Living with a pandemic can be testing and full of surprises (both pleasant and unpleasant). Verena Tay shows us a glimpse of her journal entries during the pandemic to show us life, as she sees it.

Some say there is value in writing down the minutiae of life, no matter how trivial, as a record of what happened for posterity. In this pandemic period, some say it is even more important to do so because these are unique and historic times that one must remember. Surely future generations will be keen to find out about the experiences of those who lived through Covid-19 so that they can draw some kind of significance for their own lives?

However, why journal about these times when so many of my contemporaries are making their own chronicles, now that literacy and art-making are more widespread? What about the importance of noting down my own perspective? Ah… Not much has really happened during the last few months for me. 


JUMPSTART: Generating New Writing
Wanting to write, but not sure how to start? Stuck in a rut where your writing is concerned? Jumpstart will help you perceive the world in a new fashion, fuel your creativity and give impetus to new writing.

Date & Timing:
Sat 21 Sept: 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Click here for Tickets

BREVITY: The Art of Flash Fiction
Wanting to write fiction, but don’t know how to start? Already creating stories, but having trouble condensing your thoughts down within a word count? Or are you fascinated by very short stories and simply want to try your hand at developing one?

By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

Verena Tay Pix

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

I write to scratch itches, ‘itches’ being anomalies, oddities, things that intrigue me in life, that won’t disappear or be at rest unless I pay attention and make something of them.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

I wrote an essay about being a 50-year-old virgin and proud of it.

Describe your writing aesthetic.

Pardon my ignorance, but what is ‘writing aesthetic’? If you mean how I would describe my writing, then I would say:

– simple, direct, to the point
– great emphasis on story
– focus on action and dialogue
– depending on the piece being written: sometimes sparse in style, sometimes elaborate.

Who are your favourite authors?

Angela Carter, Jeanette Winterson, Neil Gaiman, Maxine Hong Kingston.