The Writers & Illustrators Conference gathers writers and illustrators to come together with publishing industry professionals to share, network, and celebrate children’s content from Asia and around the world.

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6 Sep 2018 (Thu)

9:00am – 10:30am
L16, The Pod

AFCC Launch & Keynote

Colin Goh, Myra Garces-Bacsal, Lucia Obi
Moderator: Rosemarie Somaiah

Keynote Address 1 by Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal: 
Reading for Emotional Engagement and Imagine-Nation

Keynote Address 2 by Colin Goh:
Dim Sum Warriors: The Challenge of Asserting Heritage and Countering Stereotypes

Keynote Address 3 by Lucia Obi: 
Imagining Asia from Afar: Asia in the Mirror of European Children's Literature


10:45am – 11:45am
B1, Programme Zone

Pathways to Publication: From Primer to Pro (and the Methods to our Madness)

Kristi Wientge, Don Bosco, Cynthea Liu
Moderator: Mindy Pang

Selecting a publishing path can be a bewildering experience, even for the most experienced author. Fret not, for Don, Cynthea and Kristi have the insider information you need, from obscure facts to the plain insane, for you to make best publishing choices for your masterpiece!

B1, Multi-Purpose Room

The Perfect Pitch

Pamela Rushby
Moderator: Andrea Pasion-Flores

This hands-on session teaches you how to pitch your book to a publisher, agent or editor. Succintly, effectively - and yes, even in an elevator! 

11:00am – 1:00pm
L1, Visitors Briefing Room

Portfolio Review

Barbara Moxham, Darran Kuah, Soefara Jafney, James Tan, David Liew

The Portfolio Review session provides an opportunity for conference delegates to book a one-on-one consultation session with renowned illustrators and artists from Asia and around the world. Don’t miss this chance to get invaluable feedback on your portfolio from the masters, and find ways to upgrade your skills and expertise towards a professional level! 

As there are limited slots, the consultation slots will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Submission Details

12:00pm - 1:00pm
L5, Possibility Room

From Pitch to Book Launch: The Missing Barbegazi – Author and Editor Perspectives

Helle Norup, Sarah Odedina
Moderator: Priti Sharma

Helle Norup's debut novel The Missing Barbegazi is a delicate tale weaving in themes of family, compassion and hope. From its speed pitch at AFCC 2016 to a full launch this year, join Sarah and Helle as they take you through the book's whirlwind editing process.

B1, Multi-Purpose Room

The Do’s and Dont’s of Author Talks: Tips for Teachers and Authors

Sarah Mounsey, Fleur Vella-Chang

Author visits make learning literature more dynamic as the writing process becomes accessible and real to students. This session highlights the value of such visits to teachers and school management, and introduces certain procedures when engaging authors. Authors also will takeaway strategies to make their school visits fruitful including the finer aspects of classroom management.

2:00pm - 3:00pm
L5, Possibility Room

Providing Opportunity & Exposure to New Emerging Authors & Illustrators of Children’s Picture Books

Peter Creamer
Moderator: Robert Magnuson

Dr Creamer is one of the joint partners of Little Pink Dog Books, an established publisher in the children's picture book world. Hear it from his perspective, as he shares more on scouting emerging authors and illustrators, as well as what it takes for them to gain exposure in a highly competitive circuit.

2:00pm – 5:00pm
B1, Multi-Purpose Room Masterclass

Illustrating Through A Child’s Eyes

Yusof Gajah

Illustration doesn't always have to be a matter of natural talent. Rather, it is a craft only mastered by taking the first steps. Veteran children's book illustrator Yusof Gajah walks you through the tips and techniques to facilitate the journey from idea to the drawing board. Participants will learn more about the ingredients of eye-catching and memorable illustrations. 

Participants are to bring:

  • Drawing paper
  • Art materials
  • Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A children's picture book

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3:30pm – 5:30pm
L16, The Pod

Speed Pitching (Writing)

Sarah Odedina, Cynthea Liu, Peter Creamer, Linda Tan Lingard

Participants have 5 - 10 minutes to pitch their children's book ideas to literary agents and publishing representatives from the USA, UK, Australia and Malaysia. This session is open to delegates.

Follow the link below to find out more details: 
Submission Details

4:30pm - 5:30pm
L5, Possibility Room

Windows Into Worlds

Frané Lessac
Moderator: Myra Garces-Bacsal

As authors strive towards diverse and identifiable books for children, how should we balance cultural authenticity with creative interpretation? In this session, Frané shows that this balance is maintained through careful and extensive research, while introducing some of the techniques budding writers can adopt in research.

L3, Drama Centre FR2

Turning Illustrations into Storytelling Devices

Mira Widhayati

Illustrations are a medium through which stories are told, but ever wondered how it can be turned into an actual storytelling device? Find out more about the process in this talk and demonstration, and learn how to apply it to your own creations.

5:30pm - 6:30pm
B1, Multi-Purpose Room


Pearle Chua
Moderator: Leo Vincent

Inspired by subscription box delivery services, the WondeRead project delivers pre-loved library books to children on a quarterly basis. By doing this, it reaches out to less privileged children who do not get to visit and utilise libraries often.

7 Sep 2018 (Fri)

9:00am - 11:00am
L1, Visitors Briefing Room

Writing Historical ‘Faction’

Pamela Rushby

Historical novels have long challenged the lines between fact and fiction and continue to do so. Introducing the art of fact-based fiction, Pamela's workshop is for the budding writers with an inner history buff - pick up your pens and get ready to make history!

10:00am - 1:00pm
L3, Drama Centre FR2 Masterclass

From Craft to Contract: Stress Test Your Work Without Stressing Out

Cynthea Liu

Getting published is a daunting task, but writing the book is most often the hardest part of all. In this masterclass by well-known writer and publisher Cynthea Liu, learn techniques on how to stress-test your work for the children and teen book market, as well as pick up tips to land that desired publishing contract.

Participants can choose to submit a piece of their writing in advance for anonymous discussion and review by Cynthea at this session.

Submission guidelines:
- First 5 pages (1250 words max) or query letter (250 words max)
- Submit your writing samples to by 28th August.

Get Tickets

10:15am - 11:15am
L5, Imagination Room

Illustration Through Assemblage: Exploration and Experimentation

Trish Donald
Moderator: Michael Tan

Join Trish as she shares her experimental and playful way of using mixed media to create a unique illustration style, while learning from her how you too can find your own 'voice' as an illustrator!

11.30am - 12.30pm
L5, Possibility Room

From Soups and Potions in Picturebooks to Fluid Picturebooks

Ilgim Veryeri Alaca
Moderator: Darel Seow

If stories are thirst-quenchers and words are the soul's chicken soup, could we think of picturebooks as things to drink? Ponder about these questions together with Ilgim Veryeri Alaca, as she invites you to the world of her research on books, soups and potions.

1:30pm - 2:30pm
L5, Possibility Room

How to Write Sizzling First Sentences

Pamela Rushby
Moderator: Don Bosco

From truths universally acknowledged, to all happy families, bright cold days in April, and to the best and worst of times, a powerful opening sentence decides half the battle for a reader's attention. In this session with Pamela, get started on your manuscript's sizzling first sentence and leave your readers hungry for more.

B1, Programme Zone

Living, Writing & Creating, S.I.E.W D.A.I Style!

Lee Seow Ser, Hidayah Amin, Tan Ai Khim
Moderator: Claudine Fernandez

This panel offers a refreshing kopi siew dai brew, as the team shares meaningful insights and motivations behind their creative, literary and socially fulfilling work in Project To S.I.R (Socially Inclusive Reads) with Love. With two special book series published by Helang Books, explore Socially Inclusive, Educational Writing for Differently Abled Individuals, which stands for a “S.I.E.W D.A.I” style of living, writing and creating!

1:30pm – 4:30pm
L1, Visitors Briefing Room Masterclass

On Illustration

Satoshi Kitamura

It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words. But how do you create a narrative through illustrations alone? Join award-winning illustrator Satoshi Kitamura as he explains the creative process behind his books and leads a series of creative exercises in this interactive session.

Get Tickets

2:45pm - 3:45pm
L5, Imagination Room

What’s Your Favourite Colour? Illustrated Flash Fiction on Ilonggo Children with Colour Blindness 

Mary Rose Adelle G. Pacificar
Moderator: Robert Magnuson

Put on new lenses and enter the world of colour blindness! In this presentation, Mary offers you a glimpse into colour blind children of the Philippines' Ilonggo people. Her presentation discusses their ways of perceiving as well as their struggles, but most importantly celebrates their victories and contributions to child diversity.

B1, Programme Zone Panel

Getting into ASEAN Markets

Thant Thaw Kaung, Daphne Lee
Moderator: Andrea Pasion-Flores

Southeast Asia is one of the world's most diverse regions, and its children's literature scenes are no different. This panel brings together a number of publishers from the ASEAN countries, to offer insights on their children's book markets, as well as the prospects of collaboration and publishing. 

5:30pm - 6:30pm
B1, Multi-Purpose Room

First Pages: Writing Critique

Cynthea Liu, Don Bosco, Daphne Lee
Moderator: Kathleen Ahrens

Ever wondered what an editor or publisher is thinking of as he or she reads a manuscript? Witness a panel of experts give live comments on the first pages of unpublished manuscripts. 

Submission Details

6:30pm - 8:30pm
L16, The Pod

Children’s Literature Lecture: Nurturing Roots of Self & Culture in Our Children Through Stories About Us

Suchen Christine Lim
Moderator: Panna d/o Kantilal

Without the stories, poems, pictures or music of their own country, children are figuratively malnourished. In turn, the books and stories we create have an imperative to make our people, culture, land and history visible to children.

8 Sep 2018 (Sat)

9:00am - 10:00am
L1, Visitors Briefing Room

Is There A Uniquely Asian Art For Children?

Sara Siew
Moderator: Wang Tingting

Art bears the freight of various experiences, ranging from the deeply personal to the national. This talk explores the ways art can be incorporated into children's content, and potentially deliver to our children values of self-awareness, perspective-taking and cultural sensitivity.

9:00am – 11:00am
L16, The Pod Workshop

For Illustrators And Writers

Satoshi Kitamura

Hear from Satoshi Kitamura as he shares anecdotes on his path in forging a career in illustration. Find out more about the creative process behind some of his well-known works and get the opportunity to put forth your questions to the artist himself. 

10:15am - 4:15pm
(includes lunch break)
L1, Visitors Briefing Room Masterclass

Make Your Words Count: Writing for Young Adults

Sarah Odedina

Led by publisher Sarah Odedina, this intensive masterclass is aimed for those ready to push their Y.A. writing to the next level. Be ready to tackle every component of the writing process big or small, from finding your own voice to crafting compelling dialogue, characters and settings. Participants will also gain practical expertise as Sarah draws from the many stories she has worked with in her publishing career.

Please note that this session is capped at a maximum of 20 participants only. 

Get Tickets

11:30am - 12:30pm
L16, The Pod

Asian Award-Winning Titles in the White Ravens

Lucia Obi
Moderator: Myra Garces-Bacsal

This special talk is delivered by Lucia Obi from the International Youth Library, whose specialists work to preserve cultural diversity in the world's children's books. Their projects include the annual White Ravens Catalogue, though until recently, only East Asian literature have been represented. Lucia explores the challenges and opportunities of incorporating other Asian selections, and what it means to make Southeast Asian children's literature globally visible.

Lucia Obi's appearance is supported by the Goethe-Institut Singapore.

2.00pm - 3.00pm
L5, Imagination Room

Lessons from Lewis Carroll: Alice and the Shape of Children’s Literature

Katherine Blyn Wakely-Mulroney
Moderator: Melissa Cooper

First published in 1865, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland remains among the most popular children's books ever written. From Victorian stamp cases and umbrella handles to Alice for the iPad, this talk explores the strategies used to market Wonderland to different generations of readers. 

B1, Programme Zone

The History Hunter

Mark Greenwood
Moderator: Danny Jalil

Join the history hunter on a dig for the truth! Intriguing settings and curious characters dot this adventure-driven session, leading you to the secrets captured in Mark Greenwood's latest book, The Happiness Box, set in Singapore during WWII. By balancing creative interpretation with historical authenticity, this presentation aims to help you uncover the magic in your own historical narratives.

L16, The Pod

First Look: Illustration Critique

Frané Lessac, Colin Goh, Satoshi Kitamura, David Liew
Moderator: Barbara Moxham

A picture speaks a thousand words, and the panel will say a few. This panel of illustrators and publishing experts will comment on the illustrations of unpublished picture books as they look at them for the first time. 

Submission Details

4:30pm - 5:30pm
B1, Multi-Purpose Room

Writing a Page Turner for Tweenies

Felix Cheong
Moderator: Andy Chua

Aspiring writers of tweenie fiction often find it an uphill task to keep their readers' attention. Award-winning writer Felix Cheong will teach you strategies in building suspense and plot twists, so that your writing has that page-turning hook.