The word “UNderCovers” conjures up multiple meanings which are explored in this year’s Singapore Writers Festival (SWF).

One of these notions is that of a child lying under the covers listening to a bedtime story. This ties up with a new initiative of SWF 2009 to introduce children’s literature and writers of this genre.

Another would be to uncover emerging literary talents, with a special focus on Singaporean and Malaysian writers, and to provide a platform for showcasing their creative works.

Exploring the supernatural and exposing misdeeds, the theme of UNderCovers also zooms in on the subjects of horror and crime which, “serves as a metaphor for social and humanitarian issues,” according to Mr Phan Ming Yen, Assistant General Manager of The Arts House.

SWF 2009 will span from Oct 24 to Nov 1 with over 100 programmes such as meet-the-authors sessions, book launches and even film screenings. With the aim of reaching out to a wider public and creating a greater interest in the literary arts, notable writers such as Neil Gaiman (The Sandman series, Stardust), Taichi Yamada (I Have Not Dreamt of Flying in Awhile, andStrangers), Qiu Xiaolong (Inspector Chen series: Death of a Red Heroine, A Case of Two Cities and Red Mandarin Dress) and John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In) have been invited to be part of the activities.

In addition to the international line-up, there’ll be a strong focus on Asian works and one of the programme highlights is Singaporean authors. 8 writers: Alfian Sa’at, Desmond Kon, Leong Liew Geok, Ng Yi-Sheng, Alvin Pang, Adrian Tan, Teng Qian Xi and Ovidia Yu, all from different backgrounds and generations, will expound on Singapore’s prominent tourist icon in Dissecting the Merlion.

Watch this space for more as we dive under covers at SWF 2009.