Famous Writers from Singapore

List of famous writers from Singapore, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Singapore is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Singaporean writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Singapore and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

This list below has a variety of writers in it, from Choor Singh to Colin Goh.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Singaporean writers?" and "Which writers are from Singapore?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Singapore in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Singapore, but they're all of Singapore descent.
Ranked by
  • Jet Li
    Age: 60
    • Birthplace: China, Beijing
    • Nationality: Singapore
    Li Lianjie (born 26 April 1963), better known by his stage name Jet Li, is a Chinese film actor, film producer, martial artist, and retired Wushu champion who was born in Beijing. He is a naturalized Singaporean citizen.After three years of training with acclaimed Wushu teacher Wu Bin, Li won his first national championship for the Beijing Wushu Team. After retiring from competitive Wushu at age 19, he went on to win great acclaim in China as an actor, making his debut with the film Shaolin Temple (1982). He went on to star in many critically acclaimed martial arts epic films, most notably as the lead in Zhang Yimou's Hero (2002), Fist of Legend (1994), and the first three films in the Once Upon a Time in China series (1991–1993), in which he portrayed folk hero Wong Fei-hung. Li's first role in a non-Chinese film was as a villain in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), and his first leading role in a Hollywood film was as Han Sing in Romeo Must Die (2000). He has gone on to star in many international action films, including in French cinema with the Luc Besson-produced films Kiss of the Dragon (2001) and Unleashed (2005). He co-starred in The One (2001) and War (2007) with Jason Statham, The Forbidden Kingdom (2008) with Jackie Chan, all three of The Expendables films with Sylvester Stallone, and as the title character villain in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008).
  • Leslie Charteris
    Dec. at 85 (1907-1993)
    • Birthplace: Singapore
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, Singapore
    • Works: The Saint, The Saint in Palm Springs, The Saint's Double Trouble, The Saint Meets the Tiger, The Saint in New York
    Leslie Charteris (born Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin, 12 May 1907 – 15 April 1993), was a British-Chinese author of adventure fiction, as well as a screenwriter. He was best known for his many books chronicling the adventures of the charming antihero Simon Templar, alias "The Saint."
  • Eric Khoo
    Age: 58
    • Birthplace: Singapore
    • Nationality: Singapore
    • Works: Be with Me, Tatsumi, Mee Pok Man, 12 Storeys, My Magic
    Eric Khoo Kim Hai (Chinese: 邱金海; pinyin: Qiū Jīn Hǎi; born 27 March 1965) is a Singaporean director and producer credited for the revival of the Singapore film industry.
  • Jack Neo
    Age: 63
    • Birthplace: Singapore
    • Nationality: Singapore
    • Works: Homerun, I Not Stupid, I Not Stupid Too, The Best Bet, Money No Enough
    Jack Neo (born 24 January 1960), is a Singaporean film and television actor, host and director. He was prominently a full-time Mediacorp artiste from 1983 to 2003.He left Mediacorp in 2003 to concentrate as a director for films. He is best known for his cross-dressing roles, as Liang Po Po (literally: Granny Liang) and Liang Xi Mei in the long-running television comedy show Comedy Nite.
    • Birthplace: Thailand
    • Nationality: Thailand, Singapore
    • Works: Beautiful Boxer, The Coffin, The Wedding Game
    Ekachai Uekrongtham (Thai: เอกชัย เอื้อครองธรรม; RTGS: Ekkachai Uea-khrongtham; Chinese: 吕翼谋) is a Thai theatre and film director. Based in Singapore, Ekachai is the founding artistic director of ACTION Theatre, a Singapore professional theatre company. Among his stage works is Chang & Eng, a musical based on Chang and Eng Bunker, the original "Siamese twins". His other stage works include Corporate Animals - The Musical, Ka-Ra-you-OK?, Viva Viagra!, Autumn Tomyam, Mail Order Brides & Other Oriental Takeaways and Confessions of Three Unmarried Women. He made his debut as a feature-film director in 2003 with Beautiful Boxer, a biographical drama about transsexual professional Muay Thai boxer, Nong Thoom. His second film, Pleasure Factory, about sex workers and their customers in Singapore's Geylang red-light district, was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. His third film, The Coffin, starring Ananda Everingham, opened in Thai theaters on August 21, 2008. In 2014, he directed the Dolph Lundgren action drama on human trafficking Skin Trade (2015), also starring Tony Jaa and Ron Perlman, shot in Bangkok and Vancouver.
    • Birthplace: Singapore
    • Nationality: Pakistan, Singapore
    • Works: The Teenage Textbook Movie
    Haresh Sharma (born 1965) is a Singaporean playwright. To date, he has written more than 100 plays that have been staged all over the world, including Singapore, Melbourne, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cairo and London. Sharma has a BA from the National University of Singapore as well as an MA in Playwriting from the University of Birmingham, obtained in 1994 on a Shell-NAC Scholarship. He has also been awarded fellowships and grants by the British Council and the United States Information Service, and was conferred the Young Artist Award in 1997. His play, Still Building, was awarded a Merit Singapore Literature Prize in 1993 while Off Centre was selected by the Ministry of Education as a Literature text for 'N’ and 'O’ levels, and republished by The Necessary Stage in 2006. In 2014, Sharma was awarded the prestigious S.E.A. Write Award. In 2015, he was awarded the Cultural Medallion.In August 2007, a new volume of Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature, was published with a focus on the works of Haresh Sharma. Interlogue is a series published by Ethos Books and edited by A/P Kirpal Singh that aims to bring critical focus on the works of Singapore writers in English. Previous editions of the series included one each on fiction, poetry, drama and interviews with local writers, as well as one dedicated volume on Singapore playwright Robert Yeo. The publication, written by Prof David Birch and edited by A/P Kirpal Singh, was an extensive investigation into Sharma's development as a writer; the themes and issues he grapples with; as well as his vision and practice of theatre within and outside his work at The Necessary Stage. While Interlogue itself was not published by The Necessary Stage, the company assisted with the provision of archival material for Prof Birch's research. In 2010, The Necessary Stage published a new anthology of Haresh's plays entitled Trilogy, including the scripts and production notes of three award-winning works, Fundamentally Happy, Good People and Gemuk Girls. The script of Those Who Can't, Teach, which was restaged as part of the 2010 Singapore Arts Festival, was published by Epigram Books. In 2011, a collection of early short plays by Haresh Sharma entitled Shorts I was published by The Necessary Stage. In 2012, two collections of Sharma's scripts were published, one entitled Shorts 2, and the other entitled Plays for Schools. This was followed by the publication of a new collection of Sharma's plays on medical-related issues entitled Don't Forget to Remember Me in 2013, launched at the Singapore Writers Festival. In 2014, Sharma's play Best Of (staged four times to rave reviews in Singapore and Malaysia) and Eclipse (staged in both Singapore and Scotland) were published. Haresh Sharma also wrote the lyrics to Singapore's National Day Parade 2011's withdrawn "Fun Pack Song", which modified the lyrics of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' to widespread criticism.In 2015, Fundamentally Happy was selected by The Business Times as one of the "finest plays in 50 years" alongside productions by Goh Poh Seng, Michael Chiang and Alfian Sa'at and others.