HSWG in the Today paper!

Some of you might have noticed us in the paper today in… Today. So this post is mostly about self-plugging bits! Heh.


Our bit is in page 6 of the GSS supplement section in 26th June 2009, Today paper. No, not the chess one, the one below it.

Here’s a close up of what we said and no, they had my real picture there, obviously in the original but I couldn’t help replacing it with Power Girl. Usually I just mosaic myself because if you want to know how I look like, come to the events! But anywho, yes. I’m Power Girl.


If you can’t read that, let me copy paste it for you (with edits to my full name, HAH!).

The write stuff (by Eveline Gan)

While most Singaporeans are caught up in the frenzy of the Great Singapore Sale, a group of six people have been holed up in a cafe, contemplating the end of the world. Meet the Happy Smiley Writers Group, made up of five ladies and one gentleman. The group is so named because the members write stories with happy endings only.

The six met during the National Novel Writing Month, a global challenge that encourages aspiring writers to write a 50,000-word novel in one month. Their latest project involves working on two science-fiction books, which they aim to launch in November. Called Bubble G.U.M and Happiness at the End of the World, both books revolve around the grim theme of Armageddon. “Bubble G.U.M is a full novel set in Singapore in the year 2045. Happiness at the End of the World is a collection of short stories where the world has ended but, even then, there is still hope and happiness,” said the group’s spokesperson, Sarah.

The quirky theme, explained the group’s only male writer, Xiang Hao, came about because they were “trying to break away from the genres typically found on the local shelves, namely, exotic ghost stories and human interest fiction”. Publication costs for both books will be entirely borne by one of the group’s members, Rosemary Lim. The 48-year-old freelance editor will also be editing the stories.

While turning over a profit would be a bonus, Sarah said the team prefers not to dwell too much on its financial aspect. “We like writing stories. It’s not exactly for financial benefit because we really want people to have fun reading them. Plus, it will give hope to other Singaporean would-be writers, who think it’s impossible to write something fun and exciting because they keep seeing limited genres being churned out by other local writers,” she said.

Besides trying to change perceptions about homegrown writers, time management is another challenge the group faces, said Lina Salleh, 27, a research officer by day. “Most of us have day jobs or attend school. So, striking a balance between that and writing can be tough,” she added.

Currently, the sextet meets up at a cafe every other weekend to discuss story ideas. Most of the actual writing is done at home. Even though they would love to make a living by weaving imaginary tales all day long, simply writing stories isn’t a lucrative business in Singapore.

“Not many people think that one can make it as a Singaporean novelist. In fact, most think it’s a waste of time,” said Sarah.

But the group’s enthusiasm for writing won’t be waning anytime soon. “I really can’t stop myself (from writing),” said the group’s youngest writer, Viki Chua, 17, laughing.

Added Sarah: “We’re not stopping at Bubble G.U.M and Happiness at the End of the World. Those two books are stepping stones for us. They’re instruments to tell people that we’re here and we’re going to keep on writing.”

And there you have it. Check us out… In October for the books.

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Well, this is seriously Sarah and that's all you need to know for now.

One thought on “HSWG in the Today paper!”

  1. That Power Girl pic is giving me nightmares. It’s like Stepford Wife meets Jim Carey. I’m expecting a huge carving knife to suddenly appear on top of my head and go … too gruesome to even write.

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