Taking place online from 3 - 4 October, the AFCC Digital Symposium will bring to your screens, panel discussions by well-known writers and illustrators, publishers, academics and experts from the media industry, focusing on the potential and future of children and young adult literature and stories in this current age and beyond. 

Get your AFCC 2020 tickets here
*Session dates and synopses may be subject to change. 

3 October 

Opening Session

Children’s Books in the Time of Crisis and Change

Featuring: Junko Yokota, Bijal Vachharajani

In times of crisis and change, how have children's book writers, illustrators, publishers responded to what was happening? What role does literature play in helping children to navigate through such situations? In this session, examine how children's literature have documented pivotal moments in history, and explore how it continues to do so in our current times.


Building Resilience in Children During Crisis

Featuring: Tohby Riddle

Reflecting AFCC’s continuing discussions on writing about difficult topics for children, this session deep-dives into how books dealing with socially and culturally sensitive issues can be a source of support for children during challenging times.


The Power of Poetry

Featuring: Mariko Nagai

Poetry is a powerful tool for children to explore their feelings within a simplified form. This session deep dives into the poetic form, its functions and potential, and discusses what makes it appealing to children. Understand this quiet but inventive medium in children's writing in this session.


Creating Digital Content: Now and the New Future

Featuring: Dexter Ong

In recent years, the production rate and amount of digital content have increased exponentially. Now more than ever, how are content producers, such as audiobook and e-book platforms, catering to this increasing demand from consumers? What trends do they foresee will dominate the world of children’s and young adult content?


This is What I Read: Spotlight on Young Book Reviewers

Hear from our target audience on what they enjoy seeing in the books that they read and what they are looking out for in books to come. Learn more about their likes and dislikes, and the formats and platforms where they consume content.

4 October 


Creative Crunch: Creating Within and About Crisis

Featuring: Trevor Lai

As the saying goes - when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. How do content creators cope when dealt with challenges that make the process of creating an even harder task than usual? How do they find inspiration and turn adversity into opportunity? Find out in this exciting panel. 


(A New) Required Reading: Comics and Graphic Novels in Schools

Featuring: Felicia Low-Jimenez, Carol Tilley, Remy Lai, Minh Lê

Comics and graphic novels have long been overlooked as potential reading aids for children, but as more writers and publishers push out comics and graphic novels targeted specifically at the younger crowd, how can parents and teachers help young readers benefit from reading these to cultivate a love of reading?


Curating the iGeneration Reading List

Reading tastes and subjects change with each generation. As we enter into this new decade, what are the “must-reads” that should be included in the new generation’s reading list and why should they be so? This panel will discuss and debate on their list of suggested reads for the iGeneration.


Building Virtual Communities: Do’s and Don’ts

Featuring: Rushton Hurley, Dexter Ong

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we interact with others, with digital/online interaction now considered the norm for the foreseeable future across industries including creative content and education. This panel will discuss about these changes and how creators and users are building new virtual communities.


Digital Festivals and Book Fairs: The New Normal?

Featuring: Peter Florence

This year’s major book fairs and literary festivals have all had a common theme – the conversion of their event from physical to digital. Do organisers consider this as a silver lining or has it affected engagement with audiences? How has the literary industry, whose modus operandi is usually physical in nature, adapted to the unusual situation with the use of digital technology, and do they see this as the prime solution moving forward?