News release: Festival to promote the use of Asian Content
FESTIVAL TO PROMOTE THE USE OF ASIAN CONTENT
Kuala Lumpur, 14th March 2011 – Over 500 international authors, illustrators, publishers, distributors, institutional buyers, literary agents and multimedia producers of children’s content will gather in Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC, ???????) from 26 - 28 May 2011. The AFCC will be held at The Arts House and will focus on Asian content for children.
The organisers, The Arts House (????) and National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS, ??????????), hope the festival will boost the creation, production and publication of children’s materials with Asian content in all formats. The meeting of international industry players is also aimed at improving the distribution and access of Asian content to children worldwide.
Much loved artist from Malaysia who is well known for his iconic elephant paintings, Yusof Gajah, the Regional Adviser in Malaysia for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Linda Tan, publisher of children books under Al-Ameen Serve Holdings Sdn. Bhd, Che Mazlan Saad, and senior lecturer at Sultan Idris Education University who has published more than fifty books for children, Dr Mahendran Maniam will be at the festival. In addition, outstanding students from Malaysia whose works have been chosen for AFCC Student Picture Book Illustration Competition 2011 will also be joining the festival.
The theme for this year is “Connecting with Connect Kids” and apart from providing a platform for children’s content industry players to network, the festival will also host established and emerging writers, illustrators and content producers. To name a few, renowned picture book writer and illustrator from Taiwan, Chen Chih-Yuan, children’s literature specialist who has written 50 books for children, five of them received international awards, Dr. Murti Bunanta from Indonesia, publishing director at Scholastic India, Sayoni Basu and Anushka Ravishankar (‘India’s Dr. Seuss’), Hong Kong’s best-selling English language author, Nury Vittachi, Chief Adviser to the Director of BBC Children’s and the Controller of BBC Learning, UK, Adrian Mills, Regional Director, Applications and Business Development, Kodak China, Duncan Newton, founder of Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc, Philippines, Rina Lopez Bautista, and literary agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency, US, Kelly Sonnack.
At the event, the speakers and participants will engage in discussion and debate on a broad range of issues, including exporting Asian content to the world, challenges and the future of children’s publishing, emerging world of the graphic novels & Manga rave, marketing and reaching out to small readers with the big potential, place of media in children’s education and recipes for a healthy media diet for kids, navigating the digital globe, fostering a love for reading & learning in the 21st century and successful content development strategies.
The public will have the opportunity to participate in the festival as well. There will be a Media Mart where the public can buy the latest children’s materials. The Media Mart aims to be a meeting point and a place where writers, illustrators, digital artists, producers and designers are able to trade rights, sell products and services, have their materials published or translated or repackaged and produced into comics, e-books, graphic novels, videos, films and educational games. Media Mart is also a place to link up with distributors to promote quality Asian children’s content for education and entertainment to the rest of Asia and the world.
During the festival, the organisers will be also presenting the Singapore Children’s Book Prize called The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award, as well as the Scholastic Asian Book Award. Both of the awards aim to recognise excellence in fiction for children. The award-winning works of AFCC Student Picture Book Illustration Competition organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore with the collaboration of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in Malaysia will also be exhibited during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2011.
The highlight of AFCC 2011 will be the inaugural Children’s Literature Lecture which will be delivered by the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta.
More information on the programme highlights, speakers and registration for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content is available at www.afcc.com.sg.
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About National Book Development Council of Singapore
The National Book Development Council of Singapore is a non-profit charitable institution founded in 1969. The Book Council’s objective is to establish and develop Singapore as the Asian centre for publishing and literary arts. In pursuance of this objective, the Council works in partnership with Government agencies, private corporations and professional associations to deliver a variety of outstanding talks, seminars, workshops and conferences related to storytelling, reading, writing and publishing.
The Book Council presents three prestigious book awards - Singapore Literature Prize, Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award and Scholastic Asia Book Award. It also manages the Centre for Literary Arts and Publishing and Singapore Writers Centre. For more information, visit www.bookcouncil.sg.
About The Arts House
Occupying the 182-year old building which was the former Parliament House and Singapore’s first Court House, The Arts House was officially opened in March 2004 as the only gazetted government building designated as a multidisciplinary arts centre. The Arts House has since been offering its visitors a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from contemporary arts and entertainment events to lifestyle options.
At the same time, The Arts House plays an active role in the development of the Singapore arts and creative scene. We have been supporting and promoting Singapore artists and their artworks through our various initiatives and platforms in Singapore, as well as internationally. The Arts House is managed by The Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee.
For more information, visit www.theartshouse.com.sg.
For further information on festival and registration, please contact:
National Book Development Council of Singapore
DID: +65 6848 8291
DID: +65 6848 8292
Phil Yeh and Phil Ortiz in Kuala Lumpur
In 2009, SCBWI -Malaysia hosted Phil Yeh of Cartoonists Across America to speak at a local University and last year, Phil Yeh brought his friend, Phil Ortiz (Simpson cartoonist) to KL after having attended the Singapore Toys and Games Convention in December.
SCBWI got the help of Cut-Out Magazine to arrange speaking engagements at two design colleges in Kuala Lumpur.
Phil Yeh has published Winged Tiger in Singapore (which was launched in Singapore during the Convention) and is now working on Winged Tiger in Malaysia. His Malaysian co-author for this new book is Sarah Joan Mokhtar, Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI-Malaysia.
Phil Yeh's partner, Linda Adams and Phil Ortiz also took time to attend the Kreatif Digital Conference held at the Putrajayay Convention Centre, the Comic Fiesta at Berjaya Times Square and visited Malacca, Batu Caves and other interesting places in Mlaaysia. We expect these places will appear in his new book and we are looking forward to it!
Phil with a monkey at the Batu Caves Temple
Idea for cover of Winged Tiger #15
Key events in 2011
SCBWI in Malaysia is now a registered non-profit organisation in Malaysia!
As a registered socieity, we are required to have at least 7 committee members from different states in Malaysia. Our Secretary, Rafilda Abdul Rahman, is now busy working on our membership drive while another committee member, Mischele Maniam is busy getting our website up.
We are excited (and will be busy) because come April, we will be holding an exhibition of illustrations by our members. The exhibition is sponsored by the Malaysian Book Council in conjunction with the 30th Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (22 April - 1 May). The fair attracts more than a million visitors every year and exceeded the two million mark last year. We hope the illustration exhibition will also be a key attraction.
We are also working with the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) for the Asian Festival of Children's Content to be held from 26-28 May in Singapore. This is the second year that the Festival has been held and SCBWI members and RAs/ ARAs were involved as speakers and panelists last year. This year, we are expecting Lin and Steve and SCBWI will play an even greater role.
In conjunction with AFCC, SCBWI in Malaysia is also helping to organise a workshop on preparing picture books in Malay/Indonesian. Workshop leaders are Yusof Gajah (mentor of SCBWI-Malaysia) and Murti Bunanta (Indonesian Board on Books for Young People).
SCBWI (Malaysia) and SCBWI (Singapore) will also be collaborating with NBDCS for the Malaysia-Singapore Student Picture Book Illustration Award. This is the first time the Award is held and it is expected that it will be opened to more countries in future.
At the Asian Festival of Children's Content [AFCC]
The AFCC held from 6-9 May in Singapore was the first such festival to be held in this region. Its aim was to encourage the development of Asian Content for children - not just for Asia but for the world.
I attended the festival and found it be exhilarating and stimulating. It was also good that it was in neighbouring country Singapore and was a four-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur.
There was an impressive roster of speakers including Kathleen Ahren, SCBWI's International Regional Advisor Chairperson; Holly Thompson [RA-SCBWI Tokyo]; Chris Cheng [co-RA-SCBWI Australia; Irene Chen [ARA-SCBWI Taiwan]. We also welcomed newly appointed RA for SCBWI Singapore - Kenneth Quek.
Nury Vitachi's opening speech had everyone in stitches but he also pointed out the need for greater creative expressions among Asians who tend to be factual.
There were so many sessions available - one is spoilt for choice. Apart from writing and illustration-oriented sessions there were also sessions for publishers, parents and teachers/educators.
I was most interested in talks on new media and technology by Greg Childs and
Warren Buckleitner as the way forward in publishing for children. Teri Tan from Publisher's Weekly talked on books from Asia that have been successful overseas as well as the many production methods that add value to products. Daphne Lee [writer, editor and columnist of StarMag - Tots to Teens] spoke on the importance of multicultural literature. She also spoke later at the Earshot Cafe on her new imprint, OneRedFlower Press and the first book published under the imprint, My Mother's Garden by Emila Yusof.
Malaysian artist and award winning children's book writer and illustrator, Yusof Gajah launched a collection of his books with special guest, former Malaysian Ambassador to Singapore, Dato' Parameswaran. We were also treated to a video of Yusof with Beethoven's resounding Symphony no 9 playing in the background.
The Festival also provided the opportunity to meet several Malaysians including Margaret Lim, author of the Payah series, set in Sarawak; SCBWI member Gwen Smith; Mohana Gill, author of the wonderful books - Fruitastic and Vegemania and Sharon Bakar who moderated a session.
At the media mart, Malaysian publisher, JN Cooray had a booth for his series of colourful big books [and I mean BIG] that are rich in information for the curious child. He also had a series of small story books for children. Other exhibitors brought books from Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and India. I did not miss this opportunity to enrich my collection of children's books with a few more books from around the region - wish I could buy more!
The Festival was truly an excellent opportunity to learn from experts and to understand better the children's book industry in the region, meet people and network, and make new friends.
It was not all play for Kathleen managed to squeeze in a meeting to discuss how SCBWI can contribute to the next AFCC and we are all excited about it. Be there next year!
Busy in March
March is a busy time!
We are planning two events:
1. From Comics to Screen - by Phil Yeh, known as Godfather of the American graphic novel.
We haven't confirmed a venue yet as we are still looking for sponsors. But once we have that confirmed, we will update it here and on Facebook [Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (Malaysai)]
2. From Literature to Theatre - a panel discussion between Yusof Gajah and Bill Davies of Blunderbus Theatre
In addition, SCBWI is holding their Biennial Convention in Bologna in March!
I am looking forward to attending the convention - you can find more information on the SCBWI website.
The Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency will also be exhibiting at the Bologna Bookfair and I am busy preparing catalogues and getting organised.
As I've said at the beginning of this post - March is a busy time!
But if you have queries, please do not hesitate to drop me a mail: firstname.lastname@example.org