SINGAPORE, 10 JUNE 2019 – Asia’s premier festival for children’s books and young adult (YA) fiction, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), marks its 10th edition this year in September from 5th to 8th. Celebrating the theme “Diversity”, the festival will feature over 80 Singapore and international speakers over four days. Organised by the Singapore Book Council, the festival will be held at the National Library Singapore.

Over the past decade, AFCC has been instrumental in providing a platform for authors, illustrators, translators, publishers, teachers and parents to come together to discuss the development of Asian children’s books and YA. This year, AFCC focuses on the theme “Diversity”, which explores the richness of our stories and narratives, as well as a wide gamut of pertinent topics on how books can help children and youths understand the world they live in today – from reading mother tongue literature to inclusive education, emotional trauma, minority representation and trends in YA fiction in Southeast Asia.

The festival will feature more than 80 speakers from Singapore, Southeast Asia and around the world. Some of the notable speakers include:

● Cheeno Marlo Sayuno (Philippines), educator and author who has won awards for his children’s stories, The Magic Bahag, Si Tiya Salome and The Missing Blanket;
● Emily X.R. Pan (USA), the first-time novelist of The Astonishing Color of After, that Publishers Weekly calls an “emotionally charged debut” that is “a compelling exploration of grief and the insidiousness of depression”;
● Eva Wong Nava (Singapore), author of the award-winning book, Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure, which tackles autism;
● Hanna Alkaf (Malaysia), the author of the critically acclaimed debut YA novel, The Weight of Our Sky, that deals with the racial riots in Malaysia in 1969;
● Helen Wang (UK), award-winning children’s book translator who won the Marsh Christian Award for Children’s Literature in Translation Award in 2017, and the Chen Bochui Special Contribution Award;
● 李木子 Li Muzi (Singapore), established drama educator who will conduct a Chinese-language workshop on using drama to teach literacy to preschoolers;
● Malarvele Ilangovan (Singapore), librarian and writer of five children’s books, who will share about her journey of writing children’s stories in Tamil;
● Muhammad bin Kamit (Singapore), educator who will conduct a workshop on creating purposeful play and bringing books to life in the outdoors;
● Philip Nel (USA), renowned scholar of children’s literature, and author or co-editor of 11 books, including Was the Cat in the Hat Black?: The Hidden Racism of Children’s Literature and The Need for Diverse Books. He will be giving the AFCC Lecture, titled “Why Adults Refuse to Admit Racist Content in the Children’s Books They Love”;
● Soe Marlar Lwin (Myanmar/ Singapore), academic and educator who will share about narrative structures in Burmese folk tales, as part of the Country of Focus programme on Myanmar;
● Weng Cahiles (Philippines), a two-time National Children's Book Awards winner from the Philippines who will share about her latest title Si Kian, a haunting picture book about children being killed in the war of drugs in her country.

The speakers will take part in more than 70 events over four days, including panel talks, workshops, pitching sessions, masterclasses and lectures. The events are organised along three main programme tracks: Cross-Platform, Writers and Illustrators, as well as a two-day focus on Teachers and Parents (6-7 Sep).

AFCC will celebrate Myanmar as its Country of Focus this year, as it continues to showcase the best of children’s book writers and illustrators from our Southeast Asian neighbours. Past COFs include Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The COF programmes will provide a window into the literary tradition and industry developments in Myanmar. AFCC has invited Sai Parn Hein, an established children’s writer, cartoonist, and translator hailing from the Shan region in Myanmar as the guest illustrator this year.

Early bird specials for AFCC 2019 are now available till 31 July. Audiences can enjoy 25% off regular festival pass tickets. Secondary and tertiary students can also take advantage of a special promotion of $50 pass to the entire festival (limited quantity only).

The full festival line-up and schedule will be available early July. For more information, please visit

For media related enquiries, please contact:
Ethan Leong | [email protected] | +65 6342 5121

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