Local literary festival, The Tiny Lit Fest 2020 is back with its second iteration this year, with more than 20 micro-events lined up to shine a spotlight on local literary efforts and communities. 

Organised by local indie publisher, Heartwrite, the festival will take place from December 3 until 13, featuring masterclasses with prize-winning authors, literary workshops, historical walking tours of the capital and many more book related dialogues and activities. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

Speaking during a launching ceremony held at The Box in Telanai, Director of the Tiny Lit Fest and Editor at Heartwrite, Dr Kathrina Mohd Daud said that the initial impetus of the festival was to provide a platform for the literary community of Brunei to gather and “celebrate each other”. 

“Often, different parts of the literary community (in Brunei) work in isolation, and with Brunei being a small space, I think our strength comes when we come together,” she said in an interview with The Bruneian. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

For Dr Kathrina, establishing a closer network for members within the local literary industry is essential for its own sustainability, believing that a stronger community would enable members to support and push each other to go beyond just the sultanate. 

“It will only be sustainable, if we come together like this, when we are able to become a collective entity,” she said. 

“Small publishers, for example, individually, maybe they can be sustainable, but it will be a lot more work (and) I think if we have that network in Brunei, whatever they (writers, publishers, printers) do, at least there is this resource to draw from,” she explained. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

She then noted how interest in local literature and storytelling have grown in recent years, with this growth reflected in the number of event partners of The Tiny Lit Fest 2020, which has doubled to 21 in comparison to the first festival in 2019. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

The festival director then expressed hopes that the festival along with its event partners in the years to come, hoping to turn The Tiny Lit Festival into an annual event that will showcase and explore the different mediums of storytelling that exists within Brunei. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

“Every partner we approach, is a stroyteller in some kind of way… I think we all love stories, they are how we understand ourselves, how we understand the world around us, through poetry, prose, plays…,” she continued. 

Ultimately, The Tiny Lit Fest 2020 is meant to bring these storytellers together, and breathe pride into local stories. 

“I think it is important for local writers to know that there are local publisher and for local readers to know that there are local books,” she said. 

Image: Wardi Wasil

“Because, if we are not telling our own stories, who will? If we are not listening to our own stories, then who will?”

Image: Wardi Wasil

For members of the public interested in The Tiny Lit Festival 2020, you can visit their Instagram at @thetinylitfest

This article was first published on December 05, 2020 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 118



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