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Ace Khong

Ace Khong

Multimedia Designer, illustrator (Singapore)

Ace Khong studied graphic design at LASALLE College of the Arts, where he graduated in 1999. He became actively involved in design and illustration, and became known as a prolific illustrator. His publications in Chinese include a picture book titled Jurogic and a children’s picture book A Visit to Ah Ma. Ace draws inspiration from his love of art and his passion for drawing and design.

acekhong.wordpress.com

Adarna House

Adarna House

Publisher (Philippines)

For over 35 years, Adarna House has been responding to the needs of Filipino children to have enjoyable literary experiences. Their books now serve Filipino kids of every age across the world — from birth through teenage years.

Akiko Beppu

Akiko Beppu

Editorial Director (Japan)

Akiko Beppu has worked as an editor for over 30 years. She has edited a wide range of children’s books, from baby books, picture books, middle grade to YA. The rights of some of these books have been sold in Asian countries. As an editor, she believes in reading everything that catches her eye, and buying, not borrowing, the books she wants to read.

Allan Menagh

Allan Menagh

General Manager, Kumon Asia & Oceania Pte Ltd (Singapore)

Allan's current role is the leadership of an established network of 85 franchises, 25 full-time staff, 75 franchisees and 16,000 enrolments. With 20 years of operations in Singapore, Kumon is still in high demand for its world-renowned maths, English and Chinese materials, personalised instruction and reputation for positively nurturing the high-order self-learning attitude and skills in even the youngest children.

Andrea Pasion-Flores

Andrea Pasion-Flores

General Manager, Anvil Philippines (Philippines)

Andrea Pasion-Flores is the general manager of Anvil Philippines, Inc. one of the biggest general trade publishers in the Philippines. Anvil publishes adult fiction, nonfiction, children's picture books, middle grade chap books, and nonfiction. Before she joined Anvil, Andrea was an agent for Jacaranda Literary Agency handling fiction and the children's list. Previous to that, she was the Executive Director of the National Book Development Board of the Philippines.

Anna Salaman

Anna Salaman

Executive Director, Playeum (Singapore)

Anna Salaman is an active champion for creativity in the lives of children and joined Playeum as Executive Director in July 2015. With an extensive background in arts and cultural programming, she has presented at conferences in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Belgium and the UK. She has put her passion into practice at ArtScience Museum (Singapore), the Victoria & Albert Museum (UK) and the Discover Story Centre (UK).

Aurelia Tan

Aurelia Tan

Author and Founder of Harvest Edutainment (Singapore)

Aurelia is trained as a primary school teacher at National Insitute of Education, Nanyang Technology University. She has more than a decade of teaching experience and has taught in local primary schools and in Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC). Aurelia pursued a psychology degree from Murdoch University (Australia) in 2008 and graduated with First Class Honours in 2011.

Avery Fischer Udagawa

Avery Fischer Udagawa

Translator (Japan)

Avery Fischer Udagawa translated the MG novel J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965 by Shogo Oketani. Her work has appeared in Kyoto Journal, Literary Mama and Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. She coordinates the SCBWI Japan Translation Group and is SCBWI International Translator Coordinator.

www.averyfischerudagawa.com

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Brian Zimmerman

Brian Zimmerman

Puppeteer (Malaysia)

At 40-something, Brian is probably the biggest kid on the block. With a love for puppetry and clowning and writing children’s books, as well as dreaming up concepts for children’s television shows, he is never without something wild and wacky bouncing around in his head. He has produced shows for clients like Nickelodeon and Disney and loves using his childish creativity to bring a spark to the eye of an unsuspecting child. 

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Calef Brown

Calef Brown

Author and Illustrator (USA)

Calef Brown is an illustrator, writer and educator. He has written and illustrated a dozen award-winning picture books, including Polkabats and Octopus Slacks, Hallowilloween, and Flamingos on the Roof, a #1 New York Times best-seller. He has also illustrated books by Daniel Pinkwater, Jonah Winter, and Edward Lear. Calef lives in Providence Rhode Island and is an assistant professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Cara Lee

Cara Lee

Assistant Academic Head & Head of the Preschool Practicum Centre, St James’ Church Kindergarten (Singapore)

Cara Lee is the Assistant Academic Head & Head of the Preschool Practicum Centre in St James’ Church Kindergarten. She holds a Masters in early childhood education and has been in the field for over a decade. She currently mentors student teachers on practicum and manages the programme and professional development of teachers. She also conducts training on pedagogy, language development and mentoring.

Catherine Khoo

Catherine Khoo

Managing Director/Publisher, Janus Education (Singapore)

Author, educator, and editor, Catherine Khoo, has been writing and publishing since 1988. She created Singapore’s very own Young Author Scheme in 2003, mentoring under-18s to pen their first novel. She recently launched her memoirs which led to the creation of Writing From The Heart, mentoring over-40’s to write their heart out!

Cathy Hirano

Cathy Hirano

Translator (Japan)

Cathy Hirano’s translations include Yumoto Kazumi’s The Friends, winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder Award in 1997, and Nahoko Uehashi’s Moribito I and II, winners of the Batchelder Award and the Batchelder Honor Award, respectively, in 2009–2010. Nahoko Uehashi was the winner of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Chihoko Tanaka

Chihoko Tanaka

Section chief in charge of services for children, International
Library of Children’s Literature
(Japan)

Chihoko Tanaka joined the International Library of Children’s Literature in 2006. As the chief of the Children’s Services Section, she manages the browsing rooms for children and performs during Story Hours for Children and Nursery-Rhyme Hours for Toddlers.

Chitra Shegar

Chitra Shegar

Director, Reading Edge Academy (Singapore)

Dr. Chitra Shegar served as Assistant Professor at the English Language and Literature Department of the National Institute of Education from 2004 to 2015. Currently, she is the director of Reading Edge Academy which facilitates pedagogical shift in literacy instruction in educational institutions. Her areas of specialisation include language acquisition, language teaching methodology, literacy instruction and children’s literature. 

Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon

Illustrator (Australia)

Chris Nixon is a creative based on the west coast of Australia exploring effective communication through illustration, design and art direction. Inspired by the handcrafted, Nixon enjoys the challenge of working across a wide range of media from children’s books to public art to illustration and motion graphics.

Colin South

Colin South

Producer, Media World Pictures Pty Ltd (Australia)

A co-founder of Australian independent production company, Media World Pictures, Colin has produced or co-produced all of the companies' award winning film and television productions over the past 30 years. A specialist in the area of animation, with six series to date , ncluding The Silver Brumby and Dogstar, Media World’s productions have been translated into a dozen languages and sold to over 100 territories. 

Coonoor Kripalani

Coonoor Kripalani

Author (India (Based in Singapore))

Singapore-based author of bilingual picture-books in Hindi and English, teaching numbers, colours, shapes and the Hindi alphabet, as well as story books on daily life. Coonoor's books attract children with their lively content and illustrations, building early learning skills (for children from 2 to 6 years) in both languages in a fun and playful way, creating memories that they will carry into adulthood. Her book introducing Yoga to children is in its fourth printing. 

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

Musician and Author (New Zealand)

Craig Smith is an APRA children award-winning, full-time musician/author living in New Zealand. His book The Wonky Donkey won the Children’s Choice Award at the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in 2010 with his children's album attaining gold status. His new books, My Daddy Ate an Apple and Square Eyes are also #1 selling books. Craig has sold nearly 1 million copies worldwide.

Cynthea Liu

Cynthea Liu

President, Starts With Us, Inc. and Executive Director of the Bryan Johnson Foundation (USA)

Cynthea Liu seeks to publish content for children from pre-school through high school that empowers youth to make a positive impact on the world by pursuing their talents and interests. She is also an editor and an active children’s book author.

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author & Faculty, MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts (USA)

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the best-selling, award-winning author of 14 books as well as numerous short stories and essays for young readers. She’s best known for writing fantasy, contemporary realism and diverse casts. Cynthia hails from Austin, Texas and is on the MFA faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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Daniel Palma Tayona

Daniel Palma Tayona

Book designer and illustrator (Philippines)

Daniel Palma Tayona worked as a bookstore manager, puppeteer, and art director. Since its inception in 2005, Daniel has been part of the Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development as its creative director. He has also designed and illustrated children’s books for more than 15 years. His works include Doll Eyes (Winner of the National Children’s Book Award in 2012), and The Rocking Horse (Winner of the 2007 Gintong Aklat Award). 

David Liew

David Liew

Illustrator (Singapore)

David “Wolfe” Liew is an illustrator, cartoonist, sculptor, and model-maker. Besides illustrating books and magazines, he’s the main artist for the children’s series Ellie Belly written by Eliza Teoh. Once in a while, he exchanges the pencils for a pen, and works with words instead.

Deborah Ahenkorah

Deborah Ahenkorah

Founder, Golden Baobab (Ghana)

Deborah Ahenkorah’s vision is to ensure young Africans have a consistent supply of stellar African books. She started Golden Baobab, renowned for the Golden Baobab Prizes, to inspire African writers and illustrators to create stories for young readers. She is the CEO of African Bureau for Children’s Stories, a publishing house that specialises in publishing award-wining stories that reflect African experiences.

goldenbaobab.org

Denise Tan

Denise Tan

Co-founder, Closetful of Books (Singapore)

Denise started Closetful of Books after six years of working with children’s literature. With Closetful of Books, she shares her love for reading through specially-tailored workshops with authors and illustrators and super-duper fun bookfairs in local and international schools. Denise also puts her studies in Mass Communications and English Literature to good use by spending all her time reading.

closetfulofbooks.com

Dina Rara

Dina Rara

Project Manager, Sesame Street Indonesia – Jalan Sesama (Creative Indigo Production) & Amazing Edu (Indonesia)

As Program Manager of Jalan Sesama, an international award-winning TV series, Dina Rara has been involved in educational media projects, especially for early age children, for almost 10 years. Recently, she also joined Amazing Edu to produce digital books from Indonesia. She believes that successful educational media is defined by how we can produce impacts in children development, and it is her goal to improve awareness on the importance of safe, highly educational and entertaining media for children to relevant stakeholders. 

Donna Lim

Donna Lim

Lecturer, English Language and Literature Academic Group at NIE (Singapore)

Donna Lim is a language teacher educator with the National Institute of Education. She holds a PhD in Learning Environments (in the primary English classroom) from Curtin University, Australia. She has considerable teaching experience with young EL learners and enjoys working with primary schools to improve EL teaching and learning.

Duck Learning

Duck Learning

Educational solutions provider (Singapore)

Duck Learning provides a distinctive experience for educators and students that combines curriculum content and learning solutions with an offering of extensive training, professional development, classroom management and customer support. In 2014, Duck Learning consolidated all of its offerings for schools in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to provide complete STEM Solutions for its clients. 

ducklearning.com

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Eliza Teoh

Eliza Teoh

Director, Bubbly Books Pte Ltd (Singapore)

Eliza is the author of the national bestselling Ellie Belly series. Her company, Bubbly Books, is also responsible for nurturing other authors. Among other titles, the children’s publishing company has also made waves with Young Adult series RunHideSeek as well as the award-nominated Robozonic and Extraordinary Losers series.  

Emily Lim

Emily Lim

Author (Singapore)

Author Emily Lim is the 1st outside North America to win 3 medals at the IPPY Awards. Her books have been published in 5 countries; crossed into theatre, Apps and animation; and used in schools. Emily's award-winning Bunny Finds The Right Stuff was recently adapted to children's theatre for a 30-shows run.

Evi Shelvia

Evi Shelvia

Illustrator (Indonesia)

Evi Shelvia is an Indonesian award winning Illustrator. One of her books was listed in Amazon Movers&Shakers for being a bestselling book on its launching day. She has been working with many writers from several countries, and recently also writes and illustrates her own picture book series called Little Friends.

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Felicia Low-Jimenez

Felicia Low-Jimenez

Co-author of the Sherlock Sam series (Singapore)

Felicia Low-Jimenez has been a geeky bookseller for most of her adult life. She has bought books, sold books, marketed books, and now she is trying her hand at writing books. She loves to nap and eat chocolate. She spends most of her free time reading, and, when she can afford it, she travels, usually to look for beautiful bookstores around the world. She co-writes the Sherlock Sam children's detective series with her husband, Adan.

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Gabriela Lee

Gabriela Lee

Author (Philippines)

Gabriela Lee received a Master of Arts in Literary Studies from the National University of Singapore. She has been published for her poetry and fiction in the Philippines, Singapore, the United States, and Australia. Her latest work is slated to appear in the anthologies Science Fiction: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults, and Philippine Speculative Fiction Vol. 10. She currently teaches creative writing at the University of the Philippines. She can be found online as @sundialgirl. 

Gabriel Evans

Gabriel Evans

Illustrator and author (Australia)

Gabriel Evans is an Australian illustrator of children’s books. Titles include Roses are Blue (Walker Books) by Sally Murphy and Annie’s Snails (Walker Books) by Dianne Wofler. He's written and illustrated The Woodland Whiskers'’books, an interactive series from Five Mile Press. As well as drawing, Gabriel loves growing trees.

George Jacobs

George Jacobs

Learning Support Advisor, James Cook University Singapore (Singapore)

Dr George Jacobs teaches workshops on reading and cooperative learning for the National Book Development Council of Singapore, as well as other institutions. He has written widely on reading aloud to children, extensive reading, cooperative learning and student-centred instruction. George also works with such charities as Vegetarian Society (Singapore) and Kampung Senang.

Geraldine Zuzarte

Geraldine Zuzarte

Centre Director, The Caterpillar’s Cove Child Development and Study Centre (Singapore)

Dr Geraldine Teo-Zuzarte (PhD) joined SEED Institute (then RTRC-Asia) in 1998 and is currently Head, Professional Practices and Development, NTUC First Campus. She oversees the professional practices and development for all the childcare related business units within First Campus, namely The Caterpillar’s Cove, The Little Skool House and My First Skool. In addition to her current appointment, Geraldine is also the Centre Director of The Caterpillar’s Cove Child Development and Study Centre.

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Hans Hartung

Hans Hartung

Retired teacher and journalist (Germany)

Hans Hartung works with pop-up books for 30 years. He is a journalist and taught as teacher at various primary and secondary schools for handicap students. He is convinced that movable and three-dimensional books forced the attention and memory by children of all ages. Hans Hartung is a member of The Movable Book Society (MBS) since 2002.

Haresh Tilani

Haresh Tilani

Co-founder, Ministry of Funny (Singapore)

Haresh Tilani is the co-founder of Ministry of Funny, a YouTube comedy channel in Singapore. Since leaving the corporate world to work on his channel full-time, MOF has grown to more than 46,000 subscribers, with their videos featured on almost every major media outlet in Singapore as well as TV channels as far away as the US. 

www.youtube.com/user/MinistryOfFunnyTV

Helen Mangham

Helen Mangham

Literary Agent, Jacaranda Literary Agency (Singapore)

Helen has been a Partner Agent at Singapore-based Jacaranda Literary Agency since 2012. Previously, she spent over eight years working in publishing in London, where she started her career at Curtis Brown Literary Agency.  She has also worked as a book publicist. Helen has been a long-term expat and has lived in Eastern Europe and Taiwan before moving to Singapore.

Hidayah Amin

Hidayah Amin

Publisher, Helang Books (Singapore)

Hidayah Amin is an award-winning author who is also the Publisher of independent publishing house, Helang Books. Hidayah started writing on her Hidayah, World Traveller blog so that her mother could live vicariously through her adventures. She has written three children’s picture books and three non-fiction books since 2010. 

Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Author, Teacher (Japan)

Holly Thompson writes fiction and poetry for children, teens and adults and is the author of the verse novels Falling into the Dragon’s Mouth; The Language Inside; and Orchards and the forthcoming lyrical picture book Twilight Chant. Longtime resident of Japan, she teaches writing in Japan, the U.S., and places in between, and serves as Co-Regional Advisor of SCBWI Japan. 

hatbooks.com

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inwardBOUND

inwardBOUND

Drama School (Singapore)

inwardBOUND was formed by Nora Crothers in 2003. Now, spearheaded by her, inwardBOUND and her team of accredited drama trainers, are continuously uplifting the standard of drama in Singapore. Always well-reheased and performed, plays created by inwardBOUND are recognized as being both heart-warming and provocative. In addition to directing youth theatre, inwardBOUND has been developing course structures for drama curriculum and creating niche areas for drama in schools.

Izumi Satou

Izumi Satou

General Manager of Global Relationships, Bookstart Japan (Japan)

Izumi Satou came across Bookstart during her visit to the UK in 1999 and got involved in the establishment of Bookstart Japan. She engaged in the creation of local schemes which work well in Japanese social context. She is in charge of the international PR project which aims to share Bookstart experience with those who deliver similar programmes around the world.

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Jacqueline Chung

Jacqueline Chung

Senior Principal & Academic Director, St James Kindergarten (Singapore)

Jacqueline Chung is the Senior Principal & Academic Director of St. James’ Church Kindergarten. She holds a PhD in early childhood education and is an ECDA Fellow. Jacqueline conducts workshops and talks on a variety of topics surrounding the visual arts, music, language & literacy, learning environments, mentoring and leadership.

sjck.org.sg

Janet Evans

Janet Evans

Independent Scholar (England)

Dr. Janet Evans’ current research interests include an exploration of children’s responses to strange, ambiguous and unconventional picturebooks. Her latest academic book, Challenging and Controversial Picturebooks: Creative and Critical Responses to Visual Texts, was published in July 2015. Janet has taught in countries like India, Nigeria, America, Chile and Spain, and has spoken at many international conferences and conducted numerous professional development courses. In 2010 she was awarded a research scholarship to study at the International Youth Library in Munich.

Jean Qingwen Loo

Jean Qingwen Loo

Creative Lead, Photographer and Filmmaker, Logue (Singapore)

Jean is the founder of LOGUE, a content creation studio that creates social dialogue through building strong narratives across the mediums of documentary film, photography and the written word. LOGUE derives its energy from creating purposeful work, powered by an artistic vision rooted in advocating values that shape the world. Together with the Lien Foundation and In Merry Motion, Logue drives the Superhero Me movement, inspiring children to develop resilience through arts and craft.

Jen Banyard

Jen Banyard

Author (Australia)

Jen Banyard is a West Australian author of upbeat mysteries and adventures. In her writing she aims first to entertain but also to challenge. She has a doctorate in Creative Writing. Jen’s books include Spider Lies and the Riddle Gully series for which film rights were sold last year.

Jenny Murray

Jenny Murray

Acting Director, Children’s Books Ireland (Ireland)

Jenny Murray is currently Acting Director of Children’s Books Ireland, and has worked for the company for over 11 years in various capacities, most recently as Publications and Communications Manager. 

Jill Coombs

Jill Coombs

Headteacher, Lorna Whiston Schools Pte Ltd (Malaysia)

Jill Coombs holds a Master’s Degree in Theatre Arts and a post Graduate Certificate in education in English and Drama from London University. She has spent her professional life working in communication, through both education and theatre arts. Her career has spanned England, the U.S.A., Spain, Japan and Malaysia. Jill’s educational experience covers lecturing at universities in the UK to teaching pre-school in Japan. Jill is currently the Head Teacher of the Lorna Whiston Study Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Julia Lawrinson

Julia Lawrinson

Author (Australia)

Julia Lawrinson has published twelve books for children and young adults since 2001. Her latest novel for children, The Flyaway Girls (Puffin, 2015), is girls and gymnastics, friendships and what to do when you’re not the best at what you love. Before You Forget, a Young Adult novel about a girl whose father develops early onset Alzheimer’s disease, will be published by Penguin in 2017.

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Kajiya, Bunsho

Kajiya, Bunsho

Managing Director, Shogakukan Asia (Japan (based in Singapore))

Mr. Bunsho Kajiya is the Managing Director of Shogakukan Asia, a 100% subsidiary of Shogakukan Inc., Japan. Drawing from career experience as both journalist and editor, Mr. Kajiya expanded his expertise in international licensing and global strategy. He spearheaded Shogakukan Asia’s setup and was subsequently designated as MD in 2013.

Kazuo Iwamura

Kazuo Iwamura

Author, Illustrator (Japan)

Kazuo Iwamura’s long-selling picture book series, the Family of Fourteen, has been loved and read by children around the world. In 1998, he opened the Iwamura Kazuo Ehon-no-Oka Picture Book Museum in Tochigi. His many awards and honors include the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters), which he received in 2014 from the French government.

Ken Mizusawa

Ken Mizusawa

Teaching Fellow, National Institute of Education (Singapore)

Ken Mizusawa’s plays have been licensed for performance in both Singapore and New Zealand. Red Wheelbarrow Books published his collection of six plays targeted primarily at young people, The Boy Who Caused 9/11 and Other Plays, in late 2013. This collection included two plays that were Highly Commended in, as well as one that was shortlisted for, Plays for the Young 2009. His most recent play Why Do We Do What We Do? was shortlisted for the prestigious Adam NZ Play Award 2015.

Kitaab

Kitaab

Print and Online Media (Singapore)

Kitaab is a Singapore-based publishing company that focuses on Asian writing, translations and publishing. Kitaab  started off as a literary platform to connect and empower Asian writers and ventured into publishing in 2013. Kitaab is launching an imprint for children, Kitaab Junior, in 2016.

kitaab.org/

Kiyomi Akita

Kiyomi Akita

Professor, Graduate School of Education at The University of Tokyo (Japan)

Kiyomi Akita's major is in educational psychology. She is the former president of Japan Reading Association. She got the award of Science of Reading in 2014. She has been a council member of Bookstart Japan and a council member of the Characteristic Culture Promotion Organisation. She contributes to promote children’s book reading activities in Japan.

Kow Xiao Jun (Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble)

Kow Xiao Jun (Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble)

Mandarin Theatre Arts Company (Singapore)

Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble (YPPAE) is a Mandarin theatre arts company by the young, for the young. YPPAE is dedicated to the research and development of theatre arts and arts education for the young, and aspire to stimulate creativity and independent thinking in them.YPPAE has established itself as a leading children performing arts group locally, producing “box office hits” in Mandarin children theatre productions every year. 

Kyle Hughes Odgers

Kyle Hughes Odgers

Artist and Author (Australia)

Kyle Hughes-Odgers is an Australian artist. He has held exhibitions and created public art extensively throughout Australia and internationally in New York, Los Angeles, London, Madrid and Berlin. He won a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award for his debut picture book, Ten Tiny Things (with Meg McKinlay).

Kylie Howarth

Kylie Howarth

Author and Illustrator (Australia)

Kylie is an award-winning graphic designer and artist from Perth, Western Australia. She was raised in the country along side her brother, dog, sheep, several orphaned kangaroos and one very cheeky echidna. She is the author and illustrator of children’s picture books Fish Jam and Chip. Kylie has been published in Australia, New Zealand, France and the U.S. Her next book 1, 2, Pirate Stew is due for release late 2016.

Kyoko Sakai

Kyoko Sakai

Chairperson, Doshinsha Publishing CO.,The International Kamishibai Association of Japan) (Japan)

Kyoko Sakai started working at Doshinsha Publishing, a publisher targeting children readers, and was the editor of picture books, including The adventure in the closet and the The Fourteen forest mice series. In 1997 she becomes the president of the company. In 2001 she starts the International Kamishibai Association of Japan(IKAJA). Currently she is the chairman of Doshinsha Publishing and the representative of IKAJA.

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Lachlann Carter

Lachlann Carter

Co-founder and Program Director, 100 Story Building​  (Australia)

Lachlann Carter is co-founder and Program Director of 100 Story Building, a social enterprise dedicated to providing rich storytelling opportunities for children and young people. He has taught in a number of schools in Melbourne diverse western suburbs, and has worked in educational programs for the National Trust of Australia.

Lee Seow Ser

Lee Seow Ser

Writer & Editor, Helang Books (Singapore)

When not lawyering, Lee Seow Ser writes, edits and parents. The editor of non-fiction books Malay Weddings Don't Cost $50 and Other Facts about Malay Culture (2014), and A Journey of Giving: The LBKM Story (2016), dreams of publishing her first picture books about boys, rain trees and a giant jar.

Leonard Marcus

Leonard Marcus

Historian, Writer, Book Critic, Exhibition Curator (USA)

Leonard Marcus is one of the world’s leading writers about children’s books and the people who create them. He is the author or editor of more than 25 award-winning books and writes regularly for The New York Times Book Review. Leonard teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts.

Leslie Lee

Leslie Lee

Executive Director, Programming, Branded Media and Content, Walt Disney Company (Singapore)

As the Executive Director of Programming, Branded Media and Content at the Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia), Leslie Lee is responsible for the on-air content – programming and acquisitions of Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD across the region. Having been with Disney Channels for over 8 years, Leslie has been at the forefront of key channel initiatives including the rebranding of Playhouse Disney to Disney Junior, the successful launch of Disney XD in Southeast Asia and the roll out of the branded Disney kids apps in Singapore and the Philippines.

Liang Huiyu

Liang Huiyu

Founder, Sprout Language Centre (Singapore)

Liang Huiyu is the Founder of the Sprout Language Centre. She was a former secondary school teacher and has spoken at several book events. She actively promotes the reading of Chinese books in local schools and among young families.

Li Li

Li Li

Research Associate, Singapore Centre for Chinese Language, NTU (Singapore)

Dr Li Li is a Research Associate in Singapore Centre for Chinese Language, Nanyang Technological University. She developed her recent research interests in bilingual education and teaching Chinese as a second language working closely with educators in Singapore. Her work in these areas has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

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Marc Checkley

Marc Checkley

Founder, Creative Director IO CREATIVE (Singapore and Switzerland)

Marc has more than 15 years experience in broadcasting, content production, development and consultancy across Asia-Pacific. He regularly speaks at creative industry events and conducts workshops in ideation and public speaking. Marc is current Chairman of the AFCC's Cross-Platform Summit, judge of the Vancouver Web Fest and was a key advisor to Singapore’s Workforce Development Agency for television and screenwriting training frameworks. In 2016, Marc launched IO Creative, a production, development and consultancy agency with offices in Singapore, UK and Switzerland.

Marco Sparmberg

Marco Sparmberg

Founder/organizer, StoryCode Singapore (Singapore)

Marco Sparmberg has worked on numerous new media pioneer projects in China, Hong Kong, Germany and the UK during the past 12 years. He is one of the leading transmedia evangelists in Asia. In 2014, he joined Singapore’s MediaCorp where he serves as Social Media Lead, accelerating the company’s digital transformation.

Maria Alessandrino

Maria Alessandrino

Emerging writer, reviewer and Festival Program Coordinator (Australia)

Maria Alessandrino is a writer, reviewer and book lover. She has worked in the publishing industry for over 10 years, predominantly in the Children’s sector and is currently employed as Program Coordinator for the Perth Writers Festival. She lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Marianne Dark

Marianne Dark

Headteacher, Lorna Whiston Schools Pte Ltd (Malaysia)

Marianne Dark has been an educator for 21 years, having worked with young learners in the UK, Italy and Malaysia. She has taught English to both native and non-native speakers of all ages in a variety of contexts, including secondary schools, corporate settings and private institutions. Currently the Head Teacher of Lorna Whiston Schools, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Marianne is also involved in delivering teacher training to both local and foreign teachers.

Mariko Nagai

Mariko Nagai

Poet, Author (Japan)

Having grown up in Europe and America, Mariko Nagai has received the Pushcart Prizes both in poetry and fiction. Author of books for both children and adult, she is also a translator of Japanese modern poetry. She currently lives in Tokyo and is an Associate Professor of Temple University Japan Campus.

Maya Thiagarajan

Maya Thiagarajan

Teacher, Author (Singapore)

A high school English teacher, Maya Thiagarajan taught in the US for over a decade and currently teaches at The United World College in Singapore. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middlebury College and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. Maya is also the author of "Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age," a book on how to blend the best of American and Asian approaches to education and parenting.

Melanie Lee

Melanie Lee

Author (Singapore)

Melanie Lee wrote The Adventures of Squirky the Alien book series (MPH Group Publishing) for her adopted son after realising that there was a dearth of children’s adoption books from Asia. She has also published a collection of short stories titled Imaginary Friends and co-authored Quiet Journeys, a Christian book on silent retreats. 

Michiko Matsukata

Michiko Matsukata

Curator, Chihiro Art Museum
 (Japan)

Michiko Matsukata is working as the curator planning and preparing exhibitions as well as in charge of the museum library in Chihiro Art Museum Azumino. The exhibitions she has curated include Yuri Norstein’s Picture Book Making, Korean Contemporary Picture Book Artists, Polish Picture Book Artists, Totto-chan’s square exhibition.

Miki Yamamoto

Miki Yamamoto

Manga Artist, Illustrator, Assistant Professor, University of Tsukuba (Japan)

Dr. Miki Yamamoto is Assistant Professor of Art and Design at the University of Tsukuba. She is a manga artist, a picture book artist, and a researcher of wordless picture books. She is the writer and illustrator of manga How Are You, which was selected for the 19th Japan Media Arts Festival Jury Selection, and Sunny Sunny Ann, which received the 17th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Creative Award.  

Tadahiko Motoyoshi

Tadahiko Motoyoshi

Director General, International Library of Children’s Literature (Japan)

Mr. Tadahiko Motoyoshi joined the National Diet Library in 1986. He has been appointed Director General of the International Library of Children's Literature (ILCL) from April 2016, after working in various sections in its parent organization the National Diet Library. With a wide range of work experience, he is ready to head the ILCL in the firm belief that reading has a significant impact on personality development. 

Murti Bunanta

Murti Bunanta

Children’s Literature Specialist and President, Society for The Advancement of Children’s Literature (SACL) and Indonesian Board on Books for Young People (INABBY) (Indonesia)

Murti Bunanta is a children’s literature specialist, researcher, children’s folklorist, and an international award-winning author of 50 books published in Indonesia, Canada, and the USA. Her books have been translated into several languages. She is the founder and president of Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature and Indonesian Section of IBBY that pioneered children's reading in Indonesia. She is an advocate for reading and quality children’s books, and serves as a member of the AFCC Board of Advisors.

Myra Garces-Bacsal

Myra Garces-Bacsal

Educator, Reviewer, Blogger (Singapore)

Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal is an Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University. She is the Programme Leader of the Masters and Bachelor’s Programme in High Ability Studies and Gifted Education. Dr Myra is also the founder of GatheringBooks.org, where she shares her passion for reading, children’s literature, poetry, and MG/YA fiction.

gatheringbooks.org

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Naomi Kojima

Naomi Kojima

Author, Illustrator (Japan)

Naomi Kojima is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Born in Japan, Naomi spent her childhood years in the US. Her first picture books were published in New York, and now, also in Japan, France, and Sweden. Naomi lives in Tokyo.

Nataly Rios Goico

Nataly Rios Goico

Creative Consultant, Conducttr (England)

Nataly is a creative consultant at Transmedia Storyteller Ltd. She graduated as a Systems Engineer and has an MA in Digital Media. She has also studies in Ballet and Photography. Recent projects include the transmedia experience The Chatfield for Mills&Boon, educational alternate reality game Cosmic Voyage Enterprises for the FCEE, and the serious game 3H for the National Public Health Institute of Mexico.

Nicola Choo

Nicola Choo

Co-founder & Lead Instructor, Drawing Right (Singapore)

Accredited by Dr. Betty Edwards, Nicola teaches the internationally acclaimed ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ programme in Singapore, and has helped people learn to draw anything they see – in just 5 days – and master skills previously thought impossible. Nicola also lectures at the National Institute of Education.

Noraminah Omar

Noraminah Omar

Author (Malaysia)

Noraminah Omar started her career in education early year 2000 and have involved more than 12 years in various early childhood bussineses. She is currently writing children’s picturebooks in Malay and English. Her books are mainly on family relationship and social development. She actively blogs at www.noraminahomar.com

Nurul Huda Hassan

Nurul Huda Hassan

Associate Librarian, National Library Board (Singapore)

Nurul Huda is an Associate Librarian at the National Library Board. She previously taught General Paper for 10 years. Her research interests include multi-literacy and multimodality, as well as discourse analysis, especially in relation to Singapore-based writing e.g. children’s writing & picture books, public service brochures, local advertisements. She has presented her research at conferences in Singapore, Denmark and Hungary.

Nury Vittachi

Nury Vittachi

Author (Hong Kong)

Nury Vittachi is the founder of the Asia Literary Review and the author of more than 30 books, many of which are for children. His works have been published on five continents.

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Odonata Publishing House

Odonata Publishing House

Publishing house (Malaysia)

Established in 1999, Odonata Publishing is based in Kuala Lumpur, with the aim of cultivating children’s reading habits by publishing series of books that suit local children’s reading needs. 

www.odonatabooks.com

Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver Phommavanh

Author, stand-up comedian, primary school teacher (Australia)

Oliver Phommavanh loves to make people laugh, whether it's on the page writing humour for kids or on stage as a stand-up comedian. He also shares his passion for writing with kids, using his experience as a primary school teacher. Oliver’s books include Thai-riffic!, Con-nerd, Punchlines, Thai-no-mite and Stuff Happens:Ethan

Otto Fong

Otto Fong

Comic Artist (Singapore)

Otto Fong is a cartoonist and former Raffles Institution science teacher. He has drawn the bestselling comic books called Sir Fong's Adventures in Science, authored a sci-fi series for young people, Black Peony, and a critically-acclaimed adult horror Bitter Suites. He has also penned the first of two R(A)-rated Mandarin plays in 1992, and two Arts Festival productions. He was the Outreach Fellow for Centre of Quantum Technologies in NUS.

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Panna d/o Kantilal

Panna d/o Kantilal

Senior Librarian, National Library Board (Singapore)

Panna, a Senior Librarian with the National Library Board, Singapore, has over 17 years’ experience as a collection development librarian. She specialises in the selection of children’s and young people’s materials and was responsible for the built collections at the Woodlands Regional Library, Bishan Public Library, Serangoon Public Library among others. She is also a professional storyteller.

Praveena K Cartelli

Praveena K Cartelli

Facilitator, Performer (Singapore)

Praveena K Cartelli graduated from LaSalle College of the Arts in 2014 from the Performance course. Ever since she has been heavily involved in teaching children and the art form of Storytelling. Her passion for performing, acting, dance and singing came together in this platform, that was nurtured by her mentor and teacher Ms Kamini Ramachandran. After intense work with children in Cambodia, and also having had the experience of storytelling in Rome, she is now exploring the art form in her own Mother Tongue.

Prem Anand

Prem Anand

Executive Research Writer (Singapore)

Prem Anand is an Executive Research Writer with Mediacorp TV. He started his career in television producing business news at CNBC Asia before joining Mediacorp as a producer in 2003. In 2006, he switched from producing to writing. He is currently head writer of The Noose. 

Putri Rahartana

Putri Rahartana

Vice to Production Director, Business and Partnership, Creative Indigo Production (Indonesia)

Having 20 years of experience in producing entertainment TV programs, managing marketing and sales, and new business partnerships for the company, Putri Rahartana has set her heart on Jalan Sesama, the Indonesian version of Sesame Street and helps to oversee the project’s TV production, public relations, outreach and government/NGO/broadcast relations.

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Quek Sue Yian

Quek Sue Yian

Founder, MagicBird Publishing and Executive Director, Hong Leong Foundation (Malaysia)

Quek Sue Yian is the founder of MagicBird Publishing, a non-profit publisher of children’s books, a founding director of Anyaman Preschools and of a new social enterprise Words on Wheels Sdn. Bhd. Her dream is for poverty to never be a barrier for children to have access to good quality stories and she hopes to build 100 Reading Spaces across Malaysia. She’s the author of Kailash, a recipient of the White Raven Award 2014, Tulip and Tremendous Trio and co- author of Do Noses Grow When Lies are Told.

magicbirdworld.org

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Ramineh Rezazadeh

Ramineh Rezazadeh

Translator and Researcher (Iran)

Ramineh Rezazadeh has MA in English literature from Shahid Beheshti University and is a children researcher and translator. She is a member of Iranian Children Book Council, an International Copy right advisor and manager of Nowrouz Literary Agency under the supervision of Iranian Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance. She is working as a Cultural and International Advisor in holding many International Exchange projects with foreign writers and illustrators in the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults.

Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas

Creative Director, One Animation Pte Ltd (Singapore)

Richard has worked as both a CG & traditional concept artist for 14 years.  Employed as a lead artist at Sony Computer Entertainment he has worked on numerous titles, including the Bafta winning “Little Big Planet PSP”.

Robert A. Alejandro

Robert A. Alejandro

Illustrator and children’s art show host (Philippines)

Robert A. Alejandro is a graphic designer, children’s book illustrator, a product designer and TV on cam host. He is a product designer of the family-owned gift shop “papermelroti”, and is an award-winning book designer and space designer under his design business “raa art & design”. For more than a decade, Robert was working as an on cam reporter for the Probe Team.

Ruth Wong

Ruth Wong

Associate Professor, English Language and Literature, NIE (Singapore)

Associate Professor Ruth Y L WONG specializes in primary methodology courses on teaching English at the National Institute of Education. She is interested in literacy issues, especially in the areas of learning how to read and write for non-native speakers of English. She believes in the power of reading, and indulges in the collection of children’s books as a hobby.

Ryo Leong

Ryo Leong

Senior Director, Programming, Youth Segment, MediaCorp Pte Ltd (Singapore)

A media industry veteran of more than 18 years, Ryo started with channel branding and promotions for Channel 8 before moving to Channel U and assisted to set up TodayTV in Vietnam. He then undertook Channel Management and commissioning for Channel U, Channel 5 and currently okto and 987.

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Saad Chinoy

Saad Chinoy

Chief Geek, Tusitala (RLS) Pte Ltd (Singapore)

Saad Chinoy is a professional geek with a passion for technology and OpenSource philosophy, Saad conceptualizes tech solutions. Charged with Technology for Tusitala, he’s been developing a digital publishing platform that leverages mobile devices to create unique user experiences.

Saleemah Ismail

Saleemah Ismail

Director and Co-founder, New Life Stories (Singapore)

Saleemah is a development professional, social entrepreneur and gender equality & diversity advocate. She provides advisory and strategic consultation to UN Women. Saleemah co-founded New Life Stories, a nonprofit working with incarcerated mothers and their children supporting families break the cycle of poverty. Saleemah also co-founded Aidha, a business school for migrants and low-income communities in 2006.

www.newlifestories.org.sg

Sarah Odedina

Sarah Odedina

Publisher (England)

Sarah began her publishing career selling translation rights and moved in to editorial as the Publishing Director of the children’s list of Bloomsbury Publishing where she worked for 14 years and oversaw the publication of the Harry Potter series as well as publisher for many other best-selling prize-winning novels and picture books.  In 2011 Sarah founded the successful and award-winning Hot Key Books.  Sarah is now Editor-at-Large for Pushkin Press commissioning titles for the children's and YA list. She is the founder of The Read Quarterly, a magazine for adults about children’s literature from around the world as well as the curator of the children's section of FlipSide Literary Festival in Suffolk, England.

thereadquarterly.com

Satoko Yamano

Satoko Yamano

Singer (Japan)

Satoko Yamano is one of Japan’s top singers of Doyo (traditional Japanese children’s songs) and anime songs. She has recorded over 1,000 songs, including the opening theme for anime Doraemon. She has served as master of ceremonies and leading singer of a popular music program on the national educational television of Japan for many years.

Seán McHugh

Seán McHugh

Digital Literacy Coach, United World College of South East Asia (Singapore)

Seán McHugh works closely with management teams to lead the pedagogically effective and authentic integration of digital technologies into school curricula, by facilitating activities, both formal and informal, within a range of contexts and involving a wide variety of participants. These activities contribute to enhanced teacher understanding and practice involving digital technologies to support students’ learning.

Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan

Artist, illustrator, writer (Australia)

Shaun Tan is an artist, writer and film-maker based in Melbourne. His illustrated books for both adults and children include The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Rules of Summer, Tales from Outer Suburbia and the acclaimed wordless novel The Arrival. In 2011 he received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden, and an Academy Award for his short animated film The Lost Thing.

Shirley Lim

Shirley Lim

Librarian, National Library Board (Singapore)

Shirley is a librarian at the National Library Board. She takes care of the children’s collection and conducts a range of programmes for children as well as adults. Her past professional experience includes working as a Social Policy research librarian at the Parliamentary Library of New Zealand. She graduated with a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree from Victoria University of Wellington in 2009. She is also a member of the Library Association of Singapore (LAS).

Sin Joo Ee

Sin Joo Ee

Senior Lecturer, Early Childhood Education, SIM University School of Human Development and Social Services (Singapore)

Dr. Sin holds a Doctorate of Arts in children Literature from Beijing Normal University, China, and is currently the Senior Lecturer of the Bachelor of Early Childhood and Chinese Language Education Programme (BECCE) at SIM University (UniSIM). She is an experienced trainer for qualified teachers. She won NUS Centre For Language Studies Teaching Excellence Award in 2011.

Soefara Jafney

Soefara Jafney

Illustrator, art director, designer (Malaysia)

Soefara is an illustrator, art director and designer. She has illustrated nine picture books with writer David Seow, all published by Epigram books since 2013; four of the books in the series were commissioned by Gardens by the Bay. She is also currently working with XM Studios, a statue company based in Singapore that is gaining international recognition. She is also part of the core team for HMO Collectibles, a statue company that produces Premium Game Collectibles. Soefara is now based in Singapore.

Syahrizan Mansor

Syahrizan Mansor

Vice President, Nickelodeon, Asia at Viacom International Media Networks (Singapore)

With two decades of TV experience, Syahrizan Mansor holds solid expertise as Vice President, Nickelodeon, Asia at Viacom International Media Networks. She is responsible for growing kids and family entertainment brands Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. across Greater China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. She also oversees content and creative production, programming, marketing and digital.

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Tamilarasi Subramaniam

Tamilarasi Subramaniam

Master Teacher, Academy of Singapore Teachers (Singapore)

Mrs Tamilarasi Subramaniam is a Master Teacher for Tamil Language at Academy of Singapore Teachers. She facilitates training and mentors Beginning & Senior teachers. She has 35 years of experience in the teaching and learning of Tamil Language with the passion for teaching children, imparting the knowledge of tradition, culture and values of Tamil Language. 

Tan Ai Khim

Tan Ai Khim

Design Lecturer / Designer-Illustrator, NAFA/ Helang Books (Singapore)

Ai Khim is an arts educator as well as an experimental artist-designer. Art is an emotional companion where she releases mental expressions in her works. Ai Khim is intrigued at how art can be so ductile: the irony of a rule of no rules, the compromise of territory and space.

Terence Chia

Terence Chia

Co-Founder, Ministry of Funny (Singapore)

Terence is a co-founder of Ministry Of Funny,  one of the top comedy YouTube channels in Singapore. Specialising in hidden camera videos, pranks and on-the-street content, MOF has been entertaining over 50,000 loyal subscribers since 2011, and in 2015, was commissioned to produce content for TUBE, a MediaCorp Channel 5 comedy program.

Tetsu Shirai

Tetsu Shirai

Director, NPO Bookstart Japan (Japan)

Tetsu Shirai joined Kodansha Ltd., in 1969 and built his career. In 2000, he joined the Board of Year of Reading for Children and learned about the Bookstart programme introduced by Izumi Satou. He got involved in the establishment of Bookstart Japan and engaged in setting up a system to make the program sustainable with support from publishing industry.

Toshihiko Shinzawa

Toshihiko Shinzawa

Singer, Songwriter (Japan)

Toshiki Shinzawa was a pre-school teacher before he started his career in music. He is a singer and songwriter, well known for his concerts, many CDs and songbooks. His popular All the Children of the World was selected for elementary school music textbooks in Japan, and has been covered by many artists. He is a lecturer at early education seminars, and a writer of children’s books.

Trevor Kew

Trevor Kew

Author (Japan)

Trevor Kew is a Canadian writer whose novels for children revolve mostly around soccer and ice hockey. Trevor resides in Tokyo, Japan, where he has lived since 2008. He is currently writing approximately six different books set in Japan, all of which he will finish one day.

trevorkew.com

Tricia Goh

Tricia Goh

Co-founder & Director, Drawing Right (Singapore)

Tricia enjoys working with people to make discoveries about themselves and the world, so she founded Drawing Right and brought the internationally acclaimed programme ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ to Singapore. Tricia also teaches drawing at the National Institute of Education and has authored Primary level art textbooks used in Singapore.

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Vadivu Govind

Vadivu Govind

Founder, Joy Works (Singapore)

Vadivu Govind is a facilitator and positive psychology coach. She focuses on positive and servant leadership, positive work culture and positive education. She has been committed to social change since 1992.  She completed her Master of Public Administration at Columbia University, NYC and Bachelor in Social Work and Sociology at NUS. 

joyworks.sg

Vikram Channa

Vikram Channa

Vice President of Production and Development, Discovery Kids (Singapore)

Vikram is responsible for the production of all original Discovery content out of Asia Pacific. He has produced over 500 documentaries, several of which have garnered recognition at events such as the Asian Television Awards and New York Festival. He holds a Masters in both History and Film and Television Production from New Delhi, India.

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Wendy Wong

Wendy Wong

Creative Director, Tusitala (RLS) (Singapore)

More than 12 years in the print and digital media design industry have not dulled Wendy Wong's passion for design. As Tusitala’s Creative Director, she focuses on digital publishing projects, User Interfaces and User Experiences. When she’s not seeking comfort from food, the mom of two girls enjoys being with books and nature.

Wu Shuangying

Wu Shuangying

Deputy Director, Hunan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House (China)

Wu Shuangying is a children’s book critic and has written academic articles on children’s book theories. She is also the author of Field Mouse Sells Flower. She is the winner of Outstanding Junior Editor in Hunan Province, Annual Children’s Book Editing Award, Great Editor in China Award, and National Women Award in Hunan Province. Her edited works have also won several awards including the China Publication Award, Outstanding Publication Award, National Children’s Literature Award, and the Bing Xin Children’s Book Award.

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Yeow Kai Chai

Yeow Kai Chai

Director, Singapore Writers Festival (Singapore)

Yeow Kai Chai has two poetry collections, Pretend I’m Not Here (2006) and Secret Manta (2001). He was one of four authors who co-wrote The Adopted: Stories From Angkor (2015). He is a co-editor of Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and the festival director of the Singapore Writers Festival.

Yuko Takesako

Yuko Takesako

Vice Director, Chihiro Art Museum, Azumino (Japan)

The Vice Director of the Chihiro Art Museum (Azumino), Yuko Takesako is also the Secretary General of Chihiro Iwasaki Memorial Foundation. She has introduced and promoted the life and works of Chihiro Iwasaki as well as supported the picture book culture in Asia, Europe, and U.S.A. Her books include 100 Picture Books for Children and Parents Selected by the Chihiro Art Museum (co-author), Shigeru Hatsuyama.

Yumiko Sakuma

Yumiko Sakuma

Professor, Editor, Translator, Writer (Japan)

Born in Tokyo, Yumiko Sakuma worked as an editor before becoming a freelance editor, translator, writer, and a professor of children’s literature. She has translated more than 200 children’s books into Japanese, and her work has received many awards including the Sankei Juvenile Literature Publishing Culture Award. She is also a researcher of African literature, and runs a project promoting African children’s books in Japan.