Saturday, January 25, 2014

SCBWI, NBDCS, AFCC, and Children's Publishing in Singapore.

Dinner with Linda Sue Park in 2011

SCBWI Singapore is  relatively small in terms of how big most SCBWI regions are, but in three years it's grown from a core group of six members, including RA Kenneth Quek and coordinator Catherine Carvell, into a group of about 40 members with an average of 17-18 members attending the monthly critique meetings.

In a span of three years, our authors have won awards, published books and have been signed to literary agencies. Even the most jaded publishing type will have to admit that this has been quite a feat for a country where children's publishing is still in its relative infancy.

SCBWI members at AFCC 2012

Speaking with Shamini Flint and Emily Lim at AFCC 2012

On the SWF panel with David Almond, Emily Lim, and John Dougherty

Our  group has been lucky enough to have dined with Linda Sue Park, Wendy Orr, Jacqueline Harvey, and Lisa Yee to name a few. 

Dinner with Ian and Jacqueline, and Lisa Yee
Dinner with Tom and Wendy @ AFCC 2013

Dinner with Jacqueline Harvey

Some of us have been to the Bologna Children's Book Fair and The London Book Fair. We've been asked to speak at festivals and we've attended them too. 

At the Bologna Children's Book Fair

Kenneth dining with Leonard Marcus @ Rules in London

I credit the growth of our group down to two key members: RA Kenneth and  group coordinator, Catherine, our leaders. They are extremely passionate about children's books. Kenneth is also the Deputy Director of the National Book Development Council of Singapore and one of the festivals under his portfolio is the Asian Festival of Children's Content.

Catherine, Sarah, Emma and Kenneth @ AFCC 2012

Mr Rama
Evelyn Sue Wong, Ruhksana Khan and Trevor Kew

Conceived by Mr Rama, Director of the NBDCS, the festival has grown exponentially in recent years. The glitterati of children's literati  that have graced the event include: Wendy Orr, Candy Gourlay, Susanne Gervay, Naomi Kojima, Kathleen Ahrens, Dianne Wolfer, Vivian Kirkfield, Ruhksana Khan, Sarah Odedina,  Helen McAleer, Andrea Pasion-Flores, Helen Mangham, Jayapriya Vasudevan, Cynthea Liu, Alvina Ling, Mio Debnam, Linda Lingard,  Holly Thompson, Leonard Marcus, Steve Mooser,  Norman Jorgensen, Chris, Cheng, Edmund Wee, Yusof Gajah, James Foley, Trevor Kew and many, many more.  It's a great place to meet publishing professionals-- from authors and editors to agents and publishers - and learn more about the industry.

Susanne Gervay @ AFCC 2013

Book signing for Emma's Elephant.

Emma and Wendy Orr

Naomi, Mio and Kenneth @ AFCC 2013

Tuting Hernandez, Myra Garces Bascal, Susanna Goho-Quek, Chris Cheng
and Mr Rama at the joint book launches of ' Water' and 'Beyond Legends, Folktales and Myths'.

The AFCC/Book Council team 2013

Now this year's AFCC is going to be bigger than ever before and will span five whole days including a media summit, seminars for parents and teachers, talks, workshops, manuscript and illustration critiques, book launches and much, much more.

Now a few friendly words of advice for any first time authors and illustrators out there who will be attending this MUST-GO-TO event.

1. Don't approach editors, publishers and agents with your manuscripts. This is neither the time nor the place to do so. Instead you can submit your manuscripts or artwork for the First Look and First Pages critiques or the pitch session.

2.  Watch, listen and learn. Watch, listen and learn. Watch, listen and learn.

3.   As the sessions run concurrently, pick and choose your sessions wisely. 

4. Enjoy the festival.

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