What is the All In! Young Writer’s Festival? As an avid writer in both the areas of fiction and nonfiction, I was surprised to learn last year of this event that I had never before heard of. Sure, we’ve all heard of All In’s bigger brother, the Singapore Writer’s Festival, but All In is something a little bit more special. Simply put, All In is an event designed for and catered to Singapore’s host of youth writers (between the ages of 13 and 25) to learn from, discuss writing and mingle with their peers and seniors in the field.

Yes, the description seems textbook. But what’s more fascinating is the variety and sheer number of different, equally interesting talks that one can sign up for! I remember, back when I was press-ganged into attending All In in 2015, I approached the event with an outlook of weary boredom, sure that it would present me with nothing of interest besides a few unheard-of old codgers whispering about books. As I’m sure you’ve by now guessed, I was wrong. All In 2015 boasted a whole array of fascinating talks and panels by journalists, published authors, filmmakers, cartoonists and more; in fact, when the time came to choose what to attend next, I was so spoiled for choice that I found myself hard-pressed to make a decision (my fellow attendees will testify to this – I was often found pacing back-and-forth between rooms in an attempt to make up my mind). Best of all was that, contrary to my belief, the Singapore literary scene was not purely composed of old codgers but rather was brimming with a whole host of enigmatic, charismatic and excited people who were more than willing to share their experiences with the next generation of writers (that’s us!)

All In 2016 looks to be no different; appraising the schedule at this very moment, I can see that there’s as wide, if not a wider range of activities than in 2015’s rendition of the festival. From development journalism to documentaries, flash fiction to film screenings, blogging to branding, songs to cities, and advertising to… advertising, All In appears to have gone above and beyond (or shall I say, gone all in?) to provide attendees with the widest spread of talks and subject matters possible. As interesting are the speakers – ranging from radio DJ Harry Corro to TODAY movie critic Genevieve Loh to acclaimed blogger Leslie Tay – just a few examples showing the range of personalities and ideas that are crossing paths at All In! 2016.

I truly believe there’s something to interest everyone at All In Young Writer’s Festival, writer or no (though, being a writer myself, I’m certainly biased. It’s fantabulous.) Kicking off with the keynote address on 12th of March, All In! will continue to inspire and connect young writers from across Singapore. I can’t wait.

Link to the website: http://all-in.bookcouncil.sg/

Ajay Nair, 15S63

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