eat lunch, take a break, and continue revising. Chinese, Geography, Science. It is five o’clock, I use my phone. Mum sees me, “Only know to play your phone, never revise!” and confiscates it.
XIAO HONGWEN IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, BUT I CAN’T SEE
Sun’s shining brightly, birds chirping delightfully, grasses and plants swaying the cool, gentle breeze and there isn’t a cloud in a thousand miles. Children running after Frisbees, the elderly feeding pigeons and a young couple enjoying each other’s company, it’s a beautiful day, but I can’t see.
YANHUA CHEN JE SUIS CHARLIE
Ordered a pizza, Halal with Italian Mozzarella, always mixed, my favourite. Was starving when the bulky guys burst in, pizza box in hand, not delivering. Outside, drizzling. The Almighty descended, with his brand-new AK-47. No shelter, behind the news desk, against the firing rain. No word for it. Sacrificing for the pizza. The French Way.
YEE DONG YING MEGAN GOODBYE
In a rush, I went out of my house, and forgot to say “Goodbye” to Grandma It'll be just this once, I thought. That day when I came home, the air was still and the atmosphere was tense. Grandma was lying on the sofa I called for her... and realized I missed my last Goodbye.
ZANDREA LAU UNTITLED
Mary was a student in a good school. She was the best student in her class and even in level. Her teachers were a big part of her constant good grades leading to her career in engineering. One of the best works she had ever written was a fifty-five word story. No more or less.
ZHANG HONGYU A DREAM
Yesterday I had a dream of my parents sleeping peacefully on the road. Now Iâ€™m staring at two motionless bodies sprawled dead in a pool of blood. I shook my parents. No response. They just ignored me and slept on forever. I pinched myself. Maybe if I woke up, everything might be just a dream.
Out of one, But not the other, The prison that held me, To escape now, Or to escape never, The key to unlock, Is forgiveness, On the bus waiting, For my trial to come, Under the great oak tree, I saw it, Thousands of yellow ribbons, Family and friends, Holding the key, To my release.
ZHANG YUN RONG YELLOW RIBBON
The Singapore Book Council
The National Book Development Council of Singapore is a charitable non-profit organisation founded in 1969. Its main objective is to develop Singapore as a regional centre for publishing and literary arts. In working towards this, the Book Council organises festivals, conferences, workshops and seminars related to storytelling, reading, writing and publishing. Our Vision To establish Singapore as a Centre for writers and publishers of Asian content. Our Mission To lead the community of writers, storytellers, publihsers and related industries to work together to nurture, share, train, research and organise programmes towards the realisation of our vision. Other events organised by the Book Council are the Asian Festival of Children’s Content and the Singapore International Storytelling Festival. The Book Council also presents many annual and biennial awards, including the Singapore Literature Prize and the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award for published work, and the Scholastic Asian Book Award and the Scholastic Picture Book Award for unpublished work, as well as the Samsung KidsTime Authors’ Award for both. Our training arm, the Academy of Literary Arts and Publishing (ALAP) runs publishing-related and literary arts-focused courses and workshops throughout the year.
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ALL IN! Young Writers Media Festival 2015
The Write Media for the Write Audience AllInYWF
Published on Mar 30, 2015
All In! Young Writers Festival is an annual event for aspiring writers between the ages of 13 and 25. All In! brings together a wide arra...