the Hive Carpenter

Meeting in the Middle: The Right to Read

This is a hybrid event, with 24 seats available at the Hive (link to ticket sales above) and a free livestream that will be available to watch on the Ethos Books Facebook page on Thursday, 15 Apr, 7.30PM – 8.30PM.

Please message Ethos Books on Facebook if you require any access needs (e.g. live captions, sign language interpreting). All are welcome and we would love to have you with us!


Who gets to decide what we read? How has the policing of young people’s reading and writing impacted their interior and public lives?

Join us for this year’s edition of Meeting in the Middle featuring Balli Kaur Jaswal, Jolene Tan, Lune Loh and moderated by Kokila Annamalai. As writers and advocates who have engaged with youths in various capacities, this panel will touch on issues regarding freedom to knowledge and young people’s rights.

From the 2014 Penguingate incident to installing a DMA (device management application) on students’ devices, this panel will discuss the intersections of young people’s rights, the role of literature and the extent to which we should control what young people can read—if at all.

📅  When: Thursday, 15th April 2021
🕒  Time: 7.30pm – 8.30pm (Registration at 7pm)
📍 Where: the Hive Carpenter Rooftop, Level 6

🎟 RSVP here:

🎟  General Admission (Onsite): $15
🎟  Hive members (Onsite): $10
*includes 1x soft drink, 1x 10% discount voucher for Ethos Books’ webstore & 1x reading list

🎟  General Admission (Online): Free
🎟  Support the Panel (Online): $5
*includes 1x 10% discount voucher for Ethos Books’ webstore & 1x reading list

This livestream is free as Ethos Books believes in making our content as widely accessible as possible. However, we would like to encourage you to contribute a $5 ticket as all ticket proceeds will be proceed directly to the speakers!

Meeting in the Middle is an annual women-led conversation organised by Ethos Books as part of International Women’s Day. These conversations focus on various intersections of identities, expertise and literature.

Balli Kaur Jaswal is the author of four novels, including the Singapore Literature Prize shortlisted Sugarbread, and Inheritance, which was awarded the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelist Award. Her critically and commercially acclaimed novels, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters were released internationally and are being adapted for the screen. Outside of writing, Balli has conducted workshops at international writers festivals on topics like creative writing, global citizenship and using literature as a medium for social justice advocacy. A former writer-in-residence at the University of East Anglia, she has a PhD in Creative Writing from Nanyang Technological University and currently lectures at Yale-NUS College.

Jolene Tan is a writer from Singapore, whose fiction includes novels After the Inquiry (Ethos Books, 2021) and A Certain Exposure (Epigram Books, 2014), short fiction published in The Manchester Review, and a children’s picture book, Saturday’s Surprisingly Super-Duper Lesson (Epigram Books, 2020). She has also written numerous non-fiction articles, principally on equality and human rights, for publications such as New Naratif, The Online Citizen, The F Word, The Birthday Book, CNA and The Straits Times.

Lune Loh is a core member of /S@BER, a Singaporean writing collective, and is currently an Undergraduate at the National University of Singapore. Her works have appeared in Evergreen Review, SOFTBLOW, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, 聲韻詩刊 Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, and various SingPoWriMo issues from 2017 – 2019. Find her waxing at

Kokila Annamalai is a community organiser, researcher and writer based in Singapore. She has worked with young people on the margins for much of the past 12 years. This includes young people in conflict with the law, LGBTQ youth, and children from low-income families. She works in solidarity with progressive youth organisations and cares about transforming the structures and narratives that disenfranchise children and young people in Singapore society.

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