Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Asian Festival of Children's Content 2015

It's almost time for the biggest children's literary event in the region - The Asian Festival of Children's Content - or AFCC as it is popularly known. 

If you're an aspiring author or illustrator, it's the place to be. This year the conference will be a week-long affair that includes a Teachers Congress, Parents Forum, and the Writers & Illustrators Conference as well as masterclasses, seminars, workshops and a media summit. 

Wendy Orr

With Sally Gardner
Susanne Gerry

Candy Gourlay, Wendy Orr, Sally Gardner, Susanne Gervay, Naomi Kojima, Marjorie Coughlan, Corinne Robson, Leonard Marcus, James Mayhew, Christopher Cheng, Ken Spillman, Andrew Weale, Norm Jorgensen, James Foley, Suzy Lee, Yusof Gajah, Emily Lim, Shamini Flint, Dianne Wolfer, Eliza Teoh, Mio Debnam,Adeline Foo, Sarah Odedina, Otto Fong, David Liew are just some of the illustrious speakers who have graced the event. 

Now if you're hankering to get your work discovered, I've got some great news for you. All aspiring authors and illustrators will  have a chance to pitch their story ideas at speed pitching sessions and they can also have their illustrations or stories critiqued at the First Look and First Pages critique panels. But space is extremely limited at each of these sessions so register quickly if you don't want to miss out on your potential big break. 

Leonard Marcus and James Mathew

Ken Spillman
Attendees will get a glimpse of the glitterati of the literati at the first awards of the literary award season. Just like Hollywood has the Golden Globes, The Screen Actors Guild Award and The Oscars,  AFCC has the SPBA, The HACBA and The SKTAA.

After weeks of anticipation, the authors and illustrators nominated for the Scholastic Picture Book Award,  Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award, and Samsung KidsTime Author Award will finally find out who will walk away with the coveted prizes! 

Good luck to all the nominees. OK, I know everyone says that it's an honour to be nominated and it doesn't matter if they win or lose; the nomination is the award enough. Blah, blah, blah.  I say that's absolute rubbish! Rubbish, I say. Everyone wants to win! They really, really, do. Having been a previous Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award nominee and speaking from experience *wink wink, nudge nudge*  I have to say I think it's a lot nicer to  accept the award and collect the winner's  cheque than to plaster a smile on your face and applaud graciously when someone else is announced as the winner.   (I'm an author, not an actor for crying out loud. LOL!;)) But I have to concede that if winning is not an option saying you were a nominee is the next best thing.

The Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award
Though some say The Asian Festival of Children's Content is similar to the Bologna Children's Book Fair of the East,  but going back to my earlier Hollywood references, it is really more like the Oscars, the Oscars of the Asian children's literature scene. OK, so there won't be any paparazzi, red carpet appearances or even a red carpet for that matter. You won't have style reporters quizzing you about your AFCC fashions ( seriously what do children's writers and illustrators really know about fashion anyway?) and Wolgang Puck will not have a legion of his chefs whipping up a five-star Michelin banquet at the AFCC closing dinner. But that doesn't mean you should skip the festival! You'd be CRAZY if you did. It's a MUST ATTEND event! How are you going to get discovered if you're not willing to be seen, people?

Anyway this year's country of focus is China and I think that's fantastic as it's probably the biggest market for children's books around and it's still growing. Now, if you're like me  --a Chinese person who can't speak a word of language --  don't worry, the sessions will have live translation.

Oh, and this year, I'll be speaking on conducting school visits with my fellow author, Sarah Mousey, aka my biggest competition :). 
As you can see from the pic below, I've decided to shrink her down and made her bio really, really, really small. Hey, it's my blog and I can do what I want to!

You should come to our session so you can hear Sarah speaking in Chinese. (Through a translator  if we have one. If we don't, then some might not understand what Sarah's saying at all. LOL.
Sarah, you'll have to start your own blog to get back at me! :) :) So come on, people, what are you waiting for?  Register now! 


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