Thursday, June 18, 2015

AFCC Day Six

I arrived late on day six because I had to take care of a few things to take care of before heading out. I was sorely disappointed that I missed Candy Gourlay's keynote talk.  I did, however, make it on time for The Nuts and Bolts of Self Publishing: The Good, the Bad and the Fabulous, a panel discussion by Sarah Mounsey, Emma Nicholson, and Hidayah Amin.  Award-winning author, Emily Lim, moderated the session.


The multiple award-winning, Emily Lim, moderates the panel.
All three ladies have self published their books to great acclaim. Emma's already been signed to an agent, Sarah won the Bronze medal in the MoonBeam Awards and and Hidayah scored a double whammy when she won this year's Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award and the Grand Prize for the Samsung Kidstime Awards. Congratulations to all three ladies who shared their invaluable insights into the adventurous and sometime treacherous world of self-publishing.

The Bronze Medal Moonbeam Award winner, gets ready for her talk.

Sarah addresses the audience.


Two-time winner, Hidayah Amin, takes to the podium

Author of the popular  Princess Petunia's Dragon,  Emma,  takes her turn.

Later in that afternoon, I attended the most anticipated event for aspiring authors, The First Pages Critique with Sarah Odedina, Shirin Yim Bridges, Ying Chang Compestine and Edmund Wee and moderated by Kathleen Ahrens, who always does a brilliant job of reading the manuscripts. First Pages is always a nerve wracking experience for any author. During the session, the first 100 words of the author's manuscript are read aloud and then critiqued by the panel.

The Panel: 
Edmund Wee, Sarah Odedina,Ying Chang Compestine & Shirin Yim Bridges

To the uninitiated writer, it may feel like you've been sentenced to death by literary firing squad. The wait to hear your manuscript being critiqued is unbearably indescribable and when they finally do get to yours, beads of perspiration embroider your brow, your heart practically hurtles right through your rib cage and you can almost feel the unmistakable trickle of pee running down your leg. Relax, it's all part and parcel of the course. You're not a real writer until you've peed on yourself.

Ying Chang Compestine and Shirin Yim Bridges
Most of the time it's not as bad as you think it will be. But sometimes it can seem like an editorial blood bath!  Am I joking? I'll leave that for you to decide. But it's an experience that every writer should go through. It's good for you.

Authors: Sarah, Simon, Helle and Linda  anxiously await literary execution or salvation.

The surviving members of the critique session made their way down to the festival bookstore, Closetful of Books, for a spot of shopping before taking a group photo with the SCBWI members.


I managed to grab a few minutes with friend and best-selling genius of an author, Candy Gourlay, whom I missed at last year's London Book Fair. Candy was off to London a few hours later, so our meet-up was all too brief, but we did manage to take a photo. Candy says I never smile, but I beg to differ - see the photo below.

Candy  says I never smile! See I do!
Singapore's best-selling award winning author, Emily Lim took time to catch up with her American counterpart, Ying Chang Compestine before the group left  for  Boat Quay for the SCBWI AFCC Family dinner organised by Catherine Carvell.  After a full day of sessions most of us wanted to unwind, relax and fill our tummies. I, on the other hand, opted to go for the literature lecture, which was conducted in Chinese with live English translation.

Emily and Ying

Stanley, the nickname I've given my stomach, began to growl and so  I skipped out on the Q & A session and shared a cab to the  SCBWI Dinner with Best-Selling author Chris Cheng. 

And we all spent the night, eating, drinking, catching up with old friends and making new ones. All in all, it was another pretty awesome SCBWI/AFCC dinner. 



Emily and Helle

Catherine and Kathleen

L to R: Chris, Avery, Kathleen and Catherine.

Simon and Dave Liew

Linda, Helle and Simon

Adan and Felicia





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