We don’t get enough support.
I’ve said it.
The we defined here refers to the writers of fiction in Singapore. Don’t give me rubbish of that we have do get some support from various ministries or councils. I said we don’t get enough support. It doesn’t include said ministries or councils. It needs to involve more than that.
Here’s a post in January at Bibliobibuli about “Singapore’s Fiction Famine”. Technically the main article is on the link on her blog but I linked to that post since it has her opinions on it too.
Well, it’s all fine and dandy that Ng Yi-Sheng did say about NAC and Jacaranda in that post but alas. That’s not enough. Amusingly, he did also say about Nanowrimo which heh, I am the municipal liaison in Singapore to know very much well about.
You know what? There are fiction writers in Singapore but they’re all hidden like rebels against the imperial army or unicorns in a forest. They’re there and difficult to find but if you did find one, you might find the rest and realize why they’re hidden. See, being the ML of Singapore’s Nanowrimo, I get to actually see or meet these hidden writers and woah if you get the chance to read their things, you’d go “WHY IS THIS NOT IN THE BOOKSTORES?”.
It’s definitely not because of their skills but more of what we write. (You might doubt my skills, whatever but I have read very well written things by others.)
And we actually write fiction. GENRE fiction. The fun stories you’d actually pick up and buy in bookstores about fantasy, science fiction or romance! Drama, crime thrillers and all sorts of genres! The stuff people read and talk about online and go “OMGOMG I SHIP THIS PAIRING!” and write fanfic about.
You’d think that’ll be interesting right? But no. See, even if we write (and yes we do) these things, they won’t get published here. If they do, it’s usually by a small press publisher or done by the writer’s own initiative. The rules of getting published in Singapore is different than those in the US. Some of those guides or “rules” that one might read in articles of becoming a published author don’t really work here.