What’s the Story?

Published on 9 May 2016

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content is a boon for writers, illustrators, educators, librarians and parents.

BY MELANIE LEE

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) started in 2000 as the Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference with just 400 participants. This year, around 1,000 participants are expected, and its organiser, the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), is heartened to see this event gain momentum over the years.

“The stories in Asian children’s books are rich in history, culture and traditions, and there’s also a wealth of new content and ideas waiting to be shared with the world,” says Kenneth Quek, deputy director of NBDCS and AFCC festival director. As such, AFCC will be showcasing a wide array of children’s literature from this region through a range of activities including workshops, master-classes, networking sessions, award ceremonies and a book fair. Around 26 Singaporeans will also be launching their books during this festival.

This year’s AFCC features Japan as a Country of Focus as 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Singapore-Japan diplomatic ties. But beyond this, “Japan has long had a thriving children’s book and content industry, and they have had great success in exporting it to the rest of the world… we hope we can learn something from them,” Quek elaborates.

The festival is split into five main conferences: the Writers & Illustrators Conference; Cross-Platform Summit; Teachers Congress; Parents Forum; and Masterclasses. There are also free public programmes such as Japanese storytelling sessions and the Book Illustrators Gallery.

“AFCC is a unique Asian event that connects Singaporean and Asian talents and representatives from various parts of the children’s content value chain to interact with and learn from regional and international counterparts… we hope this industry will be further developed,” says R Ramachandran, executive director of NBDCS.

All Lit Up

AFCC festival director Kenneth Quek’s event picks. 

#WeNeedDiverseBooks.Really!

A panel discussion of what has been done and what more can be done to tell children diverse stories.

Speed Pitching

Authors get to pitch their manuscripts and/or ideas to publishers. A few book deals have been inked from these sessions in previous years.

Portfolio Review

A one-to-one chat with a professional illustrator who will provide tips on improving artwork for children’s content.

AFCC is on from 25-29 May at the National Library Building. Visit afcc.com.sg for more information.

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