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The festival boasts an impressive line-up of international speakers from different regions of the world and the list is still growing.

Aaron Wong, Singapore
Aaron Wong is STELLAR trained and currently teaches Primary 4 students at Seng Kang Primary School, Singapore.  He believes that reading opens up possibilities and shares this deep belief with his pupils through many creative means.

  • Symposium: Developing Children into Avid Readers / 28 May (Sat) / 10.25am – 11.15am / Chamber

Allein G. Moore, Singapore
Allein Moore is a father and grandfather. He came to Singapore from England in 1979 and had a successful career in advertising, writing and shooting many television commercials. He now publishes a magazine for the industry and speaks at conferences on advertising, marketing and media.  Allein is currently Secretary of the Association of Media Owners Singapore (AMOS). Allein has for many years visited local schools and colleges conducting classes in Sex Education in behalf of the Planned Parenthood Association.    

  • Roundtable: Wise Kids – Raising Cyberfit Kids / 28 May (Sat) / 2.15pm – 3.15pm / Screening Room

Anushka Ravishankar, India
Dubbed ‘India’s Dr. Seuss’, Anushka Ravishankar is one of India’s most celebrated children’s authors. A tremendously talented poet, she is often credited with being the first writer to adapt the difficult nonsense verse form to the cadences of Indian English. Anushka has won national and international acclaim for the 15 jubilant and artful verse-tales she’s released with Tara Publishing over the last decade, rights to these books have been snapped up in the US, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Korea, Italy, Japan and Spain.

  • Masterclass on Picture Book* / 29 & 30 May (Sun & Mon) / 10.00am – 6.00pm / Gallery

Arvind Ethan David, UK
Arvind Ethan David is the CEO and a Producer at Slingshot, the next generation film company which he co-founded in 2005. He leads business and creative strategy, including serving as hands-on producer on the films, most recently on the break-out indy-hit "The Infidel". Outside Slingshot, he sits on the British Screen Advisory Council, and is a guest lecturer at Universities including The National Film & Television School and the London Business School. As a writer, Arvind co-wrote the stage-show DIRK (based on the Douglas Adams character Dirk Gently) which won 3 prizes in the LA Weekly Theatre Awards 2007.

  • Adaptation: At Best, Metamorphoses; At Worst, Just a Mess / 27 May (Fri) / 2.30pm – 3.30pm / Screening Room
  • Roundtable: Blockbusters – The Muse in the Screen / 28 May (Sat) / 6.15pm – 7.00pm / Gallery

Brian Lee, Singapore
Dr Brian Lee is the Head of Communication Programme, SIM University, Singapore. Brian’s research interests include communication technology, new media, popular culture and youths, media management and e-learning. He has conducted various research projects in Singapore, Malaysia, Taipei and the United States of America. He has become the multi-lingual author of various prize-winning articles in Asia-Pacific. One of his research papers, “the Internet Commerce Models In Asia,” was awarded top paper at the Pacific Telecommunications Council’s Essay Prize (U.S.A.) in 2001. In the paper, he made several policy recommendations that would facilitate development of Internet commerce in Asia.

  • Parallel: Media Use Among Youths in Singapore / 28 May (Sat) / 3.45pm – 4.45pm / Screening Room

Catherine Yap, Singapore

Catherine Yap started her career in the then Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) in 1999 in its News & Current Affairs Unit and was instrumental in bringing Channel NewsAsia to the region. Over the years, Catherine assumed various roles in the Network Programming & Promotion Division of the channel where she held the responsibility for programming, promotions and operations. There she developed new programming directions and channel branding to cater to the changing local and international TV landscape. In July 2010, Catherine moved over to okto as its Programming Director, overseeing okto’s acquisition, commissioning and operations.

  • Plenary: Broadcasters and the Cross Platform Revolution / 28 May (Sat) / 5.00pm – 6.00pm / Gallery

Che Mazlan Saad, Malaysia
Che Mazlan Saad publishes children books under Al-Ameen Serve Holdings Sdn. Bhd. In Malaysia, he won the Malay Linguistic award in 1998 and in 2005 his publication won the National Book Award for the pre-school book "Cepat Baca". He also co-authored other popular pre-school books namely "I Can Read" and "Bacalah Jawi". He is appointed as a jury for the Best Editor award for academic books in Malaysia. At the Malaysian Book Publishers Association, he is involved as the chairman of the International Affairs sub-committee. His company is also active in buying and selling publishing rights internationally. 

  • Panel Critique: First Look (for Illustrators) / 26 May (Thurs) / 2.30pm – 4.00pm / Gallery

Chen Chih-Yuan, Taiwan
Chen Chih-Yuan is a renowned picture book writer and illustrator from Taiwan. Chen is a three-time winner of the prestigious Hsin Yi Picture Book Award for Memory, a wordless picture book, Guji Guji and On My Way to Buy Eggs. The English-language translation of Guji Guji appeared on the New York Times Bestseller Top 10 List, and On My Way to Buy Eggs won the Publishers Weekly Best Illustrated Book of the Year. He has more than 10 picture books, and many have been published in different countries, including the US, France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, and Korea.

  • Specialised Workshop: Writing Stories for Picture Books (Mandarin)* / 28 May (Sat) / 9.30am – 12.30pm / Living Room
  • Specialised Workshop: Illustrating Picture Books (Mandarin)* / 29 May (Sun) / 10.00am – 1.00pm / Blue Room

Chitra Shegar, Singapore
Dr. Chitra Shegar is an Asst Professor with National Institute of Education. Her areas of specialty are language teaching methodology, Second Language Acquisition and teacher education. She was the Lead Principal Investigator for two literacy projects funded by Ministry of Education. She has published in several books and international journals and is a Managing Editor of Pedagogies, an International journal.

  • Congress Director of the Asian Primary and Preschool Teachers Congress / 28 May (Sat) / 9.30am – 7.00pm
  • Boys and Reading / 28 May (Sat) / 6.00pm – 7.00pm / Chamber

Choi Yangsook, Korea/US
Yangsook Choi grew up in Korea and moved to New York to study art. She has written and illustrated many children's books. Her books have received several awards, including the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award and a California Young Reader Medal. Her clients include Random House, National Geographic Society, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt & Company, McGraw Hill Company, Hachette Filipacchi Magazines. She has spoken at Smithsonian Institute, Parsons School of Design, Barnes & Noble, Children's Museum of the Arts, and various institutions.

  • Mythical stories & Images of Asia / 26 May (Thurs) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Gallery
  • The illustrator who wants to Write / 26 May (Thurs) / 4.30pm – 5.30pm / Gallery
  • Creating Your Own Storyboard / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 12.30am / Living Room

Christopher Cheng, Australia
With more than 28 titles  in traditional and digital formats,  including picture books, non-fiction, and historical fiction,  as well as a libretto for a musical and the story for an animation under development, Christopher is well experienced in Australian children's literature. Chris holds a Masters Degree in Children's Literature. In 2010 he was awarded the SCBWI Member of the Year and is a recipient of the Lady Cutler Award for services to children's literature. He is co-regional head of the SCBWI for Australia and New Zealand and is a devoted advocate of children's literature speaking at festivals worldwide on his work and children's books.  

  • It takes Two (or More) to Tango: Collaborating with an Illustrator, Musician, or Animator / 26 May (Thurs) / 10.30am – 11.30am / Gallery
  • How to Market Yourself as a Writer or Illustrator / 26 May (Thurs) /  5.30pm – 6.30pm / Screening Room
  • eBooks, Apps, iPads and the Content Creators / 28 May (Sat) / 3.45pm – 4.45pm / Gallery

Corinne Robson, Canada

Corinne Robson, PaperTigers.org Associate Editor and Blog “Eventful World” coordinator, obtained her B.Ed. degree from the University of British Columbia. PaperTigers.org is a website, blog and outreach programme centered on multicultural children's and Young Adult books written in English from anywhere in the world, with a particular focus on the Pacific Rim and South Asia. The award-winning website and blog feature insightful books reviews, interviews, and opinions; a gallery of world-class illustrations; and more.

Dianne Wolfer, Australia
Dianne Wolfer is author of 15 books for teenagers and younger readers. Her latest title Lighthouse Girl won the children’s choice West Australian Young Readers’ Book Awards and was shortlisted for two Premier’s awards, the Crichton Award and voted a CBCA Notable Book. Dianne’s previous title Photographs in the Mud, set along the Kokoda Track in PNG, was as an international peace reference and was recently published in Japanese. Another title, Choices (YA) will be published in Poland in 2011. Dianne is West Australian Advisor for the international Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

  • Exploring History Through Children's Literature / 26 May (Thurs) / 2.30pm 3.30pm / Living Room
  • Turning Life Experiences Into Fiction / 27 May (Fri) / 10.45am – 11.45am / Play Den

Dennis Yeo, Singapore
Dr. Dennis Yeo began his teaching career in 1988 and has taught in primary, secondary and Junior College levels. He was Subject Head (Literature), Head of Department (Pastoral Care & Career Guidance) and Vice-Principal at Pioneer Junior College before being seconded to the National Institute of Education in Jan 2009. His PhD dissertation discusses the Postmodern Gothic Film. His interests include the use of film in the classroom and expressions of the Gothic in popular culture.

  • Teaching Prediction Strategies Using the Short Film / 28 May (Sat) / 4.45pm – 5.45pm / Chamber

Desmond Kon, Singapore
Desmond Kon has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organisations. Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, with a theology masters in world religions from Harvard University and fine arts masters in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame, he has placed in several international writing contests, with his poetry and prose published in over 100 literary journals. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his commemorative pieces housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

  • Rediscovering the Lyric and Narrative in Children’s Poetry / 26 May (Thurs) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Screening Room

Duncan Newton, China
Duncan Newton has an extensive background in electronic and digital publishing stretching back to the early days of DTP while consulting to Apple Computer in the late 80s. He has held a series of progressively more responsible international positions at Aldus, Adobe, Xerox and Océ. His current role at Kodak China is as the Regional Director, Applications and Business Development for all facets of the Graphic Arts industry throughout the Asia Pacific Region. In this capacity, he provides industry market knowledge, in-depth technical expertise and a broadly based understanding of the print & publishing industries.

  • Keynote: Book is Here to Stay / 27 May (Fri) / 10.30am – 11.30am / Gallery

Emily Ho, Singapore
Emily Ho is co-founder and education director of Columbia Academy. She holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood from the University of East London, UK, a degree in Psychology from Simon Fraser University, Canada, and a Specialist Diploma in Early Childhood Education. Emily is an expert in literacy-focused curriculum and has developed the Cerebrum Enhancement Program (CEP) which has been implemented successfully in Columbia Academy’s programme. She has conducted field studies at the Arboretum Children’s Center in Stanford University as well as literary development in young children in Singapore.

  • A Multi Approach: Adult’s Role in Literacy Development Through Play / 28 May (Sat) / 4.45pm – 5.45pm / Play Den

Emily Lim, Singapore
Emily Lim, author of 10 books, is the 1st outside North America to win 3 medals at the IPPY Awards in children’s book, the world’s largest book awards, since its inception 14 years ago. Her books have been converted into cartoon animation and other interactive software applications and also recently entered the U.S. and France. Prince Bear & Pauper Bear will debut in Korean translation before end 2011. Her latest four picture books are being published by a major publisher for educational purposes.

  • Going Independent? Some Dos and Don'ts, Wills and Won'ts / 26 May (Thurs) / 4.00pm – 5.00pm / Play Den

Elvina “Rina” Lopez-Bautista, Philippines
Rina Lopez Bautista is the founder and driving force behind the Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc (KCFI). In 1999, KCFI launched the Knowledge Channel as its flagship program and has since been known as the first and only all-curriculum educational television in the Philippines that brings quality education to all public schools nationwide. Through her leadership, Knowledge Channel now reaches over 2,000 public schools in the Philippines benefiting 3 million elementary and high school students.

  • The Future of Media in Children’s Education / 28 May (Sat) / 11.45am – 12.45pm / Screening Room
  • Roundtable: Of Naga & Bidadari: Asian Stories for Global Kid / 28 May (Sat) / 2.15pm – 3.15pm / Gallery

Gavin Bishop, New Zealand
Gavin Bishop has published over 40 books that have been translated into nine languages. He has also written the libretti for children’s ballets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet as well as scripts for television. Gavin Bishop is widely travelled and has been a guest author and speaker, through UNESCO, in Japan, China, Indonesia and the USA. He was a guest lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1996. In 2003 with an Art and Science Collaboration Grant at Canterbury University he helped produce the world’s first 3-dimensional, animated picture book.

  • Masterclass on Picture Book* / 29 & 30 May (Sun & Mon) / 10.00am – 6.00pm / Gallery

Greg Childs, UK
Greg Childs worked for over 20 years at the BBC, as a director, producer and executive-producer of children’s programmesIn 1998 he created the first Children’s BBC websites and all young people’s programming on the new digital channels.  As Head of Children’s Digital, he developed and launched the children’s channels, CBBC and CBeebies.  Greg is now a consultant working with producers on digital strategies and broadcasters on channel launches.  He is also Editorial Director of The Children’s Media Conference, Head of Studies (Interactive) at the German Akademie Fur Kindermedien, and is a founder-member of the Save Kids’ TV Campaign. 

  • Summit Consultant of the Asian Children’s Media Summit / 28 May (Sat) / 9.30am – 7.00pm
  • Moderator: Plenary: The Digital Landscape – What Kids Want / 28 May (Sat) / 10.15am – 11.15am / Gallery
  • Moderator: Plenary: Broadcasters and the Cross Platform Revolution / 28 May (Sat) / 5.00pm – 6.00pm / Gallery

Holly Thompson, US/Japan
Holly Thompson earned her M.A. in fiction writing from New York University and teaches creative writing at Yokohama City University. Her fiction is often set in Japan and explores issues of biculturalism and identity. Author of the YA verse novel Orchards (Delacorte, 2011), the novel Ash (Stone Bridge Press), and the picture book The Wakame Gatherers (Shen’s Books), she is Regional Advisor of the Tokyo chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

  • Author/Illustrator School Visits: Developing Your Best Programmes / 26 May (Thurs) / 10.30am – 11.30am / Screening Room
  • Of Power and Emotions: Writing Fiction for Young Adults / 26 May (Thurs) / 5.30pm – 6.30pm / Play Den

James Teo, Singapore
James Teo started ampulets, a graphic and visual communication design studio in 2006, creating design for print, identity, web, packaging and outdoor or interior spaces. In the studio's latest projects, ampulets created a new publication for Raffles Institution and designed the National Art Gallery's first children's book Salted Fish. Outside of client-based projects, ampulets' work has also been featured in art and design exhibitions such as 'Campaign City' (Evil Empire Gallery, 2010), 'The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy' (Bloodgroup+ Space, 2010), Tiger Translate 2009 and in publications such as Kult and FL.ag.

  • Bringing Art to Children: the Making of Salted Fish, A Picture Book by the National Art Gallery, Singapore / 26 May (Thurs) / 4.00pm – 5.00pm / Living Room

James Toh, Singapore
In 1996, James Toh started his showbiz career by conceptualizing Singapore’s first Chinese musical play, “December Rains,” by Liang Wern Fook and Jimmy Ye. One of the pioneers of the Singapore film industry, James has produced a host of iconic Singapore films, including Eric Khoo's "12 Storeys", which he also co-wrote in 1997.  This was followed by Cannes official entries "Be With Me (2005)" and "My Magic (2008)", also by Eric Khoo, and Royston Tan's "15, (Venice and Sundance 2004)," "4.30 (Berlin 2006)" and "881 (Pusan 2007)". "881: the Papaya Sisters", was the top Asian movie in Singapore in 2007, grossing $3.5 million at the box office.

  • Roundtable: Blockbusters – The Muse in the Screen / 28 May (Sat) / 6.15pm – 7.00pm / Gallery

Jaswant Singh, Singapore
A Primary 1 Consortium Head at Seng Kang Primary School, Singapore, with 24 years experience, Jaswant Singh is STELLAR trained and champions SEED ICT. She leads her peers in conceptualizing and implementing teaching and learning that engages pupils to be confident learners who are engaged and self-directed in their learning.

  • Symposium: Developing Children into Avid Readers / 28 May (Sat) / 10.25am – 11.15am / Chamber

Joanne Teoh, Singapore
Joanne Teoh is an expert in cinematic narratives and multimedia interactive story forms. With over 20 years of media experience, she held senior management, creative and editorial roles at leading news organisations in Asia, honing her expertise from BBC, CNN and CNA. Joanne was a member of the team that launched multi-awarded Asian network Channel NewsAsia, winning recognition for her role as editor, writer, director and executive producer. Joanne has presented at Broadcast Asia, MIT, Harvard, University of Tokyo and NYU on cross-media content innovation. She develops multimedia reporting curriculum for university courses and leads training programmes around the world.

Summit Director of the Asian Children’s Media Summit / 28 May (Sat) / 9.30am – 7.00pm
  • Moderator: Roundtable: Wise Kids – Raising Cyberfit Kids / 28 May (Sat) / 2.15pm – 3.15pm / Screening Room

John Mckenzie, New Zealand
John McKenzie is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Canterbury College of Education, passionate about the centrality of story, in all its guises, in the curriculum. He designed and implemented the graduate level Diploma in Children's Literature. He has many conference papers to his credit, is involved in the development of literacy qualifications in South Africa and has been awarded the Betty Gilderdale Award for services to NZ children's literature.

  • The Representation of the Island as Space/Place in Film and Picture Books / 26 May (Thurs) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Living Room
  • Negotiating the Folktale / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 10.30am / Screening Room
  • Masterclass on Picture Book* / 29 & 30 May (Sun & Mon) / 10.00am – 6.00pm / Gallery

John Thet, Singapore
John Thet is currently the Publisher and Editorial Director of Asian Geographic Magazines Pte ltd, with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. In 2000, he joined Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd, taking on the role of Creative Director, Photo Editor. Later in November 2005, John took over as Publisher/Editorial Director and founder of Asian Geo JUNIOR, Asian Geo PASSPORT, Asian Geo THE READ, Asian Geographic Society (Non-Profit Society) and One Asia Festival.

  • Plenary: The Digital Landscape – What Kids Want / 28 May (Sat) / 10.15am – 11.15am / Gallery
  • Roundtable: Of Naga & Bidadari: Asian Stories for Global Kids / 28 May (Sat) / 2.15pm – 3.15pm / Gallery

Julia Posen, UK
Julia Posen started her career in book publishing at Mitchell Beazley working in the co-edition foreign rights team.  After four years, and numerous co-edition deals, Julia moved to Evans Brothers, a children’s educational publisher, as their Foreign Rights Manager.  Thereafter, Julia worked at the BBC for 12 years in a number of different senior roles; Head of Publishing EMEIA, Children’s DVD Publisher, Head of International Licensing and finally as the Children’s Commercial Director. Julia moved to Walker Books in 2010 as the Marketing, Brand and Licensing Director.  Julia is also a board member for Walker Productions.

  • Keynote: A Rose by any Other Name is Still a Rose – Asian Children Content Revisited / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 10.30am / Gallery
  • Case Study: E-content – A publisher’s Journey / 27 May (Fri) / 3.45pm – 4.45pm / Gallery

June Oei, Singapore
June Oei has more than twenty years of publishing experience. Having completed her “tour of duty” in Pearson Education South Asia, Marshall Cavendish Publishing and MPH Education, June recently left the corporate world to go into semi-retirement. She recently started a boutique consultancy called “Defining Reality”, where she is doing what she likes best – that is to help turn around businesses and to take organisations to the next level of development and growth.

  • Symposium Director of the Asian Children’s Publishers Symposium / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 6.15pm

Kathleen Ahrens, US/Hong Kong
Kathleen Ahrens is the International Regional Advisor Chair and member of the SCBWI Board of Advisors for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, which is a professional organization for those involved in the creation of media content for children.  A linguist and a writer, she is a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she is also a member of the International Writer's Workshop Planning Committee. Kathleen is published in children's magazine market in the US, and has translated top-selling children's books in the Taiwan market.

  • Panel Critique: First Look (for Illustrators) / 26 May (Thurs) / 2.30pm – 4.00pm / Gallery
  • Panel Critique: First Pages (for Writers) / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 11.00am / The Hall

Kelly Sonnack, US
Kelly Sonnack came to the Andrea Brown Literary Agency after agenting for nearly three years with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Prior to that, Kelly worked for the publishing giant Reed Elsevier, where she was an Acquisitions Editor. As an agent, Kelly represents all realms of children's literature. In picture books, Kelly looks for a good sense of humor and an authentic voice. In young adult and middle grade fiction, she appreciates character-driven stories but is also drawn to light science-fiction and well-crafted fantasy. In non-fiction for children, she enjoys projects that stimulate the minds of our younger generations. Kelly also represents character-driven juvenile graphic novels. 

  • The Role of an Agent and De-mystifying the Publishing Process, Cradle to Grave / 26 May(Thurs) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Play Den
  • Panel Critique: First Pages (for Writers) / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 11.00am / The Hall
  • The Children’s Market: What Has Changed and What Sells Now /  27 May (Fri) / 2.30pm – 3.30pm / Play Den

Ken Spillman, Australia
With 23 books to his name, Dr Ken Spillman is one of Australia’s most prolific authors, editors and critics. His work includes fiction for children, teenagers and adults; short film and documentary video scripts; poetry; history; travel writing; sports writing; and criticism. Ken has won or been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, and the US reference Contemporary Authors has compiled an entry on his career. Ken frequently conducts residencies and workshops at libraries, writers’ centres and schools.

  • Boys Will Be Boys: Writing to Engage Boys / 26 May (Thurs) / 2.30pm – 3.30pm / Play Den

Kenny Chan, Singapore
Having worked in the book and publishing field for more than two decades years, Kenny Chan has already familiarised himself with the various aspects of the book retail industry. Currently, Kenny is the Merchandising Director, Book Kinokuniya Pacific Asia region. He is involved in the day-to-day operations of the Singapore mainstore including the acquisition of book titles. He has held senior posts in the book industry such as at Popular Holdings and SNP Publishing, and has managed book stores like MPH Bookstores, Harris Bookstores (HK), and EPH Bokstores (HK).

  • Graphic Novels & the Manga Rave – What's it all About and Why it's so Big / 27 May (Fri) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Screening Room

Kiran Shah, Singapore/Australia
Kiran Shah started her professional life as a social worker, and then discovered the joys of teaching young children which took her to various parts of the world. While training teachers and selling books she discovered storytelling as a profession and she’s convinced she’s got the best job in the world.

  • Storytelling/ 28 May (Sat) / 10.15am – 10.25am / Chamber

Linda Tan, Malaysia
Linda Tan is the managing partner of Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than 15 years and set up her own publishing company to publish children's books. As the Regional Adviser in Malaysia for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (and President of the Malaysian Chapter), she hopes to develop and nurture local writers and illustrators and is committed to bringing their work to the international market. She has lived and worked in Jakarta, Hong Kong and UK and is keen to promote multicultural understanding through children's books and related activities.

  • Asian Markets and Experiences / 27 May (Fri) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Play Den

Lê Phương Liên, Vietnam
Lien has graduated from Hanoi College of Pedagogy and became a teacher in Hanoi for nine years. She was then an editor at Kim Dong Publishing House. She had five books for children published. She has been the Director of Doraemon Foundation – an educational supporting fund for disadvantaged children - since 1996 until now. She was formerly Head of Children’s Literature Department – Vietnamese Writers Association since 2005 to 2010. From 2010, she is currently in charge of Children’s Literature in Department of Creating Themes – Vietnamese Writers Association.

  • Asian Markets and Experiences / 27 May (Fri) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Play Den

Leigh Cunningham, Singapore
Leigh K. Cunningham has been writing full-time for the past five years. Her first two children's books, The Glass Table and its sequel, Shards are recipients of silver medals from the Mom's Choice Awards (USA). Leigh's next two titles, Rain and Being Anti-Social, for adult readers, are due to be released in 2011. Leigh is also the founder and Executive Director of the Association of Independent Authors, a membership organisation representing and advancing the interests of independent authors from around the world.

  • Going Independent? Some Dos and Don'ts, Wills and Won'ts / 26 May (Thurs) / 4.00pm 5.00pm / Play Den
  • Symposium: Content and Illustrations in Children’s Books / 28 May (Sat) / 3.15pm –3.45pm / Chamber
  • Writing Fundamentals /  28 May (Sat) 4.45pm – 5.45pm / The Hall

Lily Hok-Neo Wong, Singapore
Dr. Lily Wong has a Doctoral degree in Counselling/Educational Psychology and holds professional credentials and membership of various boards and institutes in education in the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong. Her expertise in the field of early childhood education has taken her beyond Singapore to many countries, viz. Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, China as well as Australia, UK and USA, where she has presented papers and conducted training workshops. Her consultancy experiences include establishing early childhood programs, curriculum development and pre-school teachers training. At present, Lily is the Director of Advent-Links SAUC, a centre for children and family studies.

  • A Multi Approach: Adult’s Role in Literacy Development Through Play / 28 May (Sat) / 11.45am – 12.45pm / Chamber
  • When to Teach Infant/Toddler to Read? / 28 May (Sat) / 6.00pm – 7.00pm / Play Den

Liz Rosenberg, US
Liz Rosenberg is the author of more than 25 award-winning books for children. She has also published novels for adults, poetry, and is editor of five prize-winning anthologies of poems for young people. A documentary, How a Children's Book is Made, produced by First Light Productions, featured Rosenberg and her editor Neal Porter. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly and she writes a regular book review column on young people's literature for The Boston Globe. She is professor of English and Creative Writing at Binghamton University, in NY.

  • The Importance of Place in Children's Literature; How to Make the Most of "Regional" Writing / 26 May (Thurs) / 10.30am – 11.30am / Living Room
  • A Book Reviewer Speaks: Trends in Children's Literature in America / 26 May (Thurs) / 4.00pm – 5.00pm / Screening Room
  • Getting Published: Candid Discussion with a Writer and a Publisher / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 10.30am / Play Den

Mahendran Maniam, Malaysia
Dr Mahendran Maniam is a senior lecturer at Sultan Idris Education University, Malaysia. He has been involved in picture book writing for the past 20 years and has published more than fifty books for children. His books are sold in many Asian countries. He has researched and presented papers pertaining to picture book writing at international seminars. His latest picture book series is Joey Series, published and marketed worldwide by Kiddibird in Malaysia.

  • What do Children Look Forward to in a Picture Book / 28 May (Sat) / 11.45am – 12.45pm / Play Den

Malini Roy, Singapore
Malini Roy currently teaches English Literature at Nanyang Technological University. She has contributed chapters on graphic novels in published and forthcoming scholarly essay anthologies, and has adapted Hamlet for the “Campfire” series of graphic novels (New Delhi, India: forthcoming 2011). Formerly, she worked at the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy (University of Chichester, UK). Her previous work includes the writing, publishing and performance of scripts for Recess!, a National Public Radio programme on global cultures of childhood, co-produced by the University of Florida.

  • Graphic Novels & the Manga Rave – What's it all About and Why it's so Big / 27 May (Fri) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Screening Room

Murti Bunanta, Indonesia
Dr. Murti Bunanta is a children’s literature specialist giving talks and workshops in Indonesia and abroad. She has written 50 books for children, five of them received international awards. She is the president and the founder of Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature (1987) and Indonesian Board on Books for Young People (1990). She owns more than 30,000 children’s books from around 35 countries.

  • Specialised Workshop: Picture Book Production Workshop (Malay)* / 28 May (Sat) / 1.30pm – 4.30pm / Living Room

Nina Sabnani, India
Nina Sabnani is a film maker, animator and a published illustrator of children's books. Her most recent work Home is based on the traditional Kaavad storytelling tradition of Rajasthan and is designed to elicit stories from children. Mukund and Riaz, an animated film was also made into an illustrated book which won critical acclaim internationally. One of her illustrated books, My Mother's Sari was selected as an Outstanding International Book for 2007 in the U.S.A. Nina is currently an Associate Professor at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay, teaching animation and illustration and pursuing her doctoral research in the area of storytelling.

  • Illustrating in the Digital Age / 27 May (Fri) / 10.45am – 11.45am / Screening Room
  • Evoking Imagination in Illustration and Animation films / 27 May (Fri) / 4.00pm – 5.00pm / Screening Room

Neal Porter, US
Neal Porter has been in and around the book publishing industry for more than 30 years. In 2000, he helped to found Roaring Brook Press, where he is currently Editorial Director of Neal Porter Books. Books he has edited have won numerous citations including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, two Caldecott Honors, two Theodore Geisel Honors, a Seibert Honor for Nonfiction, the Sugarman Award for Biography, and more than 30 ALA Notable Book Citations.

  • The Marketplace: The Global Market for Asian Children's Books: What Travels, What Doesn’t . . . and Why? / 26 May (Thurs) / 10.30am – 11.30am / Play Den
  • Panel Critique: First Look (for Illustrators) / 26 May (Thurs) / 2.30pm –4.00pm / Gallery
  • Getting Published: a Candid Discussion with a Writer and a Publisher / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 10.30am / Play Den
  • A Runaway Success: A Case Study of Children Content that Made it Big / 27 May (Fri) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Gallery

Nooraini M Nor, Malaysia
Nooraini has over 10 years of experience in the field of Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language to students of international backgrounds in a range of educational contexts.  She had trained pre-service and in-service teachers for the London Teacher Training College Diploma in TESOL.  As the Regional Knowledge Manager for Scholastic Asia, Nooraini is responsible of Curriculum Development and Teacher Professional Development in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. She has also delivered various Teacher Professional Development workshops for the Malaysian Ministry of Education and the State Education Departments. 

  • Symposium 2: Fostering a Love for Reading & Learning in the 21st Century / 28 May (Sat) / 3.45pm – 4.15pm / Chamber

Nury Vittachi, Hong Kong
Nury Vittachi writes novels which are published around the world in many languages. He was recently chairman of the judges of the world’s largest lliterary prizes. His writings are published monthly, weekly or daily in at least 10 countries. Founding editor of the Asia Literary Review, he has authored plays and comic-books, sold screenplays and runs the hyperactive mrjam.org website.

  • Emcee: Children’s Literature Lecture and Awards Presentation Ceremony / 27 May (Fri) / 6.30pm – 9.00pm / Chamber

Poh Yeang Cherng, Singapore
Poh Yeang Cherng is Director and Cyber Wellness Consultant at Kingmaker Consultancy Pte Ltd. He is a pioneer of the Cyber Wellness movement in Singapore and served on the National Internet Advisory Committee’s Cyber Wellness Task Force (2002-2005). He set up Singapore’s first Cyber Wellness Centre with TOUCH Cyber Wellness in 2006 and was also directly involved in developing a body of cyber wellness values, ethics and best practices, to promote cyber wellness at the national level. With an up‐to‐date knowledge of the latest Internet and video game trends and intervention strategies, he has helped many parents, counseling and social work professionals cross the digital divide to reach youths.

  • Roundtable: Wise Kids – Raising Cyberfit Kids / 28 May (Sat) / 2.15pm – 3.15pm / Screening Room

Pooja Makhijani, US/Singapore
Pooja Makhijani, the author of Mama’s Saris, a picture book, has her essays and short fiction published in a number of children's literary magazines, including Cicada, Kahani, and New Moon. She has taught writing and children's literature at Western Connecticut State University and Middlesex County College. In addition, Pooja has conducted writing workshops and presentations at a number of colleges and universities, schools, libraries, and other educational institutions all over the United States. She maintains a comprehensive online bibliography of South Asia and the South Asian diaspora in children's literature.

  • Conference Consultant of the Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference, 26 – 27 May / 9.30am – 6.30pm
  • More Than Monkeys, Maharajahs And Mangoes: An Overview of South Asian Literature for Kids / 26 May (Thurs) / 5.30pm – 6.30pm / Living Room
  • Using the Craft of Creative Writing in the Classroom / 28 May (Sat) / 11.45am – 12.45pm / The Hall

R. Ramachandran, Singapore
R Ramachandran has been associated for more than 30 years with the promotion of reading, literary arts, publishing and library development in his capacity as Director, National Library and Deputy Chief Executive, National Library Board. Following his retirement in 2004, he was appointed Secretary – General International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in Hague, Netherlands and subsequently as Executive Director, of the National Book Development Council of Singapore.

  • Conference Director of the Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference, 26 – 27 May / 9.30am – 6.30pm

Rabia Shahul, Singapore
Rabia Shahul has 20 years of teaching experience in both primary and secondary schools, and a stint at Curriculum Planning and Development Division at MOE HQ.  She has received the highest accolade for teachers, the President Award for Teachers (PAT) in 2004 and the Dr Ruth Wong Medal for Overall Best performance in DDM for Middle Managers. She has a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University, New York. Rabia is currently the principal of Seng Kang Primary School, Singapore.

  • Symposium: Developing Children into Avid Readers / 28 May (Sat) / 10.15am – 11.15am / Chamber

Randy Ang, Singapore
Randy Ang is the co-founder of EyePower Games, that is known for its language learning products such as NewsMaker and Moo-O, both of which have won numerous education technology awards in the United States.  Randy may have a Master’s degree in Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, but these days, he spends his time working with English and Mother Tongue language teachers in Singapore, helping them integrate NewsMaker and Moo-O into their lessons. At the same time, he also engages publishers and authors of children picture books, to have their content published for Moo-O, an immersive digital storybook.

  • Using Immersive Technology to Help Students Improve their Reading and Writing Skills / 28 May (Sat) / 6.00pm – 7.00pm / Screening Room

Richard Wan, Singapore
Richard Wan is the co-founder and CEO of E-Book Systems (www.ebooksys.com), which was founded in 1998 with a mission to bring the natural look and feel of the paper-based book into the domain of consumer products, computers and the Internet. He brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the high-tech industry and entrepreneurship with the last 12 years focusing on helping publishers and corporations to embark on Digital Publishing. Richard is regularly invited to business conferences and seminars to speak on the trend and issues of Digital Publishing.

  • Digital Trends and Its Impact on Children’s Books / 28 May (Sat) / 11.45am –12.45pm / Gallery

Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal, Singapore
Dr. Garces-Bacsal is a Lecturer/Teacher Educator at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. Research interests include socioaffective concerns of the gifted, experiences of flow among artists and artists-in-training, family influences in nurturing talents; use of bibliotherapy among high ability learners. Her passion for the written word is such that she has created a website for children’s literature and YA fiction (www.gatheringbooks.org) where she features writers, illustrators and children’s voices about narratives that moved them.

  • On Fairies (Diwata), Mousedeers (Sang Kancil), Merpeople, and Magic Spells - Threads that Bind Children’s Tales from Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia / 26 May (Thurs) / 2.30pm – 3.30pm / Screening Room

Sayoni Basu, India
Educated at Calcutta and Oxford, Sayoni Basu has been working in publishing for many years. She has worked at OUP and Penguin, and is currently publishing director at Scholastic India. Scholastic Corporation is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology.

  • Panel Critique: First Pages (for Writers) / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 11.00am / The Hall
  • Asian Markets and Experiences / 27 May (Fri) / 12.00pm – 1.00pm / Play Den

Stanley Han, Singapore
Stanley Han is the Co-Founder and CEO of Personal e-Motion Pte Ltd (PEM) incorporated in 2003. Over the years, PEM has grown from a three men start-up to a high-tech company with more than 31 staff. PEM’s media fusion technology, called KooBits, creates e-books at a more competitive pricing, a faster delivery speed and a better user experience. Unlike static ebooks, the KooBits powered ebooks will feature enhancements such as moving pictures, games revolving around the storyline and access to further background information on a particular topic within the book.

  • E-content: Why We Should All Pay Attention / 27 May (Fri) / 2.30pm – 3.30pm / Gallery

Stephen Mooser, US
Stephen Mooser is the author of more than 60 books for children from picture book titles such as The Ghost with the Halloween Hiccups, to nonfiction, Lights! Camera! Scream!, series and chapter books, The All-Star Meatballs, The Treasure Hounds, The Creepy Creature Club, Goofball Malone, Ace Detective and novels such as The Hitchhiking Vampire and It’s A Weird, Weird School. A former filmmaker and treasure hunter, he is co-founder of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and currently serves as the organisation’s President.

  • Keynote: What is the Future of Children's Publishing? / 26 May (Thurs) / 9.45am – 10.15am / Chamber
  • Panel Critique: First Pages (for Writers) / 27 May (Fri) / 9.30am – 11.00am / The Hall
  • Writing Chapter Books For Boys /  27 May (Fri) / 2.30pm – 5.30pm / Living Room

Susan Harris Sharples, US
Professor Susan Harris-Sharples’s focus of research and study interest is developmental and multicultural literacy and urban education.  She is Professor Emeritus of Education at Wheelock College, and served as the first Dean of Education.  Susan has taught abroad in Calcutta, India, and Karachi, Pakistan. She has written on the use and difficulty levels of textbooks in classrooms, children's writing, and multicultural education. 

  • Congress Director of the Asian Primary and Preschool Teachers Congress / 28 May (Sat) / 9.30am – 7.00pm
  • Keynote: Engaging and Extending Children’s Language Knowledge and Use Through Storybooks / 28 May (Sat) / 9.30am – 10.15am / Chamber

Syahrizan Mansor, Singapore
As Director, Head of Programming and On-Air of Nickelodeon Asia, Syahrizan Mansor is responsible for all programming and on-air promotions for Southeast Asia and Greater China. Bringing with her 14 years of experience in regional broadcast and media, Syahrizan oversees the development of the Nickelodeon’s programming and content to drive reach and growth of the Nickelodeon brand in the Asian market. Based in Singapore, Syahrizan is instrumental in extending the Nickelodeon experience to kids.

  • Plenary: Broadcasters and the Cross Platform Revolution / 28 May (Sat) / 5.00pm – 6.00pm / Gallery

Tarie Sabido, Philippines
Tarie Sabido was a lecturer of writing and literature at De La Salle University-Taft and Ateneo de Manila University, and editor of instructional materials at goFLUENT International. She was a judge for the 2009 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (CYBILS) and the 2010 Philippine National Children's Book Awards. Tarie blogs about children's and young adult literature at Into the Wardrobe, Asia in the Heart, and World on the Mind. She is also on the staff of Color Online, a blog about women writers of color for children, young adults, and adults.

Viswa Sadasivan, Singapore
With over 27 years of television experience, Viswa Sadasivan is best known to the public as the face of the (then) Singapore Broadcasting Corporation’s breakthrough news and current affairs programmes such as Talking Point, Feedback and Today in Parliament. He was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Singapore Press Holdings’s venture into the television industry. Today, Viswa is the CEO of Strategic Moves Pte Ltd, having conducted strategic communications training for the senior management from the regional operations of Fortune 500 companies to government and quasi-government agencies in Singapore.

  • Moderator: Roundtable: Blockbusters – The Muse in the Screen / 28 May (Sat)  / 6.15pm – 7.00pm / Gallery

Warren Buckleitner, US
Dr. Warren Buckleitner has been reviewing children’s technology products since the 1980s, and is the founding editor of Children's Technology Review. He is also a regular contributor to The New York Times, Scholastic Parent & Child, KidScreen and the popular Gadgetwise blog. In 2000, Warren founded the Dust or Magic Institute to help designers and researchers better understand children’s interactive media publishing. He also founded the Mediatech Foundation, a non-profit community technology center housed in his town's library, where serves as a Trustee.

  • Keynote: Decoding the Digital Kid / 28 May (Sat) / 9.30am – 10.15am / Gallery
  • Keynote: New Tools for an Old Job: A Survey of Apps for Literacy / 28 May (Sat) / 2.15pm – 3.00pm / Chamber

Wong Kok Cheong, Singapore
Prior to founding Sparky Animation, Dr. KC Wong was a Tenured Associate Professor at Nanyang Technology University, Singapore from 1993 to 2006. He is one of the pioneers significantly involved in developing the character animation pipeline of Digital Domain, USA. He played many key roles in the following animation shows: Dinosaur Train, Mr. Moon, Zigby, Freej, Veggie Tales: Big River Rescue, 3-2-1 Penguins, and Ten Commandments. He is currently the executive producer for the animation TV series Jack and Fleabag Monkeyface.

  • Panel Critique: First Look (for Illustrators) / 26 May (Thurs) / 2.30pm –4.00pm / Gallery
  • Developing Your Book into an Animation Property / 26 May (Thurs) / 5.45pm – 6.45pm / Screening Room

Ye Shufang, Singapore
Ye Shufang’s art practice spans over 15 years. She has held solo exhibitions at The Belgrade Cultural Centre, Serbia 2004; Cemeti Art House, Yogyakarta 2004 and Plastique Kinetic Worms, Singapore 2004. She has also been invited to participate in numerous curated exhibitions and forums in Venice, Stockholm, Beijing, Oslo, Seoul and Singapore. In 2005, she was commissioned to create an on-site installation artwork for the Singapore Pavilion at the World Exposition in Nagoya, Japan. Shufang has been acknowledged in a number awards and is presently Assistant Director (Education & Outreach) at the National Art Gallery, Singapore. 

  • Bringing Art to Children: the Making of Salted Fish, A Picture Book by the National Art Gallery, Singapore / 26 May (Thurs) / 4.00pm – 5.00pm / Living Room

Yeo Wei Wei, Singapore
Yeo Wei Wei completed her doctorate on Dante and nineteenth-century British poetry and painting at Cambridge University in 2000.  From 2000 to 2007 she was Assistant Professor at the department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore.  She headed the department of English at School of the Arts, spearheading the teaching of literature through creative writing.  She is presently Assistant Director (Publications & Resource Centre) at the National Art Gallery.  She has published essays, reviews, short stories, poems, a novella, and a children’s picture book.   

  • Bringing Art to Children: the Making of Salted Fish, A Picture Book by the National Art Gallery, Singapore / 26 May (Thurs) / 4.00pm – 5.00pm / Living Room

Yusof Gajah, Malaysia
The roots of Yusof Gajah’s current paintings come from more than two decades of exploring naïve art not only for art’s sake but also for its story telling possibilities. An accomplished children’s book illustrator, Yusof has won several prestigious awards including the 1997 Grand Prix awards at Noma Concours for Children’s Picture Book Illustration in Japan. Best loved for his delightful Tiga Ekor Gajah children’s book, Yusof reveals himself as a storyteller with a sensitive way of imparting knowledge and wry wit that ignites our imagination, children and adult alike.

  • Specialised Workshop: Picture Book Production Workshop (Malay)* / 28 May (Sat) / 1.30pm – 4.30pm / Living Room

Yvone Foong, Singapore
Yvone has worked in Los Angeles, Hollywood in the film, television and animation industry as Vice President for Mike Newell’s film and television production companies which directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Prince of Persia. As the Executive Vice President of Distribution and Business Development for an entertainment company based in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, Yvone opened up content distribution on mobile platforms in Asia. Later, as Chief Operating Officer of an IPTV company, she acquired a large number of content for mobile and internet delivery platforms including Sony movies, HIT! Entertainment for kids, KBS, to name a few. Currently, she is CEO of Zixxe Pte. Ltd., a company which creates and produces mobile content for kids on the iphone and android platforms.

  • Plenary: The Digital Landscape – What Kids Want / 28 May (Sat) / 10.15am – 11.15am / Gallery
  • Roundtable: Blockbusters – The Muse in the Screen / 28 May (Sat) / 6.15pm – 7.00pm / Gallery

Curators for Children’s Book Illustrators’ Gallery (BIG)

Susanna Goho-Quek, Singapore
Susanna trained and worked as a fashion designer until her marriage in 1971, then was a housewife until becoming an interior designer and artist in 1991. Susanna has written and illustrated an original children’s story book “God Is Hu?”. A version of this book was produced using textures and braille, for the visually handicapped. Most recently she has completed illustrations for the original fairy tale "A Single Tear" written by KK Seet. In her spare time she teaches children's art at the National Geographic store in Kuala Lumpur. Her latest project is training refugee teenagers to become art instructors to preschool-age children.

Kenneth Quek, Malaysia
Kenneth is the Regional Advisor for the of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Singapore chapter.



The festival organisers reserve the right to change speakers, events and/or session times, dates, and other details as necessary.