Friday, April 27, 2012

Asian Festival of Children's Content 2012 Singapore Press Conference

The AFCC Team L to R: Mr Rama, Ms Lim Li Kok, Mrs Kiang Koh Lai Lin. Ms Claire Chiang, Mr Nelson Wee,  Mr Colin Goh, Ms Evelyn Wong, Mr Kenneth Quek, Mr Johnson Paul

So the Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) press conference was held yesterday at the Arts House and there was a great turn out. The conference was packed, a testament to all the hard work that the AFCC team has put in. In attendance was AFCC chairperson, Claire Chiang, Mr Rama Executive Director of The National Book Development Council of Singapore and, of course, AFCC Manager Kenneth Quek, Evelyn Wong and Myra Garces Bascal among others.

I arrived early just to claim my spot--ok, ok truth be told to get first dibs at the buffet, which unfortunately was not set-up yet. Mr Rama showed me the festival programme and told me he would have preferred it if I had used another picture.... My first thought was, Mr Rama, you don't like my face? But the fact is the photo that I chose distorts my head more than all the other photos I've ever had taken, so I guess he had a valid point. Hopefully there is time to change that.

Claire Chiang, AFCC Chairperson

Festival Manager. Kenneth was busy ensuring that everything would run smoothly and to his credit it did. Claire Chiang, AFCC Chairperson gave the opening speech, in which she mentioned that the proceeds of her autobiography 'My Journey and After' would go to the festival. To date she has raised a total of over $250, 000. So, people, go out and buy lots of copies of her book so she can raise more  $$$, OK?

In addition to the two existing book awards associated with the festival: the Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award and the Scholatic Asian Book Award, a new picture book award will be launched at this year's festival- The Singtel Asian Picture Book Award, which will be awarded next year...I have to say that's the award I want. OK, who am I kidding- I want them all.
Mr Rama, Exec Diretcor of the National Book Development Council of Singapore
and AFCC Director
After Claire spoke, Mr Rama explained a brief history of the AFCC and shared the highlights of the this year's conference. The country of focus for this year is the Philippines, which boasts some incredibly talented writers and illustrators. 

The very talented Ovidia Yu
Speaking of talented writers, acclaimed playwright, author and last year's 2nd-runner up of the Scholastic Asian Book Award, Ovidia Yu then read excerpts from her book 'The Mudskipper'. She is so incredibly nice, talented and funny. I'm in awe of her literary gifts. After the reading, she presented a copy of her newly-launched book to Claire Chiang. I'm definitely getting a copy, Ovidia...autographed preferably.

With that the conference came to a close and it was time to hit the buffet table; however, at that very moment I received a rather exciting email...but more on that later. So if you're in Singapore, or even if you're not. do try to come to the AFCC this year, it's going to be amazing! Literary heavyweights Sarah Odedina, Ruth Starke, Alvina Ling,  Suzy Lee and Leonard Marcus are all featured speakers. For details and to register click here:Asian Festival of Children's Content

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