Catch all sessions with video-on-demand!

Miss any sessions? With your festival pass, you can watch all sessions in the comfort of your home with Video-On-Demand!

To access, simply log in to the AFCC website with the password provided in your Welcome Note email sent to the email address you bought tickets with. 

Session recordings are available until 30 June.

Reimagine, Rebuild and Reignite with our programmes this AFCC 2021!

AFCC celebrates the theme "Reimagine. Rebuild. Reignite" this year. Join us and explore an exciting line-up of over 70 programmes, featuring more than 100 local and international speakers.

AFCC 2021’s Country of Focus is Thailand. Thai illustrator Kampanart Sangsorn, the winner of the  ASEAN Illustration Contest was commissioned by AFCC to design the key visual for 2021’s festival.

AFCC 2021 also features the Book Illustrators Gallery, or BIG as it is affectionately called.

See the list of AFCC 2021’s speakers here! 

All the sessions will be captioned after the festival.

27 May (Thursday) Reimagine

9:00am – 10:30am (SGT) Convert Time

AFCC Keynote: Reimagine. Rebuild. Reignite

Books are time capsules that capture moments in time and are mediums through which we can review our past, learn about the present and predict the future. As we collectively reimagine our post-pandemic children’s literature industry, what does the future hold in store? In this session, our keynote speakers will share about their relationship with books and their thoughts on the evolution of the literary scene and reading community.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and U.S. Embassy Singapore.

Jason Chin

Jason Chin (US)

Jason Chin is the author and illustrator of many acclaimed books, including Grand Canyon, Redwoods and Your Place in the Universe. The latest book he illustrated, Watercress, by author Andrea Wang, has garnered seven-starred reviews. Jason has received a Caldecott Honor, Sibert Honor, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, and the NCTE Orbis Pictus award.

Hwang Sun-mi (黄善美)

Hwang Sun-mi (黄善美) (Korea)

Hwang Sun-mi is a South Korean writer, who has won many awards and published more than 40 books for adults and children. She graduated from the creative writing departments at Seoul Institute of the Arts and Gwangju University. Her book, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly has been on bestseller lists for 20 years and has also been adapted into a comic book, a play, and a musical, and has been translated into 30 languages.

Esther Nguyen

Esther Nguyen (Vietnam)

Esther Nguyen is a passionate media and technology entrepreneur and the CEO of POPS Worldwide, a leading digital entertainment company in Southeast Asia. POPS has been crucial to the development of the entertainment industry in Vietnam, educating the industry on copyright potential and building an ecosystem that has allowed the industry to monetise and evolve. 

Colin Goh

Moderator Colin Goh (Singapore)

Colin Goh is a writer/cartoonist whose work includes the international bestseller Search Inside Yourself. He created the Dim Sum Warriors series of graphic novels with his wife Woo Yen Yen. Dim Sum Warriors has expanded into a musical that toured 25 cities in China, children's books, and an international patent-pending learning system that combines hilarious multilingual comics, livestream drawing sessions and an app with reading evaluation tech.

11:00am – 12:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Streaming Content: Trends in Viewership

In this new age of content streaming, how have viewership trends changed along with the times and what do commissioners look out for in sourcing for new content? What devices are the most popular among video-streaming consumers? What types of content work best on streaming devices? Join our panellists from WarnerMedia, Media Partners Asia and MediaCorp as they share insights, tips and observations from the media industry!

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Nicholas Oh

Nicholas Oh (Singapore)

Nicholas is an award-winning commissioning editor with over a decade of experience in the media industry. A content enthusiast, Nicholas loves strategising content across the kids and unscripted entertainment space, developing IPs and curating content for his audience. Nicholas has experience working with prominent networks and brands across the world, with some highlights including the MasterChef and Lil Wild IP. When he’s not working, Nicholas tries in vain to make his furkids love him.

Vivek Couto

Vivek Couto (Singapore)

Vivek Couto is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Media Partners Asia (MPA) and he has 20 years of experience in media and telecoms Vivek is also on the Board of Directors at Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). At MPA, Vivek leads teams to offer clients market research, various advisory services, M& A-related due diligence and research firms. MPA also hosts the leading annual summit APOS, Asia’s premier event for the TMT industry with global impact.

Leslie Lee

Leslie Lee (Singapore)

Leslie Lee is WarnerMedia’s Head of Kids Content, overseeing Cartoon Network, Boomerang and POGO networks in Asia Pacific. His role includes the programming, operations, brand and franchise management, and content direction for the three brands. He presently sits on the programming committee at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content and is a board member of Centre 42, a non-profit arts organisation that supports playwriting in Singapore.

Ervin Han

Moderator Ervin Han (Singapore)

Ervin Han is the co-founder of Robot Playground Media, an animation studio based in Singapore. He is a seasoned animation producer and director who has created and worked on projects for Disney, WarnerMedia and Mediacorp. He is also a passionate storyteller who hopes to see more Asian stories brought to life through animation.

11:00am – 12:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Story City – Getting Real with Digital Narrative

Using her own shortlisted digital narrative The Chapel of Unlove as a living example, Dimity will divulge the exacting process of producing an immersive, interactive ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ styled locative fiction. Discover how digital narratives enable young readers to control the destiny of the protagonist, and exercise agency as they embark on adventures of their own choosing!

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Dimity Powell

Dimity Powell (Australia)

Dimity Powell loves filling every spare moment with words. She is the managing editor for Kids' Book Review and writes and reviews exclusively for children. She has more than 28 published stories including Pippa (2019) and At The End Of Holyrood Lane, winner of the 2019 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. 

Christine Chong

Moderator Christine Chong (Singapore)

Christine is the head of Tusitala Books, a digital storytelling studio that reimagines the future of reading. She previously worked in academic publishing and arts management and has an MA in English Literature from the National University of Singapore, a certificate in editing from the Graham School at the University of Chicago and attended the Summer Publishing Institute at New York University.

12:00pm – 1:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Normalising differences: Empowering children and teens through diverse literature

Inclusive societies are pertinent to building a sustainable future for all, as the world grows more digitalised and interconnected. In this session by two experienced librarians, learn the importance of discussing diverse narratives and using accessible book formats to build empathy and self-esteem among children and teens. You will also learn how to empower young readers to become thoughtful and inclusive individuals who can affect change in their communities, by normalising differences with literature.

Nurul Fateen Keisha

Nurul Fateen Keisha (Singapore)

Keisha is an associate librarian at Jurong West Public Library, curating programmes to encourage children teenagers to read.

Aida Abdul Rahim

Aida Abdul Rahim (Singapore)

Aida is the deputy head of children and teens services for public libraries in western Singapore. She devises programmes to spread the love of reading among the younger generation. Aida was a featured speaker at the American Library Association Annual Conference in 2020. 

Rhoda Myra Garces Bacsal

Moderator Rhoda Myra Garces Bacsal (UAE)

Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal is the Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Education at the United Arab Emirates University. She was selected by the International Youth Library in Munich as an International Fellow in 2016 and 2017. She served as Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) from 2011-2019 and presently serves as the International Advisor-at-Large for the AFCC.

12:30pm – 1:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Culturally Diverse Middle Grade and YA books as the Future of Content

This talk reveals author Kristyn Maslog-Levis’ experience of being a Filipino writer in Australia, and of writing about Filipino mythology and Filipino life for a non-Asian audience. She will share how her children’s books contribute to an increasing number of Filipino-Australian books, which are a scarcity despite the large migrant population in Australia. Chat with author K.M. Levis and share in the discussion on Asian representation beyond our borders in this intimate programme.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Kristyn Maslog-Levis

Kristyn Maslog-Levis (Australia)

Kristyn M. Levis is a marketing specialist, author, ghostwriter and photographer. She worked as a TV reporter in the Philippines and a radio broadcaster with SBS in Sydney, where she still occasionally does voice-overs. Her young adult novel The Girl Between Two Worlds and The Girl Between Light and Dark were published by Anvil Publishing. The third book in this series, The Search for Adarna, is out now.

Kim Beeman

Moderator Kim Beeman (Singapore)

Kim Beeman is Head of the Senior Library at Tanglin Trust School in Singapore. She has previously worked as a teacher-librarian at independent schools in Bangkok and New York City, and was a cookbook librarian in New York City for many years. Kim has a Masters of Library and Information Science from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

1:30pm – 2:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

The Urge of Local Dialect and Local Language Use in Children Picture Books to Promote Tolerance and Cultural Recognition

When was the last time you read a children’s picture book written in its country’s local language and dialect? This session explores some examples from Indonesia. The speakers will also discuss why authors should be encouraged to write children picture books in the local language of their countries, and how to include local dialect in these stories. If you are a children’s picture book writer, this session is perfect for you, with tips for how you can enrich your narrative!

Yulia Loekito

Yulia Loekito (Indonesia)

Yulia is a mother of two who lives in Yogyakarta-Indonesia. Reading and teaching have been her favourite pastimes since she was a little girl. Her passion for teaching children emerged at the age of 19 when she was teaching children with special needs. She also runs an alternative learning community and a printing and publishing house.

Alexander Coupe

Moderator Alexander Coupe (Singapore)

Alexander (Alec) Coupe is a field linguist and the author of numerous research papers and books on the languages of Northeast India, where he has worked with tribal communities for over two decades. He has been a faculty member of NTU’s Linguistics and Multilingual Studies since 2009, where he teaches and trains students in language documentation and grammatical description.

2:00pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Developing Language, Literacy and Mental Wellness Through a Screen-Free Environment

Do you shake your head in disapproval when you see children glued to screens? This session is just for you! Examine how building social relationships and utilising offline modes of learning contributes to children’s social-emotional development and mental wellbeing. You will also find out how non-digital learning strategies can complement digital learning. Discover tools for the perfect balance that your students and children need in this session.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Dr Lourdes Mary Daniel

Dr Lourdes Mary Daniel (Singapore)

Dr Lourdes Mary Daniel is the Head of Department in the Department of Child Development, KK Women's and Children's Hospital. She is a paediatrician who is trained both in Neonatology and Child Development. She has worked with high risk children in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital from childhood to primary school ages for the last 30 years.

Fiona Woo

Fiona Woo (Singapore)

Ms Fiona Woo is a Principal Educational Therapist at the Department of Child Development, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She is part of a team that sees a range of developmental issues in young children. Her area of work focuses on supporting 5 and 6 years old children in the areas of pre-literacy and early reading.
 

Jasmine Lee

Jasmine Lee (Singapore)

Ms Jasmine Lee is a Principal Speech-Language Therapist at the Department of Child Development, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She oversees a range of developmental issues such as gross and fine motor developmental delays, handwriting difficulties, as well as learning and behavioural problems. The department also runs community programmes, partnering with preschools, philanthropic organisations and other government ministries to bring early intervention to the classroom for children with developmental needs.

2:30pm – 3:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Memupuk Perkembangan Dwibahasa Kanak-Kanak Melalui Buku Dwibahasa (Nurturing Children’s Bilingual Development through Bilingual Books) 

Mempelajari sesuatu bahasa adalah kemahiran sepanjang hayat dan ia harus bermula sejak kecil lagi. Sesi ini meneroka bagaimana buku dwibahasa serta strategi yang digunakan sewaktu proses pengkaryaan dan pengajaran buku-buku tersebut dapat membantu kanak-kanak kecil pupuk rasa cinta terhadap bahasa Melayu.

Learning a language is a lifelong skill and one that should start from young. This session explores how bilingual books and the strategies employed in the creation and teaching process for these books can help young children cultivate a love for the Malay language.

Norlin Samat

Norlin Samat (Singapore)

Norlin Samat is a former primary school teacher with a Post-graduate Diploma in Education and an MA in Language Studies. A passionate educator with a career spanning more than 18 years in public and private education institutions, she hopes to contribute in nurturing the next generation of bilinguals. She is the writer of the bilingual children's book series Ally's Adventures.

Mukhlis Abu Bakar

Mukhlis Abu Bakar (Singapore)

Mukhlis Abu Bakar is an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education, NTU. He obtained his MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Wales, Bangor, UK. His research interests lie in the fields of bilingualism, biliteracy, literacy learning, and pronunciation issues in Malay. He is Co-Editor of a forthcoming book, The Bloomsbury Handbook of Cultural Identity from Early Childhood to Early Adulthood.

Jumaini Ariff

Moderator Jumaini Ariff (Singapore)

Jumaini Ariff ialah seorang pencerita profesional dan juga penulis buku cerita kanak-kanak seperti Siri Ariff Ingin Tahu dan lain-lain lagi. Beliau dikenali menerusi watak unik; Nek Selampit dan kerap terlibat dalam kempen-kempen bahasa dan budaya di peringkat nasional serta festival-festival penceritaan tempatan.

Jumaini Ariff is professional storyteller and author. She is known by her storytelling persona; 'Nek Selampit'. She has participated in storytelling festivals as well as national language and cultural campaigns.

3:00pm – 4:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Growing Children’s Love for Nature through a Digitally Transformed Literature

Environmental issues have become a growing concern in recent years. In this session, the audience will explore how these issues impact children and what authors can do to educate children and increase their awareness on environmental issues. The presentation with a children’s book writer will also reveal how one can stimulate interest for, and promote activities to nurture and preserve nature, by taking advantage of the rapidly growing digital mediums.

Yovita Siswati

Yovita Siswati (Indonesia)

Following the birth of her daughters, Yovita Siswati rediscovered her love for children’s literature. Her first picture book, Serial Koko dan Kiki was published in 2011 and her debut children’s novel Misteri Kota Tua was published in 2014. Yovita has written more than 50 picture books and 10 children’s novels since. Misteri Kota Tua has been included on the International Board on Book for Young People (IBBY) Honor List in 2016.

Ow Yeong Wai Kit

Moderator Ow Yeong Wai Kit (Singapore)

Ow Yeong Wai Kit is an educator and writer who has edited four poetry anthologies. He holds a Master’s degree in English literature from University College London. In 2019, he was presented with the Outstanding Youth in Education Award by the Ministry of Education, Singapore. His writings have been featured in The Straits Times, TODAY, QLRS and more.

3:15pm – 3:45pm (SGT) Convert Time

The Reading Tree Book Launch

Join author Dr Khoo Kim Choo, for the book launch of her newly released, The Reading Tree.

Dr. Khoo Kim Choo

Dr. Khoo Kim Choo (Singapore)

Dr Khoo Kim Choo is a pioneer in the field of early childhood development and education in Singapore. For over 35 years, she has been involved in various educational roles, helping governments, voluntary welfare groups and international non-government organisations, both locally and abroad. She has also taught at a number of universities. Dr Khoo is the Founder of Preschool for Multiple Intelligences. She is the author of three children’s poetry books: House by the Woods, Going Downtown and Whose Cat is That?

4:00pm – 5:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution in the ASEAN: Obstacles and Solutions

The ASEAN region boasts a combined population of approximately 649 million people and one-third of them are potential readers aged 19 or younger. However, children and young adult books by ASEAN writers are still inaccessible to their readers. What is the cause? Publishers and distributors from the region will talk about the present obstacles and positives they experience in distributing books in the region.

This session is presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand.

Andrea Pasion-Flores

Andrea Pasion-Flores (Philippines)

Andrea Pasion-Flores is the publisher at Milflores Publishing, Inc., a general trade and textbook publishing company based in Manila. Before purchasing the company in 2020, Andrea was general manager of a large trade publisher, a literary agent, and executive director of the National Book Development Board of the Philippines. She is a member of the board of international advisors of the Singapore Book Council.

Gesarin Anek

Gesarin Anek (Thailand)

Gesarin Anek has more than three decades of experience in retail marketing with various nationwide hypermarkets. She was the managing director at Asia Books, the largest English language chain bookstore in Thailand, from 2017–2020. Gesarin is currently an advisor for Plan for Kids publishing house and a board member of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT).

Yani Kurniawan

Yani Kurniawan (Indonesia)

Yani Kurniawan is the founder of Literasia, a literary cum creative agency based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is also the production manager at 17000 Pulau Imaji Foundation, which bridges and facilitates the collaboration between publishing industry stakeholders like writers, illustrators and creative content creators. He was previously part of the Indonesian National Book Committee.

Mindy Pang

Mindy Pang (Singapore)

Mindy Pang has more than a decade of experience as an editor and marketing manager at Marshall Cavendish International (Asia). She was the driving force behind key publications as a senior editor and currently develops marketing strategies to help the publishing house remain a leading publisher in Asia and beyond.

Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor

Moderator Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor (Malaysia)

Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor ("Shake") is the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian Book Publishers Association (MABOPA). He runs Shake Book Projects Sdn. Bhd, which offers publishing and consultancy services. With 20 years of experience in the book industry, Shake has written, published and sold children’s books locally and overseas to more than 50 countries around the world.

4:00pm – 5:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Reading for Pleasure: Antidote to Digital Distraction

Content has never been so immediately available as it is today, and the competition for eyeballs and clicks is fierce. When mere words have to compete with tag-lines, sound-bites, memes, and tik-tok videos, they have to be good to sustain interest. This talk will take audiences through the simple pleasure of reading fiction as an antidote to digital distraction, and how reading provides the additional benefit of increasing our attention span.

There will be a live Q&A with the speaker as part of this session.

Tina Walton

Tina Walton (US)

Tina Jimin Walton is a Korean-American writer based in Singapore. She received her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016. A life-long learner who writes children’s and young adult fiction, she teaches English and writing to teens. Last Days of the Morning Calm is her first novel and it was short-listed for the 2018 Scholastic Asian Book Award.

Sarah Mounsey

Moderator Sarah Mounsey (Singapore)

Sarah Mounsey is Director of Libraries at Dulwich College (Singapore). A book (and chocolate!) obsessed teacher librarian and author, she spends her days juggling three sons, hundreds of students and thousands of books. She is the author of the award-winning Paw Prints series of books, which have been published in Singapore.

4:30pm – 5:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Reading Seeds™: The Way Forward Promoting Early Literacy and Developmental Awareness Amongst Families via eLearning Platform

Reading Seeds is a literacy and developmental awareness programme for families with young children. This program was first initiated for communities in Sarawak, Malaysia, and was later adopted by the National Library of Malaysia as a national reading project. The programme aims to stimulate early literacy development concurrent to the development of a baby’s physical and cognitive growth. Find out more about the results and findings of this programme by attending this session!

Edison Anak Ricket

Edison Anak Ricket (Malaysia)

Edison Ricket has worked as a librarian for 20 years and has managed state libraries, academic libraries and specialist libraries during this time. He is passionate about promoting literacy and using technology as a medium of knowledge sharing and transmission.

N. Kannigadevi

Moderator N. Kannigadevi (Singapore)

Ms N.Kannigadevi has worked in the Early Childhood field for over 30 years in several roles; including specialist teacher, curriculum developer, special needs mentor and a certified trainer at Presbyterian Community Services (PCS), a Social Service Agency. Currently, she is the Assistant Director for Capability Support and Special Needs Mentor at PCS, and is also an Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) Fellow.

5:30pm – 7:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Translating the Future: Why Translated Children’s Books are Vital

How can and will translation and translators play a role in shaping the next generation of children’s books and the landscape of children’s literature, particularly in a world where boundaries between countries, cultures and languages are becoming increasingly blurred? In this lecture, award-winning translator and children’s book author Lawrence Schimel will speak on the importance of translation and its increasing influence and impact in the world of publishing.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the National Translation Committee. 

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel (US/Spain)

Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) lives in Madrid, Spain and writes in both Spanish and English. He's published over 120 books in a wide range of genres. He is also a prolific literary translator. His translations into Spanish include the graphic novel They Called Us Enemy by George Takei; his translations into English include the middle grade novels The Wild Book by Juan Villoro and The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos.

Lynette Morrison née Tan Yuen Ling

Moderator Lynette Morrison née Tan Yuen Ling (Singapore)

Lynette Morrison née Tan Yuen Ling is a published poet and the author of The Pittodrie Pirates series. She is Director of Studies, Associate Director of Student Life, as well as Residential Fellow at Residential College 4, National University of Singapore. An award-winning senior lecturer at NUS, Lynette teaches Systems Thinking at RC4.

5:45pm – 6:15pm (SGT) Convert Time

My BFF Is An Alien: Turbulence Book Launch

Join the author of the popular My BFF Is an Alien series, Vivian Teo, as she launches her newest addition to the series: My BFF Is an Alien: Turbulence

Vivian Teo

Vivian Teo (Singapore)

Vivian Teo worked as a financial journalist and editor for 14 years at major US and UK trade publications. She became a freelance writer to spend more time with her two daughters and write about things close to her heart. This led to My BFF Is an Alien, her first middle-grade novel. She now enjoys writing on parenting and education issues for parenting websites, including Sassy Mama Singapore, and blogging on her parenting and lifestyle website.

6:00pm – 7:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Re-telling Asian Fairytales for a New Generation

How do we keep our myths and legends fresh for young readers? Do we need to reframe and reinterpret these stories in order to ensure that Asian fairytales can continue to thrive for future generations? Why are Asian kids more familiar with European fairytales, than Asian ones? Attend this session with seasoned editor and creative writing teacher Daphne Lee to understand why we need to keep telling our own narratives to our children.

Daphne Lee Mei Lin

Daphne Lee Mei Lin (Malaysia)

Daphne Lee is the fiction editor at Scholastic Asia. As a writer, Daphne is particularly interested in Malaysian and Asian myths, legends and fairytales. She recently published Bright Landscapes, a collection of short stories inspired by local supernatural beliefs and folklore. She is currently working on her first novel.

Joel Donato Ching Jacob

Moderator Joel Donato Ching Jacob (Philippines)

Joel Donato Ching Jacob, or Cupkeyk to friends, is the 2018 Scholastic Asian Book Awardee for Wing of the Locust; Editor's Choice, Best Asian Short Stories 2019 for Artifacts from the Parent; and co-editor for Be Me: LGBTQIA+ Stories of Belonging from Southeast Asia.

28 May (Friday) Rebuild

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

Upclose with Christina Soontornvat

Join Newbery award-winning author, Christina Soontornvat for a conversation as she shares about her writing journey, the creative process that goes into her books and what inspires her to keep on creating impactful and meaningful stories for readers. Tune in as she answers your questions about her middle grade books, picture books and chapter books!

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the U.S. Embassy Singapore.

Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat (US)

Christina Soontornvat is the award-winning author of over a dozen children’s books. Her picture books include The Ramble Shamble Children and Simon at the Art Museum. Her recent works include the middle grade fantasy, A Wish in the Dark, which was named a 2021 Newbery Honor Book, and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, which has received numerous nonfiction awards and was also named a 2021 Newbery Honor Book.

Denise Tan

Moderator Denise Tan (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 with 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.

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

How Stories With Local Wisdom Turn Into an Unexpected Lifesaver During The New Normal

Contemporary stories with local wisdom have been written time and again. Literary activism has enabled hundreds of titles containing native stories to be distributed to libraries and schools in remote areas in the region. When Covid - 19 hit last year, the education system in Indonesia was pushed to adapt quickly in order to minimize the loss of learning. In this session, discover how those stories were used as effective teaching materials to save the lives of students, teachers, and parents during the pandemic.

Debby Lukito

Debby Lukito (Indonesia)

Debby Lukito Goeyardi is a children and young adult book author and a literary activist with specialty in culinary literacy. She has published several books, including a reference book titled Autograph Collector: Hobby Unik yang Jarang Dilirik which received the MURI Award in 2010. Her children's picture book Waktunya Cepuk Terbang won the Samsung KidsTime Author's Award in 2016. 

Tyas Widjati

Tyas Widjati (Indonesia)

Tyas Widjati’s writes so that she can read her own stories to her daughters. She has been part of an author residency organised by the Indonesia National Book Committee, where she spent a month in Ireland learning about Irish myth and folklore. She presently lives in a warm little city with her two daughters.

Chatarina Trihastuti

Moderator Chatarina Trihastuti (Indonesia)

Chatarina Trihastuti has been involved in various programs and activities in the field of education as the Program Manager at ProVisi Education. Together with Room to Read, an NGO from San Fransisco, she has assisted in the development of more than 200 children’s storybooks and 240 child-friendly libraries in Indonesia.

10:30am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Writing for (the) Future (of) Children: Social and Environmental Justice in Picture Books from the Philippines

Have you ever wondered if children’s books carry the capacity to represent the marginalised? How can children’s books cultivate a spirit of social and environmental justice in young readers? This inspiring sharing will showcase how books have the power to encourage young readers to challenge and resist systems of inequality, and remind them of their responsibility to build a better future, and leave a better world behind for the next generation.
 

Jose Monfred C. Sy

Jose Monfred C. Sy (Philippines)

Jose Monfred C. Sy teaches with the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature of the University of the Philippines Diliman. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from the same university. His interests include social movements, children’s literature, and political ecology. He is also a children’s book writer and a volunteer teacher for displaced Lumad Bakwit with the Save Our Schools Network.

Nor Lastrina Hamid

Moderator Nor Lastrina Hamid (Singapore)

Nor Lastrina Hamid is the co-Founder of Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA). She has organised community events and has worked with youths and volunteer groups for the past 10 years, building an interest in climate issues and how people respond to climate impact. Her commentary about climate change has been published on CNA.

10:45am – 11:45am (SGT) Convert Time

Who’s Afraid of Poetry?: Incorporating Poetry in Classrooms and Everyday Life

Join Pushcart Prize-winning poet and writer Mariko Nagai in this session and learn how you can incorporate poetry in children’s classroom and everyday life. With the use of metaphors, imagery and alliteration, this programme will equip you with techniques and tips to expand children’s imagination and creativity. Learn how to incorporate poetry, verses and rhymes into everyday routines and discover how children’s language and confidence can blossom from it.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.
 

Mariko Nagai

Mariko Nagai (Japan)

Mariko Nagai is an award-winning writer and a sought-after speaker on poetry for children. She is the recipient of the UNESCO-Ashberg Bursary for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency and the Yaddo residency among many others. She is the author of Dust of Eden (Albert Whitman 2014) and the forthcoming The Sword of Yesterday (MacMillan USA 2021). She is Professor of Japanese Literature and Creative Writing at Temple University, Japan Campus and Co-Regional Advisor of SCBWI Japan.

Ann Ang

Moderator Ann Ang (Singapore)

Ann Ang is a literature educator best known as the author of Bang My Car. She is the co-editor of Poetry Moves and Food Republic, and also the coordinating editor of PR&TA. Ann is currently reading for a PhD in English at Oxford and is a lecturer at the National Institute of Education.

12:00pm – 1:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Mental Health Inquiry for Children by Reading and Storytelling Online

What happens when you mix reading e-books with video games and interactive elements? This presentation shares how lower and upper primary students respond, and provides insights on the effects of online and offline reading on children’s mental health. Librarian and literary activist Friska Titi Nova will provide an Indonesian perspective to this, along with recommendations and observable examples in her field of work. This session will be beneficial for parents and educators who are interested in their children and students’ holistic development with reading and storytelling.

Friska Titi Nova

Friska Titi Nova (Indonesia)

Friska is a literacy activist and librarian. Friska, also known as Kak Peri, is currently managing the Pustakawan Mendunia website, and compiling storybooks for children. She enjoys sharing her experiences and knowledge about librarianship, storytelling and literacy. Friska has devoted herself to designing ingenious methods to encourage Papuan students to pick up reading. Friska recently moved to Batam where she has continued improving her strategies in advocating reading for children.

Joji Reynes Santos

Moderator Joji Reynes Santos (Philippines)

Joji Reynes Santos is a teacher and a learner who loves to read and tries hard to write stories. She works with a diverse group of learners, and in the process learns both wonderful and dreadful things about the world. Her book, Inside Daniel’s Head, is an attempt to give readers a unique understanding of children with autism.

12:30pm – 1:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Are You Listening?

A bedtime tale for the young and young-at-heart, 'Are You Listening?' is a visually striking, read-aloud story in rhyme with a powerful message about sustainability, the web of life, empathy and reimagining our relationship with nature and each other. This moving story has been featured on BBC Radio as well as Greenpeace Storytelling. In a maze of tunnels in a magical forest, Grandfather Squirrel tells his two grandchildren the story of the smartest animal ever to exist - human beings. When the wisdom of the adults threatens to lead to disaster and human extinction, the question is, "Can anyone save human beings from themselves?"

Dr Alaka Rajan Skinner

Dr Alaka Rajan Skinner (Singapore)

Dr Alaka Rajan Skinner is an author, storyteller and coach who is passionate about education, diversity and the natural world. A lifelong learner herself, Alaka has a PhD in Strategy and Organizational Behaviour (NTU, Singapore), an MBA (Cornell, USA) and a Masters in Human Resources Management (Rutgers, USA). Alaka spent her early childhood in Iran and has lived in India, the US and Singapore.

1:00pm – 2:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Looking For and Using Digital Resources

What are the available digital teaching, learning and reading resources that are out there, and how can educators and parents select and use them at home and in the classroom? What are some of the strategies for using these resources judiciously? Join a librarian, a former educator, and a parent in this exciting panel discussion that showcases different unique perspectives on this topic.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.
 

Siti Aisyah Binte Abdul Nasir

Siti Aisyah Binte Abdul Nasir (Singapore)

Aisyah leads a team of librarians in the strategic planning, development and implementation of Children and Teens programmes, across all Singapore public libraries. She has presented at various platforms for MOE educators on topics such as collection development, digital trends and inclusive reads. Aisyah enjoys reading graphic novels for all ages and children’s picture books – she finds the combination of pictures and words truly magical.

Wai Yin Pryke

Wai Yin Pryke (Singapore)

Mrs Wai Yin Pryke has been an educator for over 30 years, before becoming the Director of the National Library Singapore for three years. She is currently Director of Education and Community Outreach at the National Heritage Board. Wai Yin is passionate about making learning meaningful and accessible to all.

Sarah Mounsey

Sarah Mounsey (Singapore)

Sarah Mounsey is Director of Libraries at Dulwich College (Singapore). A book (and chocolate!) obsessed teacher librarian and author, she spends her days juggling three sons, hundreds of students and thousands of books. She is the author of the award-winning Paw Prints series of books, which have been published in Singapore.

Christabel Sim

Moderator Christabel Sim (Singapore)

Christabel joined the National Library Board, Singapore as an outreach librarian and has worked very closely with children and youths between 7-17. She has also advised school libraries on their revamp process, and selected books for children and young adults' reading collection. She is now presently based at [email protected], the largest shopping mall public library in Singapore.

1:00pm – 2:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Saving the Environment One Book at A Time

Climate change is a global threat, and there is an increasing need to take action now. How are we highlighting this critical topic to children? Are children’s books the solution? This panel will explore how climate change and eco-activism have been tackled with illustrations in children's books and comics, and how a universal topic can be made interesting with captivating content.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.

Lee Myung-ae (李明爱)

Lee Myung-ae (李明爱) (South Korea)

Lee Myung-ae (李明爱) studied oriental painting because she loved the scent of Korean ink. Today, she embodies this scent in her picture books. She has worked on multiple books as an illustrator, and Plastic Island is the book she wrote and drew. She hopes that children will be able to communicate and sympathise with issues in environmental or other issues happening around us through her picture book. Her recent works include It Will Be Sunny Tomorrow and Flower.

Evelyn Bookless

Evelyn Bookless (Ireland)

Evelyn Bookless grew up on a farm in the West of Ireland. She spent her time playing in the trees with her siblings and making up games and stories. Saddened by the amount of plastic waste she saw in the ocean one day, Evelyn was inspired to write Captain Green and the Plastic Scene. She hopes readers will be inspired to plant trees and help to keep our planet green.

Hwee Goh

Hwee Goh (Singapore)

Hwee Goh spent 16 years in TV journalism before branching into nonfiction writing for children. Each of her books latches on current topics, which she then researches and develops into a narrative arc — engaging her young readers deeply into an issue. Her latest book, The Earth Experiment, address the urgent topic of climate change. You can follow Hwee on @hweezbooks.

Melissa Low

Moderator Melissa Low (Singapore)

Melissa Low is a Research Fellow at the Energy Studies Institute, NUS. She has participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) for over a decade. Melissa provides policy analyses and conducts workshops for various stakeholders to improve understanding of the implications of the Paris Agreement. Her current research focus is on transparency of climate action and reporting in Southeast Asia.

1:30pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Stories of Strength: The Courage of Action

Digital innovation has brought new avenues of expression. However, narratives that reflect the real-life experience of people overcoming adversities with their resilience, passion and action still retain their appeal. This session looks at the critical role of inspiring young minds and the need to document stories of diverse contemporary role models with the Namaste! series of books which bring diversity into school curricula around the world. The author will also share the importance of traversing boundaries to share amazing intercultural stories.

Sunanda Verma

Sunanda Verma (India)

Born in Sofia, raised in New Delhi & Fiji, and nurtured in Singapore and Johannesburg; Sunanda Verma is a writer-journalist. In a previous avatar, she was a TV News Producer. She is the author of the Namaste! Series of books, co-author of the bestselling Hindi-English Thematic Visual Dictionary and a translator of more than 15 books from Hindi to English language.

Michele Newman

Moderator Michele Newman (South Korea)

Michele Newman is originally from Melbourne Australia. Over the past 10 years, she has worked in China and Singapore and is currently the Dean of Teaching and Learning at Dwight School Seoul in South Korea. As an experienced English language teacher, she is most passionate about sharing a love for literacy and reading, as well as supporting school interdisciplinary and experiential learning initiatives that encourage authentic student agency.

3:00pm – 4:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

心坎里的绘本-绘本创作的儿童发展元素 (Picture Books In Our Hearts – The Components of Child Development in Picture Book Creation)

为什么有些绘本的议题能够让儿童那样喜爱呢?本演讲将剖析绘本与儿童发展的那些让幼儿爱不释手的元素,让绘本能够进入儿童的心坎里。

Why are some discussion topics in picture books so well-loved by children? This talk will analyse the elements in picture books that young children are fond of, and how this enables picture books to captivate them.

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

Cheng Wan-Ni (郑婉妮)

Cheng Wan-Ni (郑婉妮) (Singapore)

郑婉妮博士来自台湾,专精于幼儿教育领域达二十年,曾参与学前教育政策发展和实务锻炼,见证台湾幼儿教育的演进与蓬勃发展,除了专精于幼儿教育领域的各种议题外,她近年来专注儿童手机游戏、媒体组合等新媒体之研究,并与儿童营销、消费、儿童流行文化结合。对于幼儿及青少年产品开发设计,以及成瘾设计的独到专长,更使其被延揽至台湾,日本等游戏公司作为儿童游戏产品之开发顾问。至新加坡后积极参与本地幼儿教育,并发展多元文化教育教材及华文课程的开发,以及本地幼儿教育教师职前训练。目前,郑博士担任新加坡华文教研中心的学前部门主任。

Dr. Cheng Wan-Ni has more than 20 years of experience in childhood development and is presently the Dean of Early Childhood Care and Education Department at the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL). Dr. Cheng has taken a special interest in interactive games on smartphone devices and multimedia applications with a focus on marketing, consumerism and pop culture for children.

Su Zhangkai (苏章恺)

Moderator Su Zhangkai (苏章恺) (Singapore)

苏章恺 (Su Zhangkai) was formerly a part-time lecturer with the Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore and a secondary school teacher. He was conferred the 2013 Fellow of Academy of Singapore Teachers in recognition for his outstanding contribution towards professional development. He believes reading is the foundation of all learning and that with the right pedagogies and environment, learning the Chinese language can be easy and fun.

3:00pm – 4:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

The Future of Audiobooks

Audiobooks have been rising in popularity and are primed to grow even further. What are the trends of listenership and the future development of audiobook publishing? Join this panel to find out more.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

Eduardo García

Eduardo García (Germany)

Eduardo García is the co-Founder and managing director of German Wahnsinn, a recording studio and creative collective from Hamburg, Germany, focused on immersive story-telling and cross-media audio content.

Eduardo develops story-driven concepts and content for films, artists, audiobooks and a wide range of emerging technologies. He founded the audiobook label Atmende Bücher (Breathing Books) with bestselling author Cornelia Funke in 2015, exclusively producing and publishing elaborate audiobook and audio drama adaptations of the author’s work.

Michele Cobb

Michele Cobb (US)

Michele is the executive director of The Audio Publishers Association and a partner at Forte Business Consulting, which provides Business Development and Association Management services for the publishing industry. She is also a publisher for AudioFile, an online portal that features audiobooks and podcasts in more than a dozen topics.

Shalu Wasu

Shalu Wasu (Singapore)

Shalu has over 20 years of media, tech, advertising and start-up experience in Asia Pacific. He is presently the country manager for Storytel, one of the world's leading audiobook platforms. Storytel has over 1.5 million paying subscribers around the world and offers over 250,000 books in its Singapore catalog for users to listen and read.

Charlene Shepherdson

Moderator Charlene Shepherdson (Singapore)

Charlene Shepherdson is a Singaporean poet and community organiser focused on language in written, performative and visual forms. She is interested in heritage, technology and creative education. Her poems have been published in From Walden to Woodlands and UnFree Verse, A Luxury We Cannot Afford, SingPoWriMo 2014: The Anthology and The Straits Times.

3:30pm – 4:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Impacting Children and Teens Using Digital Learning and Cross-Disciplinary Programmes

Today’s generation of children and teens are highly immersed in digital environments. While there is a general acceptance of the inevitability of digital platforms, how do we wield this phenomenon as opportunities for learning, and as incentives for children to read while maintaining a balanced consumption of technology? Is there a way to utilise cross-disciplinary programmes to promote reading to children and teenagers, while getting them engaged in mother tongue language books at the same time? Find out in this presentation!

Renu Siva

Renu Siva (Singapore)

Renu Silva is a librarian from the Mother Tongue Language Services team at the National Library Board. Renu has over eight years of experience in library work specialising in children and young peoples’ programmes and services. She is well versed with the junior and young peoples’ collection in the libraries in both English and Tamil languages and has conducted related sharing sessions and workshops for parents, educators and children.

Cheeno Marlo Sayuno

Moderator Cheeno Marlo Sayuno (Philippines)

Cheeno Marlo Sayuno is an Assitant Professor of Communication and Children's Literature at the University of Philippines Los Baños. He won in the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature from the Philippine Board on Books for Young People in 2013 and 2017. He has published storybooks in the Philippines and was a writing participant at the AFCC Writers and Illustrators Retreat in 2015. He specialises in writing children's storybooks and analysing transmedia engagements of children.

5:00pm – 6:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Crossing Borders: Children’s Books in Focus

This roundtable gathers six translators from different parts of the world, from the US to Thailand, and working in different languages, to engage in a special conversation. They will discuss ways to increase the amount of translated children’s books, how to get more people interested in reading translated works, the challenges that they face, as well as their hopes for the future of translation.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the National Translation Committee. 

Avery Fischer Udagawa

Avery Fischer Udagawa (US/Thailand)

Avery Fischer Udagawa’s translations from Japanese to English include the middle grade novels Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba and J-Boys: Kazuo’s World, Tokyo, 1965 by Shogo Oketani. Her short story translations have appeared in Kyoto Journal, Words Without Borders, The Best Asian Short Stories 2018, and Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories. She is the International and Japan Translator Coordinator for SCBWI.

Helen Wang

Helen Wang (Uk)

Helen Wang translates Chinese children’s books into English. In 2017 she won the Marsh Christian Award for Children’s Literature in Translation for her translation of 《青铜葵花》(Bronze and Sunflower) by Cao Wenxuan, as well as the Chen Bochui Special Contribution Award for translation and increasing visibility of Chinese children's literature.

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel (US/Spain)

Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) lives in Madrid, Spain and writes in both Spanish and English. He's published over 120 books in a wide range of genres. He is also a prolific literary translator. His translations into Spanish include the graphic novel They Called Us Enemy by George Takei; his translations into English include the middle grade novels The Wild Book by Juan Villoro and The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos.

Nur-El-Hudaa Jaffar

Nur-El-Hudaa Jaffar (Singapore)

Nur-El-Hudaa is an author, translator and editor. She has managed several projects, helping schools in Singapore put together stories written by teachers and students for publication. Nur-El-Hudaa Jaffar began writing fiction in 2014. Since then, she has won awards for her children’s books, short stories and poetry. She is also a volunteer storyteller at a library and believes that children's books can be enjoyed by everyone.

Vetri

Vetri (India)

Vetri is a Tamil writer and translator whose writings and translations have appeared in many Tamil literary magazines. He is currently working with the non-profit children's books publisher Pratham Books as Assistant Editor for Tamil language books. Vetri believes that translators enable readers to see stories in a new light.

Shelly Bryant

Moderator Shelly Bryant (Singapore)

Shelly Bryant is a translator, poet and writer. She has translated work from the Chinese for Penguin Books, Amazon Crossing, Epigram Publishing, the National Library Board in Singapore, Giramondo Books, HSRC, Rinchen Books, and Maclehose Press. Her translation of Sheng Keyi’s Northern Girls was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012, and her translation of You Jin's In Time, Out of Place was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2016.

5:00pm – 6:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

能见/未见:插图中的现实主义和幻想 (Seen/Unseen: Realism and Fantasy in Illustrations)

一图可表千语,亦可各自包含数种诠释和论述。幻想和现实的模式是如何在绘本中表现出来?插画家在描绘故事主题时又是如何在幻想和现实之间穿行?几位插画家将分享他们的想法与各自的创作过程。

Pictures tell a thousand words and they can encompass multiple interpretations and narratives on their own. How do the modes of fantasy and realism play out in picture books? Hear from picture book illustrators who will share their thoughts in this panel.

There will be a live Q&A Segment during this session. This session will be conducted in Chinese.
 

Ah Guo (阿果)

Ah Guo (阿果) (Singapore)

阿果,本名李高豐,新加坡绘本作者、插画家、《联合早报》副刊专栏作者,也是不同学府的兼职讲师。

Ah Guo, or Lee Kow Fong, is a Singaporean picture-book author, illustrator, Lianhe Zaobao columnist and an adjunct educator at various institutes of higher learning.

Sun Hsin-Yu (孙心瑜)

Sun Hsin-Yu (孙心瑜) (Taiwan)

台湾第一位入选Bologna Ragazzi Award的绘本作家。绘制过邮票、1992长江探源、2020南极历险。
目前专心绘本创作,更多作品请参考FB:@joycesun.shystudio

 

Sun Hsin-Yu was the first Taiwanese picture book writer to win the Bologna Ragazzi Award. She has rendered stamps, explored the origin of the Yangtze River, and embarked on an Antarctica adventure.

Liu Hsu-Kung (刘旭恭)

Liu Hsu-Kung (刘旭恭) (Taiwan)

1995 年开始创作绘本,作品曾获信谊幼儿文学奖,丰子恺儿童图画书奖和波隆纳插画展入选等,现与家人住在台北。
Liu Hsu-Kung began writing picture books in 1995. His works have clinched the Xinyi Picture Book Children’s Literature Award and Feng Zikai Chinese Children's Picture Book Award, and were showcased at the Illustrators Exhibition. He is currently residing with his family in Taipei.

Charlene Lai

Moderator Charlene Lai (Taiwan)

Charlene Lai has been a picture book blogger since 2006. She has previously curated an exhibition, The Craft of Picture Books, and everything she does is affiliated with picture books reading and picture book art. In 2017, Charlene was honoured by Scholastic Asia as a Picture Book Ambassador.

5:00pm – 6:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Brave New Worlds / Strange New Worlds

How has the COVID-19 pandemic, global disruptions and technological innovation changed the nature of creating content? In an increasingly saturated online space, how do authors fight to maintain their unique stories? Join seasoned storytellers Rosemarie Somaiah and Alicia Dong-Joo Bong as they deep dive into these important questions, and how content creators can collaborate more, so that we can celebrate what it means to be writers and storytellers in these ever-changing times.

Rosemarie Somaiah

Rosemarie Somaiah (Singapore)

Rosemarie Somaiah’s stories have been translated into six languages. A storyteller, writer and artist-educator, she runs the Asian Storytelling Network from Singapore. She enjoys collaborating with artists working with all forms of stories in all media, for all ages. She has been presenting her work at international festivals and conferences since 2000.

Alicia Dong-Joo Bang

Alicia Dong-Joo Bang (Korea)

Alicia Dong-Joo Bang is a professional storyteller and passionate educator based in the Republic of Korea. She has delighted children and adults with her storytelling performances for years, and she now directs international storytelling festivals in South Korea. She is the founder of Story School, a unique storytelling school in Korea. She also founded KISA, the Korea International Storytellers' Association. Alicia has also competed in the Tehran International Storytelling Festival.

Jeffrey Tan

Moderator Jeffrey Tan (Singapore)

Jeffrey is an experienced Theatre Director and Drama Educator. He has taught ‘Creativity in Collaborative Learning’ and ‘Lesson Planning’ for the National institute of Education, ‘Educational Drama’ for Nanyang Technological Universtiy, 'Children's Theatre' for the University of Warwick and 'Educational Theatre' for New York University's Study Abroad Programme in London. 

29 May (Saturday) Rebuild

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

Using Podcasts to Promote Reading and Books

What goes into the making of a podcast, and why should you start listening to one (if you have not already)? Hear from our panel of podcast hosts and creators on why they feel podcasts are great platforms for the promotion of books and reading. Find out how they have each used the podcasts in reaching out to their audiences.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Loh Chin Ee

Loh Chin Ee (Singapore)

Loh Chin Ee is Associate Professor and Deputy Head (Research) at the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. She is the co-editor of Little Things, Poetry Moves and co-author of Teaching Poetry to Adolescents: A Teachers' Guide to Little Things by Ethos Books. She recently produced and co-hosted the How We Read podcast series.

Nat Amoore

Nat Amoore (Australia)

Nat Amoore is an Australian kid’s writer and kidlit podcast host. Her debut novel Secrets Of A Schoolyard Millionaire had great success as both Dymocks and QBD's 'Kids Book Of The Month', becoming Australia's #1 bestselling debut Aussie children’s fiction in 2019. Nat is a host of KidLit podcast One More Page which has already had over 80K downloads and was a finalist in the ‘Best Newcomer’ category for the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards.

Benjamin (Jamie) Salka

Benjamin (Jamie) Salka (US)

Benjamin (Jamie) Salka is the co-founder and CEO of Story Pirates, a media company that celebrates the words, ideas, and stories of kids. Under his leadership, Story Pirates has grown from a pilot program in a single school auditorium to an internationally respected family entertainment brand. Benjamin also co-founded Story Pirates Changemakers, the non-profit arm of Story Pirates that brings arts and literacy programs to low-income communities.

Jai Zende

Moderator Jai Zende (India)

Jai is the former Head of Content at Audible India, where he led their audiobook, podcast and scripted content strategy and creation. Originally a banker, Jai entered the spoken-word space in 2010 with his venture booksTALK audiobooks, which was India’s first major audiobook business in multiple Indian languages. Jai is currently embarking on new endeavours in the audio/media industry.

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

One City, One Book: Reading Initiatives in Thailand

Adapted from a project first started by a Seattle-based librarian in 1988, “One Book, One City” has become a thriving reading initiative in Northern Thailand. The project evolved from a reading campaign into a content development programme that engages schools, state leaders and non-profits to develop their own children’s books for their reading initiatives. Discover more about this reading initiative and understand why it’s high time we win children from all over — one book and one city at a time.

This session is presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand. This session is conducted in Thai, with English subtitles.

Thattaya Anussornrajakit

Thattaya Anussornrajakit (Thailand)

Thattaya Anussornrajakit graduated from the Faculty of Education, Silpakorn University. She was the editor of several magazines before she moved to Chiang Mai in 1999 to work as a freelancer. She wrote and published 30 books under several pseudonyms. She managed the reading promotion culture projects Chiang Mai Read; and One City, One Book Project, Chiang Rai.

Akrapol Wattanasin

Akrapol Wattanasin (Thailand)

Akrapol Wattanasin received an M.A. in Communication and Cultural Studies from the University of Western Sydney. He is now a Managing Director of the joint-venture Malaysia-Thai publishing company, Pelangi Publishing. The press, which he joined 15 years ago, specialises in children’s education and child edutainment. Akrapol has written many children’s storybooks. Akrapol has also served as a Board member of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT).

Vasuree Pisutsinthop

Moderator Vasuree Pisutsinthop (Thailand)

Vasuree Pisutsinthop earned her BA in Education and MA in Marketing. She is the Marketing Director of EQ Plus Co., Ltd., an educational comic books publisher with 16 years of experience. EQ Plus Co. Ltd features interesting subjects featuring Thai history, science and social studies and is based in Bangkok.

9:00am – 12:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Creating Magic Systems

An essential part of worldbuilding, your magic system defines your world thematically and is part of the underpinnings for your story. A better understanding of your magic system can deepen your understanding of your characters and their journey. Come create a system that will be internally consistent, dynamic, with real-life parallels to our own world, and most importantly — story generative.

This programme is supported by the U.S. Embassy Singapore.

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Holly Black

Holly Black (US)

Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over 30 fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner and a Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library.

10:30am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Owning Our Narratives

Listen to two homegrown authors as they discuss diversity in children's literature beyond COVID-19 and what that means for Singapore. They will also share why "owning our narrative" is important in a child’s reading diet. The session also delves deeper into how reading develops a sense of identity and a memory of who we are, adding to a sense of belonging altogether. You may even discover some uniquely Singaporean books!

Sim Ee Waun

Sim Ee Waun (Singapore)

Sim Ee Waun is the author of children’s books The Little Singapore Book, The House on Palmer Road, and its sequel The House on Silat Road. A veteran food writer, she was editor of numerous magazines including Wine & Dine and Appetite. She lives in Singapore and is passionate about local history.

Eva Wong Nava

Eva Wong Nava (UK)

Eva Wong Nava is an award-winning children's book author who lives between two worlds. She reads copiously and writes voraciously. Eva creates stories that entertain, engage, and empower children. She holds degrees in Art History and English Literature and is an advocate for diversity in children's literature.

Joyceline See Tully

Moderator Joyceline See Tully (Singapore)

Joyceline See Tully has worked in publishing for the past 20 years. She is the author of Tiger Tales: Almost True Animal Stories from Old Singapore. She is also the co-author of The Little Singapore Book, Tricks & Treats... and Other Childhood Tales, and Heritage Feasts. She also wrote Attack at the Mall and The Runaway Car for SGSecure's outreach programme for primary schools in Singapore.

11:00am – 12:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Media Pitch

Watch the five finalists of AFCC’s media pitch from Singapore and abroad going head-to-head with one another as they pitch their media projects to a panel of industry veterans in the kids content space for the chance of developing their concept further. Watch as experts from Nickelodeon, WarnerMedia, Tencent 腾讯 and Discovery Kids share their insights with the hopeful finalists. Expect sketches, storyboards, and lots of refreshing new ideas for children’s content.

Carlene Tan

Carlene Tan (Singapore)

Carlene Tan is responsible for identifying new IP and producing original series for WarnerMedia's Kids & Family brands in Asia Pacific including Cartoon Network, Boomerang and POGO, as well as the streaming service HBO GO. She oversees the region's current state of APAC originals that include the International Emmy-nominated Lamput and Monster Beach. Prior to WarnerMedia, Carlene developed original animation with The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia).

Uttam Pal Singh

Uttam Pal Singh (India)

Uttam has been working in the children's content and animation industry for almost 20 years. He now heads a kids entertainment channel, Discovery Kids. Uttam is the creative vision behind the rise of Discovery Kids. He developed and adapted Big Bollywood IPs for Kids TV and successfully launched Hindi language TV programmes Little Singham and Fukrey Boyzzz which are now streaming on Netflix.

James Liu

James Liu (China)

James manages the IP acquisition for kids and international projects for 腾讯 (Tencent) Video. He previously served as Director of Acquisition and Investment at WeKids, a renowned media company at Hong Kong, with a concentration on the internationally awarded animated series. He has more than nine years of expertise in international rights introduction, negotiations and management in both publishing and media industry, specialising in kids content.

Karen Tang

Karen Tang (Singapore)

Karen Tang’s first foray into the industry came as the Vice-President at Peach Blossom Media, where she oversaw operations and animation productions. She has been developing and producing content for digital platforms and television. Her works have been recognized with various accolades such as the Asian Academy Creative Awards, Golden Bell Awards, and the Asian Television Awards.

Nicholas Oh

Nicholas Oh (Singapore)

Nicholas is an award-winning commissioning editor with over a decade of experience in the media industry. A content enthusiast, Nicholas loves strategising content across the kids and unscripted entertainment space, developing IPs and curating content for his audience. Nicholas has experience working with prominent networks and brands across the world, with some highlights including the MasterChef and Lil Wild IP. When he’s not working, Nicholas tries in vain to make his furkids love him.

Yoshiya Ayugai

Moderator Yoshiya Ayugai (Singapore)

Yoshiya is a writer/producer for kids and family content working across the Asia Pacific region. Yoshiya is originally from Japan and has held development and production executive positions in Tokyo, LA, Hong Kong and in Singapore at Disney, Cartoon Network and Netflix, working with the most dynamic animation studios in the region.

Antony Gusscott

Moderator Antony Gusscott (New Zealand)

Antony uses his 14 years of expertise to run a creative consultancy firm, Sprinkles on Top, that has worked with over 40 animation series worldwide. Sprinkles on Top helps clients to create: Writers Bibles, Pitching Materials, Show Bibles, Branding Guides and Pilots and aids the pre-production process of animation shows while assisting clients in pitch their series to the global market.

12:00pm – 1:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

How Technology Enhances the Learning Process, Production and Marketing of a Children’s Book

The session looks at the journey and birth of the augmented reality (AR) book, Prince Nila Discovers a New Kingdom, by its writer Chew Yeh and Victoria Carlton. AR, which enhances real-world objects with technology, is an interactive experience that Pokemon Go! players will be familiar with. How does this play out in a children’s book? Find out how AR has been bringing literature to life, and how it can help enhance your marketing efforts for your books!

Redeem an augmented reality book, Prince Nila Discovers a New Kingdom by providing your feedback for this session to Chew Yeh here!

Ngo Chew Yeh

Ngo Chew Yeh (Singapore)

Madam Ngo Chew Yeh is the founder of September 21 Enterprise Pte Ltd, the region's leading supplier of high quality Early Childhood, Special Needs & Primary teaching resources. She is an avid animal lover, a toastmaster fan and collects antique books. Her personal mantra: Ethics and Integrity are my passion. They cost nothing but they mean everything.

Kenlin Liu

Moderator Kenlin Liu (Singapore)

Kenlin is the Chief Operating Officer at September 21 Enterprise Pte Ltd which provides educational resources for parents and teachers. He has designed, developed and implemented training lessons and programmes for various multi-national companies and also for the military in England and Singapore. He believes that chess is an enabler in empowered children and helping them to be more strategically minded when dealing with schoolwork.

12:30pm – 1:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Between Illustration and Animation: Straddling Both Art Forms

Hear from renowned illustrator and award-winning animator 山村 浩二(Koji Yamamura) of Mount Head and A Country Doctor fame as he shares about how elements of character design and illustration styles play crucial roles in the storytelling process. Get an insight into the adaptation process, and uncover the differences in narrative flow between books and films. You may even get a glimpse at Koji’s illustrations in this lecture!

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

Koji Yamamura (山村浩二)

Koji Yamamura (山村浩二) (Japan)

Koji Yamamura is an animator and illustrator. His anime short film Mt. Head (2002) was nominated for an Oscar and marked a turning point in his career and propelled him to prominence. He is also known for Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor (2007) and Muybridge’s Strings (2011). His films have been awarded with more than 90 prizes and he also writes and illustrates picture books.
 

Tomoko Shiga

Moderator Tomoko Shiga (Japan)

Tomoko Shiga is a translator and interpretor. She is proficient in English to Japanese and Japanese to English translation, and has been engaged for business negotiations with C-level executives. She has interpreted for famous Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, and has translated legal documents for Panasonic and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

1:00pm – 2:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Practical Approaches to Media Literacy and Combating Misinformation

Knowing where to look for reliable information and how to trace and verify claims from unfamiliar, biased, or distorted sources is essential for students, parents, and teachers. This session will focus on practical approaches to media literacy, including a look at how educators, librarians and institutions are taking effective measures to help their stakeholders discern fake news from great news.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Mervin Ang

Mervin Ang (Singapore)

Mervin is a versatile trainer and facilitator with more than five years of training experience in the National Library’s Outreach team. He has conducted numerous talks and workshops on information literacy, library databases and combating fake news to diverse audiences, and he has trained over 40,000 individuals.

Mike Caulfield

Mike Caulfield (US)

Mike Caulfield is the director of blended and networked learning at Washington State University Vancouver. He is an early believer in the idea of civic digital literacies. His work Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers won the Merlot Award for best open learning resource in the ICT category. He was a runner up in the Rita Allen/RTI International Misinformation Solutions Award.

Angela Erickson

Angela Erickson (US)

Angela Erickson is the Head of Middle School English at United World College. Before moving to Singapore, she was a Teacher Librarian at Seoul International School. She is interested in how educational leadership, curriculum design and workshop pedagogy can be integrated to create a school culture of reading, thinking and writing.

Kim Beeman

Moderator Kim Beeman (Singapore)

Kim Beeman is Head of the Senior Library at Tanglin Trust School in Singapore. She has previously worked as a teacher-librarian at independent schools in Bangkok and New York City, and was a cookbook librarian in New York City for many years. Kim has a Masters of Library and Information Science from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

1:30pm – 2:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Sensitive Issues in Philippine Children’s Literature on Parental Migration and Left-behind Children

This presentation focuses on the psychosocial impact of parental migration on children. How are “left-behind” children in the Philippines as represented by the country’s children stories? What are some difficult issues that are addressed in children’s books? Deep dive into representation of special needs children, child abuse and maltreatment in this eye-opening programme. When children of migrants lose their parents to disability and death, how do they carry on, and are there children’s books that showcase their plight unflinchingly and accurately? Find out more in this session.

Glenda C. Oris

Glenda C. Oris (Philippines)

Glenda "Bong" C. Oris is an Assistant Professor at the School of Humanities of the Ateneo de Manila University, where she also completed her BS Computer Science and MA Philosophy degrees. She is an author and translator of books for children as well as a museum enthusiast.

Theodora Choy Fong Lam

Moderator Theodora Choy Fong Lam (Singapore)

Theodora Lam is a Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS). She obtained her PhD in Geography from NUS and her dissertation focused on understanding changing gender subjectivities, web of care and relationships within the family in the wake of transnational labour migration. Her research highlights the voices of return migrants as well as carers and children who have remained in their home countries.

2:00pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Writer’s Pitch

If you sent your unpublished manuscripts to us and hold an AFCC Festival Pass, this is the moment for you to shine! Meet up with publishing representatives Sarah Odedina from Pushkin Press, Tina Narang from HarperCollins India, Daphne Lee from Scholastic Asia and more. You will be meeting them one-on-one in a breakout room and you can schedule up to three meetings in total. All the best for your pitch!

Ani Almario

Ani Almario (Philippines)

Ani Rosa Almario is the Vice-President for Product Development of Adarna House, the Philippines' first and largest children's publishing firm. She is also the Secretary-General of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) and the President of the Book Development Association of the Philippines. 

Daphne Lee Mei Lin

Daphne Lee Mei Lin (Malaysia)

Daphne Lee is the fiction editor at Scholastic Asia. As a writer, Daphne is particularly interested in Malaysian and Asian myths, legends and fairytales. She recently published Bright Landscapes, a collection of short stories inspired by local supernatural beliefs and folklore. She is currently working on her first novel.

Frances Ong

Frances Ong (Philippines)

Frances Ong is Managing Editor at Tahanan Books for Young Readers, where she has overseen the production and publication of dozens of children’s books. Among the titles she has shepherded through all phases of production are Ay Naku!, Tagu-Taguan, and Mang Andoy’s Signs — all recipients of the (Philippine) National Children’s Book Award.

Kelsey Skea

Kelsey Skea (US)

Kelsey Skea is the editorial director of Two Lions, the Amazon Publishing imprint that produces books for readers up to age 12 and Amazon Crossing Kids, where she has worked with authors and illustrators including Alison McGhee, Hatem Aly, Anna Kang, Christopher Weyant, Mike Wu, Lindsay Ward, Jim Benton, and Lauren Castillo. Her publishing career began at HarperCollins Children’s Books; previously she was an executive editor at Disney Press/Disney Hyperion.

Le Thu Phuong Quynh

Le Thu Phuong Quynh (Vietnam)

Le Thu Phuong Quynh has 10 years of experience in publishing. She worked in a leading nonprofit for children's literacy and girls' education, Room to Read, from 2011 to 2017. She was consulted for book projects in Cambodia and Myanmar with The Asia Foundation and various Vietnamese publishers. She also supports Room to Read publishing projects in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Priti Sharma Devata

Priti Sharma Devata (Singapore)

Priti Sharma Devata is an associate editor of children’s books at Epigram where she publishes both fiction and non-fiction picture books in early reader and middle grade categories. She is also an associate lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) where she teaches children’s literature and Singaporean literature. Priti has more than 21 years of experience in teaching and developing language and literary courses for online and classroom environments for both college and university.

Sarah Odedina

Sarah Odedina (UK)

Sarah is Editor-at-Large for Pushkin Press where she is responsible for acquiring middle grade and teen titles. She has worked in publishing for some time and has worked with some of the greats of children’s literature including Neil Gaiman, J. K. Rowling and Louis Sachar. Sarah also edits bi-montlhy magazine Scoop for readers aged 8 to 12.

Tina Narang

Tina Narang (India)

Tina Narang is the Children’s Publisher at HarperCollins India, where she launched the children’s imprint, HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2017. Prior to HarperCollins, Tina was with Scholastic India from 2005-17.

2:00pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Making Books Accessible

How can we make books accessible to people with disabilities, and what are the various inclusive strategies in place to enable them to read? This panel stars a bharathanatyam dancer, a representative from publishing for accessible books, an arts group that supports people with disabilities and more. Find out how books provide an entry point for different disability groups to experience a more fulfilling life.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Verena Lee

Verena Lee (Singapore)

Verena Lee is an Assistant Director at the National Library Board, Singapore. Verena and her team are presently involved in improving Singapore’s library spaces and services for the disability community. She also manages Woodlands Regional Library, which offers programmes and services for persons with disabilities, including a sensory-friendly space for children with autism.

Jaspreet Kaur

Jaspreet Kaur (Singapore)

Jaspreet is a founding member of Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), having actively participated in performances with the group such as Speaking With Hands, the Saarang Festival in Chennai and Same Same. As a dancer in Fusion Dance by Down Syndrome Association Singapore (DSA), Jaspreet has also performed on numerous platforms such as their annual charity gala dinner, Mystique, and Purple Parade.

Magali Finet

Magali Finet (Singapore)

Magali Finet is the manager designate for Programmes at Very Special Arts Singapore, a local charity dedicated to using arts to providing access and opportunities for people with disabilities. A published short story writer, Magali is very excited to combine her two passions, writing and working for persons with disabilities, by developing VSA(S)'s Literary programme.

Ming Xia Ho

Ming Xia Ho (Singapore)

Ming Xia is the Social Media Manager and Singapore Administrator at Writing Through, a charitable organisation which uses creative writing as a tool to develop thinking skills. Ming Xia strives to create impactful relationships with her interpersonal skills, experience, and knowledge. As an active advocate of education, creativity, thinking skills, and self-esteem, Ming Xia has made several guest appearances on stage as a speaker to inspire people from all walks of life to live curiously.

Kavitha Krishnan

Kavitha Krishnan (Singapore)

Kavitha is the co-founder of Maya Dance Theatre, and she presents inter-disciplinary-transcultural dance theatre works to shine light on social issues. In 2018, Kavitha founded Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), which consists of performers with different abilities; and they dance to communicate and connect! Kavitha is trained in the Indian dance form bharathanatyam and creates contemporary dance with Asian perspectives.

Monica Halil Lövblad

Monica Halil Lövblad (Switzerland)

Monica Halil Lövblad is the Head at Accessible Books Consortium (ABC). ABC is a public-private partnership led by the World Intellectual Property Organization. It includes organizations that represent people with print disabilities such as the World Blind Union; libraries for the blind; standards bodies, and organizations representing authors, publishers and collective management organizations.

Roger Jenkins

Moderator Roger Jenkins (Singapore)

Roger Jenkins has been a professional storyteller since 1998. He organised the Story [email protected] Village with Story Connection Ltd.

He founded Hi! Theatre of the Deaf in 1984 and was its Director for 10 years. He is a founding member of the Access Arts Hub, which seeks to promote access to live arts events for people with disabilities. He is also a trained audio describer and has described nine productions, mainly by SRT and Wild Rice!

3:00pm – 4:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Menghasilkan Buku Kanak-kanak Yang Berjaya Meraih Anugerah (Creating Award-winning Children’s Books)

Dengarkan perkongsian panel penulis tentang karya-karya mereka yang telah memenangi anugerah. Mereka akan membincangkan inspirasi disebalik buku-buku mereka dan bagaimana pengiktirafan yang diberikan telah meningkatkan proses kreatif mereka serta menetapkan jangkaan bagi karya-karya yang akan datang.

Hear from this panel of writers as they share about their award-winning works. They will discuss the inspiration for their books and how the awards they received have improved their creative process and set expectations for future works.

Nor Azhar is unable to participate in AFCC due to unforseen circumstances, but the session he is involved in will still go on. 

Rilla Melati Bahri

Rilla Melati Bahri (Singapore)

Rilla Melati is a two-time winner of the prestigious Malay literary award, Anugerah Persuratan. Rilla builds creative content for the classroom and television and has written more than 25 Malay and bilingual children’s books. As the founder of the educational company Mini Monsters Ltd, she hopes to reignite the love for the Malay language with materials that are relevant for today’s generation of children.

Koen Setyawan

Koen Setyawan (Indonesia)

Koen Setyawan is an award-winning children’s book writer, illustrator and graphic designer from Indonesia. He has published more than 80 books, including activity books, novels and digital books. He aims to share his passion for environmental and biodiversity issues with his readers from an Indonesian perspective with his books. Koen is also a member of KPBA or Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature.

Nor Azhar Ishak

Nor Azhar Ishak (Malaysia)

Nor Azhar Ishak ialah seorang pengkarya buku kanak-kanak Malaysia yang telah memenangi pelbagai anugerah. Beliau juga ialah seorang ilustrator dan pencerita antarabangsa yang gemar tentang sastera, seni dan sains. Nor Azhar juga merupakan seorang pendidik dengan pengalaman lebih 20 tahun dalam pembangunan profesionalisme guru.

Nor Azhar Ishak is an award-winning children's book writer, illustrator and international storyteller. He is also an educator with 20 years of experience in conducting professional development workshops for teachers.

 

Nor Azhar is unable to participate in AFCC due to unforseen circumstances, but the session he is involved in will still go on. 

Shahril Samri

Moderator Shahril Samri (Singapore)

Shahril Samri adalah seorang guru di prasekolah PCF Sparkletots yang mengajar Bahasa Melayu serta Inggeris. Beliau adalah pengasas Pantunism, sebuah kelab bertujuan untuk menyegarkan kembali seni pantun. Harapannya ialah untuk menyampai kepentingan bahasa Melayu,budaya dan identiti kepada generasi muda.

Shahril Samri is an educator at PCF Sparkletots Preschool where he teaches Malay. He is the founder of Pantunism, a Pantun (Malay Poetry) enthusiast, and loves imparting the importance of the Malay language to children.
 

3:45pm – 4:45pm (SGT) Convert Time

Inspiration, Memory and Writing

An accidental encounter can lead to a lifelong passion, as it did for 黄善美 (Hwang Sun-mi) who discovered a classroom of books by chance, setting her on the path to becoming one of South Korea's most beloved children's book writers. In this lecture, hear from the acclaimed writer as she reflects on her writing journey, the tribulations faced and the sources of inspiration she draws from for her books.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

Hwang Sun-mi (黄善美)

Hwang Sun-mi (黄善美) (Korea)

Hwang Sun-mi is a South Korean writer, who has won many awards and published more than 40 books for adults and children. She graduated from the creative writing departments at Seoul Institute of the Arts and Gwangju University. Her book, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly has been on bestseller lists for 20 years and has also been adapted into a comic book, a play, and a musical, and has been translated into 30 languages.

Alicia Dong-Joo Bang

Moderator Alicia Dong-Joo Bang (Korea)

Alicia Dong-Joo Bang is a professional storyteller and passionate educator based in the Republic of Korea. She has delighted children and adults with her storytelling performances for years, and she now directs international storytelling festivals in South Korea. She is the founder of Story School, a unique storytelling school in Korea. She also founded KISA, the Korea International Storytellers' Association. Alicia has also competed in the Tehran International Storytelling Festival.

5:00pm – 6:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Building an Inclusive Classroom

How can early intervention practitioners, early childhood educators and parents work collaboratively in the building of inclusive classrooms? What role does Early Intervention, which refers to the services and supports that are available to babies and young children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families, play in the process of providing services, education, and support to young children with special needs?

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Sandy Koh

Sandy Koh (Singapore)

Sandy is the principal of Singapore’s first inclusive preschool Kindle Garden and she has over three decades of experience in early childhood education. Having a keen interest in curriculum development, Sandy collaborates with teachers, early interventionists and allied health professionals to provide optimum support for the holistic development of every child at Kindle Garden. Sandy holds a Masters in Special Needs and a Bachelors in Early Childhood.

Cass Lim

Cass Lim (Singapore)

Cass is an active working mother with two boys who loves swimming and outdoor sports. Her 6-year-old son was officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) this year. She is a big believer in early intervention, a support and educational system for very young children with developmental delays or disabilities. She is the Section Head of Physical Education Department at College East, Institute of Technical education. 

Alison Choo

Alison Choo (Singapore)

Alison is a Senior Speech and Language Therapist with PAP Community Foundation (PCF), and has worked with adults and children with diverse needs and profiles within both hospital and community settings. She has a special interest in providing speech and language intervention in inclusive settings, and has successfully incorporated Key Word Sign, the use of signs and natural gestures to support communication and the language development of children, as a preschool-wide approach.

Gomathey Veeramari

Moderator Gomathey Veeramari (Singapore)

Gomathey is an educator who has worked in Early Childhood & Special Education for more than 30 years in a number of capacities including in Special Schools, Therapy Centres, and as a Classroom Specialist. A firm believer of lifelong learning, Ms Gomy completed her Master of Arts in Special Educational Needs (MA SEN) with University of South Wales, UK. She enjoys attending various courses in her field of specialty.

5:00pm – 6:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

如何通过绘本阅读促进亲子关系 (How to Enhance Parent-child Relationship through Picture Book Reading)

获奖儿童作家刘旭恭将通过讲座,探讨绘本如何助于培养与促进亲子关系。他也将分享和孩子们进行阅读活动的方式,以及其方式对他创作模式的影响。

Explore how picture books can help nurture and cultivate the parent-child relationship in this lecture by award-winning children's author, 刘旭恭 (Liu Hsu Kung). Hear from him as he shares on his approaches to conducting reading activities with his children and how that has influenced the way he creates his works.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

Liu Hsu-Kung (刘旭恭)

Liu Hsu-Kung (刘旭恭) (Taiwan)

1995 年开始创作绘本,作品曾获信谊幼儿文学奖,丰子恺儿童图画书奖和波隆纳插画展入选等,现与家人住在台北。
Liu Hsu-Kung began writing picture books in 1995. His works have clinched the Xinyi Picture Book Children’s Literature Award and Feng Zikai Chinese Children's Picture Book Award, and were showcased at the Illustrators Exhibition. He is currently residing with his family in Taipei.

Su Zhangkai (苏章恺)

Moderator Su Zhangkai (苏章恺) (Singapore)

苏章恺 (Su Zhangkai) was formerly a part-time lecturer with the Department of Chinese Studies at the National University of Singapore and a secondary school teacher. He was conferred the 2013 Fellow of Academy of Singapore Teachers in recognition for his outstanding contribution towards professional development. He believes reading is the foundation of all learning and that with the right pedagogies and environment, learning the Chinese language can be easy and fun.

5:15pm – 6:15pm (SGT) Convert Time

From Bookstagram to BookToks: How Gen Z is Generating Book Buzz

Unsure what is a BookTok and a Bookstagram? Fret not! Let the digital natives on this panel share what these terms are with you! They will look at how the discussion and promotion of books have changed within the Gen Z era with the use of digital platforms and social media, and discuss what the future of books could look like.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Natalie Sutanto

Natalie Sutanto (Singapore)

Natalie (she/they) is a reading enthusiast who likes to share their favourite books with the bookish community online. They like to read mainly nonfiction books on society, feminism, queerness, the climate and local issues in Singapore. If not found poring over a book in some random corner, they are likely making content for their bookstagram/booktube over at @anattynook.

Elizabeth Black

Elizabeth Black (US)

Elizabeth is a college student residing in California with a passion for books and history. She is a content creator on TikTok, meeting book enthusiasts around the world and helping to inspire a love for storytelling among the younger generation. She hopes to continue exploring literature through travel and her studies.

Mireille and Elodie Lee (alifeofliterature)

Mireille and Elodie Lee (alifeofliterature) (UK)

@alifeofliterature is a TikTok account by Mireille and Elodie Lee with more than 250,000 followers worldwide. @alifeofliterature successfully bridges the worlds of social media and literature. Mireille and Elodie inspire people to read by creating and sharing book trailers where they combine montages of pictures that showcase books aesthetics with emotive music.

Mindy Pang

Moderator Mindy Pang (Singapore)

Mindy Pang has more than a decade of experience as an editor and marketing manager at Marshall Cavendish International (Asia). She was the driving force behind key publications as a senior editor and currently develops marketing strategies to help the publishing house remain a leading publisher in Asia and beyond.

5:15pm – 5:45pm (SGT) Convert Time

Invigorating Classics for A New Generation Through Visual Reading

In this session, Dr Jo-Ann Shek, lecturer of English Language and Literature at the National Institute of Education, will be speaking to award-winning authors, Hidayah Amin, Low Ying Ping and Mallika Naguran about their journey to adapt and re-tell classics to a new generation of children. Find out how they found creative ways to pick the best stories from long classics, played with characterisation and created a brand new series of fun popular literature for young readers.

Hidayah Amin

Hidayah Amin (Singapore)

Hidayah Amin had her first short story published when she was 11. It was only when she lost her childhood home that she resumed writing and published Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood in 2010. Hidayah has since written eight non-fiction books and published 14 children’s books including 10 books for readers with and without disabilities.

Low Ying Ping

Low Ying Ping (Singapore)

Low Ying Ping is an author and registered instructor with the Ministry of Education and has a Post-graduate Diploma in Education from the National Institute of Education. Her poems and critical essay have appeared in Singa, the journal of the National University of Singapore Centre for the Arts and QLRS (Quarterly Literary Review Singapore). She has spoken about her books at various platforms, including the Singapore Writers Festival, the Young Writers Festival and events organised by the National Library Board. Low Ying Ping is the author of the Mount Emily novels, a middle grade / young adult fantasy series featuring friendship and time travel. Mount Emily Revisited won the Singapore Book Awards 2017 in the Middle Grade / Young Adult category. 

Mallika Naguran

Mallika Naguran (Australia)

Mallika Naguran is a writer of children’s books and adult fiction. Mallika has spent more than a decade writing and editing environmental articles as founder of Gaia Discovery (www.gaiadiscovery.com). Mallika is passionate about nature, the underwater world and music. Bo Mallika has authored Ramayana: The Quest for Sita and co-authored Peter Pan in the POP! Lit Series for Kids by World Scientific Publishing (2021). She lives in Tasmania and eavesdrops on birds gossiping to one another.

Dr Jo-Ann Shek

Moderator Dr Jo-Ann Shek (Singapore)

Jo-Ann Netto-Shek works as a teacher educator of primary school English beginning teachers at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is a children’s literature enthusiast and advocates for the place of literature in the development of reader, community and global identities in children. Jo-Ann is the recipient of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar and most recently, the NTU Edex Grant.  

30 May (Sunday) Reignite

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

Why I Write About Diversity

Diversity and Representation are key words currently permeating the literary industry, with more writers and publishers aware of the need for books and content that reflect the different aspects and facets of the world we live in. In this session, hear from our speakers as they discuss the push for diverse writing and books in their own countries, and what are their hopes for the future of literature for young people.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. This programme is supported by the U.S. Embassy Singapore.

Kat Cho

Kat Cho (US)

Kat Cho is an international bestselling YA author who loves to incorporate her Korean heritage in her writing, especially if it involves describing food. She loves anything that encourages nerding out, including reading, K-dramas, K-pop and anime. She’s the author of Gumiho: Wicked Fox and Vicious Spirits (Putnam/Penguin). 

Kristyn Maslog-Levis

Kristyn Maslog-Levis (Australia)

Kristyn M. Levis is a marketing specialist, author, ghostwriter and photographer. She worked as a TV reporter in the Philippines and a radio broadcaster with SBS in Sydney, where she still occasionally does voice-overs. Her young adult novel The Girl Between Two Worlds and The Girl Between Light and Dark were published by Anvil Publishing. The third book in this series, The Search for Adarna, is out now.

Daphne Lee Mei Lin

Moderator Daphne Lee Mei Lin (Malaysia)

Daphne Lee is the fiction editor at Scholastic Asia. As a writer, Daphne is particularly interested in Malaysian and Asian myths, legends and fairytales. She recently published Bright Landscapes, a collection of short stories inspired by local supernatural beliefs and folklore. She is currently working on her first novel.

9:00am – 10:00am (SGT) Convert Time

A Window into Children’s Literature in Thailand

Understand Thai Children’s Literature in this special lecture that deep dives into its history, current developments and future trends. Presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

Virine Hutasangkas

Virine Hutasangkas (Thailand)

Virine Hutasangkas is a lecturer at the Department of French, Faculty of Humanities, at Chiang Mai University. She obtained her PhD in Modern Literature (Children’s literature) from Université de Tours, France. Her main interest is comparative literature (children and young adult) under various themes such as immigration, intercultural translation and multiculturalism. She loves pancake.

9:30am – 11:00am (SGT) Convert Time

与孫心瑜谈绘本的艺术性 (The Art of Picture Books with Sun Hsin-Yu)

Bologna Ragazzi Award的插画家孫心瑜和你有约。她将分享作为一名插画家的旅程,以及在其书籍中使用的不同创作手法。她也将讨论所参与的多个项目,特别是其与国立台湾大学医学院附设医院的合作

Join Bologna Ragazzi Award illustrator 孙心瑜 (Sun Hsin-Yu) as she shares about her journey as an illustrator and the different creative devices she used in her books. She will also discuss her various bespoke projects especially her collaboration with the National Taiwan University Hospital.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and may be subjected to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-serve basis. The registration link will be updated at a later date. 

Sun Hsin-Yu (孙心瑜)

Sun Hsin-Yu (孙心瑜) (Taiwan)

台湾第一位入选Bologna Ragazzi Award的绘本作家。绘制过邮票、1992长江探源、2020南极历险。
目前专心绘本创作,更多作品请参考FB:@joycesun.shystudio

 

Sun Hsin-Yu was the first Taiwanese picture book writer to win the Bologna Ragazzi Award. She has rendered stamps, explored the origin of the Yangtze River, and embarked on an Antarctica adventure.

Quek Hong Shin

Moderator Quek Hong Shin (Singapore)

郭宏驯是一名新加坡绘本作家和插画家。由Epigram Books出版的《不可思议的竹篮》曾获得2019年新加坡图书奖的“最佳儿童图书奖”。

Quek Hong Shin is a Singaporean picture book author and illustrator. He has illustrated several picture books and his work has been shortlisted twice for The Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award. His book The Incredible Basket, published by Epigram Books, was the winner of Best Children's Book at the 2019 Singapore Book Awards.

10:30am – 12:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

The Future of Reading

家长可以在进行亲子阅读时让孩子通过有趣、好玩的华语绘本,接触丰富的文化和语言。这对于长期浸泡在英语环境的小朋友尤为重要。思洁目前在公共图书馆担任中文书籍的图书馆员以及选购员。她将介绍高素质的华文书籍给家长,还会分享一些选书和进行亲子共读时的建议。家长可以参考这些建议,并开启和孩子的阅读之旅。

Reading fun books in mother tongue language allow parents to introduce children to their culture and language at a young age. Speaker Melissa Choo shares why this is important in a predominantly English-language environment. Melissa, whose job encompasses choosing Chinese language book titles for public libraries in Singapore, will introduce must-read Chinese children’s collections and share practical tips in choosing fun Chinese books for parents and children to kick start their reading journey together in this online workshop. This session is conducted in Mandarin, with English subtitles.

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time.

Melissa Choo

Melissa Choo (Singapore)

Melissa Choo is an Associate Librarian with the National Library Board. Her work provides her with the opportunity to keep up with the reading trends in Chinese children’s books, and it brings her much joy to be able to share these with the community at the programmes she conducts and oversees for parents and children. She presently advocates for reading, especially in the Mother Tongue, in her daily work, which she enjoys greatly.

11:00am – 12:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Creating Narratives Through Comics

In this session, independent comics publisher Difference Engine will be speaking with cartoonists Arif Rafhan and Gavin Aung Than and children’s book writer Melanie Lee about how students can process complex topics with creative materials like creating comics and simple narratives. Educators will learn how to include visual storytelling in their arsenal of teaching tools after this eye-opening session, and parents will be able to cultivate a love for illustration and reading in their children.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Melanie Lee

Melanie Lee (Singapore)

Melanie is the author of the middle grade graphic novel Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma. She also wrote the picture book series The Adventures of Squirky the Alien and Out & About in Singapore, a travel guide for children. She is also a part-time communications lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences.

Arif Rafhan

Arif Rafhan (Malaysia)

Arif Rafhan is a visual artist from Malaysia. His work includes illustration, comic art and animation for local and international clients. His work has been featured in Gila-Gila, Lat’s collection as the colourist, and publications in Malaysia and Singapore. His latest work is a collaboration with Melanie Lee: Amazing Ash & Superhero Ah Ma.

Gavin Aung Than

Gavin Aung Than (Australia)

Gavin Aung Than is a New York Times bestselling cartoonist and creator of Zen Pencils, a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories. He is currently working on the middle grade graphic novel series Super Sidekicks, published by Penguin Random House. After working in the corporate graphic design industry for eight years he quit his unfulfilling job and sold his house to follow his true passion: drawing comics.

Felicia Low

Moderator Felicia Low (Singapore)

Felicia has worked in bookselling and publishing for over a decade. She is one half of AJ Low, the writing team behind the best-selling Sherlock Sam series and she is a publisher at Difference Engine, an independent comics publisher. She believes that stories have the power to change the world.

12:30pm – 1:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Creating Books For People with Disabilities

This programme is not available on eventbrite. We have sent the link for this programme to the email that you used to make your festival pass purchase.

Recent years have seen a greater awareness of people with disabilities and the conversations surrounding accessibility and inclusion. A greater availability of books created for, and depicting people with disabilities has contributed to this. What does it mean to create accessible and inclusive books? Find out in this session as the speakers discuss the importance of having and reading books that promote inclusion and disability awareness.

This programme is supported by the U.S. Embassy Singapore.

Lawrence Schimel

Lawrence Schimel (US/Spain)

Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) lives in Madrid, Spain and writes in both Spanish and English. He's published over 120 books in a wide range of genres. He is also a prolific literary translator. His translations into Spanish include the graphic novel They Called Us Enemy by George Takei; his translations into English include the middle grade novels The Wild Book by Juan Villoro and The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos.

Hidayah Amin

Hidayah Amin (Singapore)

Hidayah Amin had her first short story published when she was 11. It was only when she lost her childhood home that she resumed writing and published Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood in 2010. Hidayah has since written eight non-fiction books and published 14 children’s books including 10 books for readers with and without disabilities.

Leigh Turina

Moderator Leigh Turina (Canada)

Leigh Turina is a Lead Librarian with the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities located at the North York Public Library branch, Toronto Public Library. The collection of books range from silent wordless books to books with dyslexic font. She worked in the field of therapeutic recreation in hospitals and rehabilitation centres before becoming a children’s librarian over 30 years ago.

12:30pm – 1:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Creating Nonfiction Books for Children

Dive into the realm of nonfiction books and explore more about how these books have engaged the attention of young readers while presenting facts and real-life accounts in informative and appealing ways. Hear from our panel of authors as they share about the creative process and considerations in writing nonfiction books for children, and how they have managed to keep this genre alluring to young readers.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Hwee Goh

Hwee Goh (Singapore)

Hwee Goh spent 16 years in TV journalism before branching into nonfiction writing for children. Each of her books latches on current topics, which she then researches and develops into a narrative arc — engaging her young readers deeply into an issue. Her latest book, The Earth Experiment, address the urgent topic of climate change. You can follow Hwee on @hweezbooks.

Scott Riley

Scott Riley (US)

Scott Riley is an international school teacher by day and children’s book author at night. Scott has spent 30 years teaching in the US, Indonesia, Czech Republic, and Singapore. Inspired by his travels, Scott writes about remarkable people and places. His book The Floating Field is one of those stories.

Koen Setyawan

Koen Setyawan (Indonesia)

Koen Setyawan is an award-winning children’s book writer, illustrator and graphic designer from Indonesia. He has published more than 80 books, including activity books, novels and digital books. He aims to share his passion for environmental and biodiversity issues with his readers from an Indonesian perspective with his books. Koen is also a member of KPBA or Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature.

Ho Lee-Ling (Stephanie)

Moderator Ho Lee-Ling (Stephanie)

Ho Lee-Ling is local historian and children’s book author. She is a partner in The History Workroom LLP, a Singapore-based research and writing consultancy with a focus on Singapore history. Lee Ling researches and creates history-related content for exhibitions, workshops and publications. Her latest book, Habibah: Story of an island girl, is YA novel inspired by Singapore/Southeast Asian history.

1:30pm – 2:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

New Voices from SEA

Find out more about the new voices in the Southeast Asian children's literary scene in this panel featuring emerging writers. Hear them share about their journey to becoming a published author. They will also share the challenges of publishing children’s books in their respective countries, and what encouraged them to push on despite the obstacles they faced. You may even be the first to find out about new upcoming books they are working on!

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.
 

Joel Donato Ching Jacob

Joel Donato Ching Jacob (Philippines)

Joel Donato Ching Jacob, or Cupkeyk to friends, is the 2018 Scholastic Asian Book Awardee for Wing of the Locust; Editor's Choice, Best Asian Short Stories 2019 for Artifacts from the Parent; and co-editor for Be Me: LGBTQIA+ Stories of Belonging from Southeast Asia.

Vu Thuy Ngoc Ha

Vu Thuy Ngoc Ha (Vietnam)

Vu Thuy Ngoc Ha (a.k.a Dom Dom) is a freelance illustrator and comic artist living in Vietnam, with a special interest in illustrating for children. Her illustrations are inspired by a fantasy world that resides in her mind, folktales told by her mother, and the folk culture of Vietnam. Her work, The Girl on the Roof & the Boy on the Beach won the Scholastic Picture Book Award.

Weng Cahiles

Moderator Weng Cahiles (Philippines)

Weng Cahiles is the author of four children's books and a two-time National Children’s Book Awards winner. Her book What Kids Should Know About Andres and the Katipunan was named the 2014 Best Read for Kids. She also wrote Si Kian, which won the 2018 National Children’s Book Awards. Si Kian was also selected for the prestigious White Ravens, an annual catalogue of the best 200 kids and young adult books from around the world.

1:45pm – 2:15pm (SGT) Convert Time

Travelling During Covid Times? Through Books, You Can!

The pandemic has halted many travel plans, but there are still many opportunities for children to be inspired to travel and learn about new places and cultures. How do you keep children interested about other cultures through a kids’ travel book series with Augmented Reality? Why is this all the more important now with the pandemic? Find out in this session as the speakers discuss the importance of Asian settings and related Asian characters.

Nicholas Liem

Nicholas Liem (Singapore)

Nicholas Liem is a versatile artist whose portfolio includes award-winning science comics.  

Nicholas’ expertise with comic book illustrations and training as an architect lends to the detailed streetscapes and fun comic elements for Marky Polo in Tokyo. 

Emily Lim-Leh

Emily Lim-Leh (Singapore)

Emily Lim-Leh has written over 30 children’s picture books, with her bestselling Toy Series published in 4 languages in 5 countries. She is the first outside North America to win three IPPY medals and the first in Southeast Asia to receive the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Emily was named Mediacorp’s Singapore Woman Award 2013 Honoree for inspiring readers through her writing.

Hwee Goh

Moderator Hwee Goh (Singapore)

Hwee Goh spent 16 years in TV journalism before branching into nonfiction writing for children. Each of her books latches on current topics, which she then researches and develops into a narrative arc — engaging her young readers deeply into an issue. Her latest book, The Earth Experiment, address the urgent topic of climate change. You can follow Hwee on @hweezbooks.

2:00pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Connections to Global Issues: How Teacher-Librarians are Supporting the UN SDGs and Beyond

This programme is not available on eventbrite. We have sent the link for this programme to the email that you used to make your festival pass purchase.

This session will explore how teacher-librarians in international schools are curating and delivering resources that support the exploration and understanding of global issues, e.g. the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, for students of all ages. The Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all." Are booklists or Libguides the answer? Find out more in this programme!

Zakir Hossain

Zakir Hossain (Bangladesh/Switzerland)

Zakir is a teacher-librarian, spirited researcher and an advocate of school librarianship. He enjoys research, networking and sharing experiences about school librarianship on social media. Currently, Zakir is based in Switzerland at the Inter-Community School in Zurich, but he calls Bangladesh home. He has been named for several professional awards and grants as a result of his research and dedication to the broader community.

Nadine Bailey

Nadine Bailey (South Africa/Netherlands)

Nadine Bailey is a teacher-librarian and technology integrator at the Western Academy of Beijing in China. She believes in the power of diverse and multilingual books for reading communities and ensuring that books are available and accessible. She's a founding Jury member of the Neev Children's Book Award celebrating Indian voices.

Stojana Popovska

Stojana Popovska (Republic of North Macedonia)

Stojana Popovska is a teacher-librarian at the Canadian International School in Singapore. She is a strong advocate for the role of picture books in children's social-emotional learning, the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success. Her passion for picture books inspired her to pursue writing and to illustrate her own children's books.

Katie Day

Moderator Katie Day (US)

Katie Day is an international school teacher-librarian. An American with a masters in children’s literature from the UK and a masters in library science from Australia, she has lived in Asia since 1997, including 12 years in Singapore, where she first worked at United World College of Southeast Asia and now at Tanglin Trust School.

2:30pm – 3:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

தமிழ் மொழியில் குழந்தைகளை ஈடுபடுத்த புத்தகங்களைப் பயன்படுத்துதல் (Using Books to Engage Children in the Tamil Language)

How has the teaching and learning of Tamil language in Singapore developed over the past years, and how can teachers, parents and writers can inspire in the young a passion for the language? Hear from experts in the field of Tamil language and culture!

This session will be conducted in Tamil. 

Dr Sivakumaran

Dr Sivakumaran (Singapore)

Associate Professor Dr A Ra Sivakumaran is the retired head of the Tamil Language and Culture Division from National Institute of Education, Singapore. He served as a consultant to the Ministry of Education for Singapore Tamil textbooks from 2006 to 2019 and is a pioneer academic researcher of Singapore Tamil Literature. He has published a total of 16 books in roles as an author and editor.

Suriya Rethnna

Suriya Rethnna (Singapore)

Suriya is recognised as Singapore’s first female Tamil novelist and is an award-winning writer and former teacher. She has written short stories, novels, curriculum content, and children's fiction (including MOE supplementary Readers) in a wide array of genres. Her varied career has also seen her involved in translation and scriptwriting (latest Manmathan Ambu (Vasantham, Mediacorp, 2021)). Aram is Suriya's latest short story collection.
 

Vijayanand Thamotharan

Moderator Vijayanand Thamotharan (Singapore)

Vijayanand Thamotharan is the Director of Crimson Earth, a publishing firm specialising in content development for the education and literary sector in Singapore. He has previously worked as the Director of Absolutely Parents. His interests include publishing, business development, education planning and content development. He has appeared on panels promoting children's Tamil stories in Singapore.

2:30pm – 3:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

The Moon Princess

The Moon Princess was part of an installation by Jo Devadason, a poet with Down's Syndrom, called Poetree - a collection of Devadason's poems that reflect her love for books, imaginary play and self-expression. Take a step into Devadason's world that is painted in tomato red, lemon yellow and twilight blue and where the moon princess resides. A live recitation of the poems was presented in Propose-A-Parklet 2020, and also inspired a dance by Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC) in a choreography by Liz Lea (Australia) titled Moon Shadow, as part of Speaking With Hands 2019. 

Watch the session here

Jo Devadason

Jo Devadason (Singapore)

Jo Devadason is a self-taught poet with Down syndrome and has strong views about the world she lives in. For the past few years, she has been creating her own poetry that gives voice to her struggles and feelings. She loves books, imaginary play and self-expression. Her poetry invites children into her imaginative world and paints a fantastical picture of the spaces in their minds.

Kavitha Krishnan

Moderator Kavitha Krishnan (Singapore)

Kavitha is the co-founder of Maya Dance Theatre, and she presents inter-disciplinary-transcultural dance theatre works to shine light on social issues. In 2018, Kavitha founded Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), which consists of performers with different abilities; and they dance to communicate and connect! Kavitha is trained in the Indian dance form bharathanatyam and creates contemporary dance with Asian perspectives.

3:45pm – 4:45pm (SGT) Convert Time

Putting the “A” in STEM Education

What’s the big deal about STEAM education? STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. This panel will uncover how STEAM education can encourage students to think about the connections between the disciplines of STEM and art. Hear from practitioners in STEAM fields as they share how design thinking and creativity influences their approach to holistic problem solving.

There will be a live Q&A session with the speakers in this session. 
 

Jedidiah Siah

Jedidiah Siah (Singapore)

Jedidiah Siah is the co-founder and director of AlterCulture Studios Pte. Ltd, which provides game design consultation, education, and promotes the usage of games across non-gaming industries. He is also an Associate Trainer at Civil Service College (Singapore) for Game Design. He has been researching and experimenting with how gaming examines social dynamics and cultures. He holds a B.A. in Game Design from DigiPen (Singapore Institute of Technology).

Johann Annuar

Johann Annuar (Singapore)

Johann is trained as an electrical and electronics engineer and has been with Engineering Good in key roles for the past four years. He is an avid cyclist who knows no boundaries, and cycled from Turkey to New Zealand over 18 months. He was also a member of the Singapore Everest Expedition 1998 Team and was a Board member for the Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders).

Toh Yixue

Toh Yixue (Singapore)

Toh Yixue is an educator and artist from technology and education company TinkerTanker. He is experienced in both software and classical animation training, as well as motion graphics and animation production. He is passionate in programming, 3d production, interactive media and design and strongly believes that having a wide range of interests makes him a better artist and collaborator.

Shreya Acharya

Moderator Shreya Acharya (Singapore)

Shreya Acharya is the Assistant Editor at Difference Engine, and has worked on editing comics, as well as literary fiction and non-fiction publications. Her writing has appeared in The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories (Vol 4) and Mahogany Journal. She has also held editorial positions at Math Paper Press and at Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd. She never leaves home without a book in tow.

3:45pm – 4:45pm (SGT) Convert Time

Promoting Creative Economies: The Thai Experience

Fostering creative economies in industries, like animation and graphic design, opens a whole new world of opportunities for content creators, producers and audiences. What are the challenges and opportunities that building such economies from the ground up pose for industry professionals, and how should the creative community respond to such challenges and opportunities? Chat with a seasoned animation producer and learn more about the 'soft power' that such creative economies imbibe, in this session that looks at the animation industry through the Thai experience.

This session is presented as part of the Country of Focus: Thailand.

Auchara Kijkanjanas

Auchara Kijkanjanas (Thailand)

Auchara Kijkanjanas is the founder of Big Brain Studio and one of the pioneers in the computer graphic industry in Thailand. With 20 years of experience, her expertise and works have been recognised internationally with awards for Animation Feature Film and Animation Series, including Visual Effect works. Her previous works are Khan Khuay I; Khan Khuay II and Blink Blink: the series.

Kamolpaj Tosinthiti

Moderator Kamolpaj Tosinthiti (Thailand)

Kamolpaj Tosinthiti is a third generation bookseller. Like her parents, she was raised among books, playing hide-n-seek with her siblings and a few dogs between the bookshelves. She has a BA in French literature and is the managing director at publisher Silkworm Books. She also serves as a vice-president of international affairs at the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT).

4:30pm – 5:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Mental Wellbeing of Children in the Digital Age

In recent years, there has been an increased interest in the mental health and wellness of children. What are the initiatives in place that help children to manage their mental health, and how can children's books be a vehicle for doing so? Join senior consultant psychiatrist Dr Ong Say How, Hom Yoga founder Malvina Kang and author Emma Quick as they discuss how to develop children’s mental health holistically with books.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session.

Ong Say How

Ong Say How (Singapore)

Dr Ong Say How is a senior consultant psychiatrist and Chief of the Department of Developmental Psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health. He has used art and other creative-expressive therapies to help children and teenagers who suffer from anxiety, depression and trauma in the clinic. In his free time, Dr Ong enjoys appreciating art in all its forms in art galleries, museums, live performances, and pop-up art events.

Malvina Kang

Malvina Kang (Singapore)

Malvina is the founder of Hom Yoga. Hom Yoga is a yoga school and a place for self discovery, transformation and empowerment through high quality yoga teaching, set amidst a healthy and sustainable environment. She is the author of The Rainbow Hearted Boy and My Sun, My Sun, a mindfulness series for kids published by Math Paper Press.

Emma Quick

Emma Quick (New Zealand)

Emma Quick is the founder of Calm Ahoy Kids and author of The Feelings Hotel. Over the last decade, she has worked with young people, and families in mental health and substance misuse services in the community, health and school settings. She is also a mum and is inspired to create resources for little ones to develop social-emotional skills from a young age, in a way that is fun, colourful and sparks their imagination.

Geraldine Teo-Zuzarte

Moderator Geraldine Teo-Zuzarte (Singapore)

Geraldine Teo-Zuzarte holds a PhD in Early Childhood Education and is passionate about the development of children, especially those in their early years. Her doctoral research on early childhood curriculum focused on infants and toddlers and in teacher education. Geraldine was appointed into the first batch of Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) Fellows and has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for 30 years.

4:30pm – 5:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Joy of Reading: How to Develop Communities of Readers

This lecture will focus on the development of engaged communities of readers, particularly young children, who share the joy of reading. The evidence-informed talk will look at how these communities are underpinned by secure subject knowledge (of texts and of readers) and a reading for pleasure pedagogy. Teresa will also discuss how three characteristics – reciprocity, interaction, and strong reader to reader relationships – impact readers’ delight and desire.

There will be a live Q&A segment during this session. 

This lecture is accessible with the festival pass. If you do not possess the festival pass for the day of the lecture, you can purchase and register the ticket separately.

Teresa Cremin

Teresa Cremin (UK)

Teresa Cremin is Professor of Education at The Open University. An ex-teacher and pre-service lecturer, her research focuses on volitional reading and writing, teachers’ literate identities and creative pedagogies. Teresa is passionate about developing readers for life and works with the profession to ensure research-informed practice in reading for pleasure.

Loh Chin Ee

Moderator Loh Chin Ee (Singapore)

Loh Chin Ee is Associate Professor and Deputy Head (Research) at the English Language and Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. She is the co-editor of Little Things, Poetry Moves and co-author of Teaching Poetry to Adolescents: A Teachers' Guide to Little Things by Ethos Books. She recently produced and co-hosted the How We Read podcast series.

6:30pm – 7:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Country of Focus Night

Celebrate the rich history and evolving literary landscapes of Thailand in this special evening event that culminates AFCC. In honour of the AFCC 2021 Country of Focus, join us for a showcase of the literary and cultural heritage in this gala event that celebrates the growing collaborations and strengthened ties between Singapore and Thailand.

As part of the growing collaboration and strengthened ties between Singapore and Thailand, we will also be launching the Co-Translation Project. In partnership with our Country Partner PUBAT, we will be translating and co-publishing selected children's books from both Thailand and Singapore to make them available to the children in each country. 

 

Time Activity
6:30pm Khon Thai Cultural Performance
6:35pm Welcome Remarks
Ms Claire Chiang | Chairperson, SBC
6:40pm Message
Chonrangsri Chalermchaikit | President, PUBAT
6.45pm Presentation
A Window to Thai Publishing
6:50pm Launch of AFCC Co-translation Project
Reading of Book Excerpts
6:55pm Closing Message
William Phuan | Executive Director, SBC
7:00pm End of Broadcast

Watch the session here

3 June (Thursday)

10:00am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

நாடகத்தின் மூலம் கதை சொல்லுதல் (Storytelling Through Drama)

Update: This workshop has been postponed. More details for the session will be updated soon. 

குழந்தைகளின் திறமையை தமிழில் பயிற்றுவிக்க ஒன்றுக்கு மேற்பட்ட வழிகள் உள்ளன, மேலும் இந்த அமர்வுக்கு உங்கள் பாடப்புத்தகங்களை நீங்கள் விலக்கி வைக்கலாம்!இந்த ஊடாடும் நிகழ்ச்சி உங்களை ஒரு வேடிக்கையான மற்றும் கல்வி வழியில் ஈடுபடுத்தும், இது உங்களை ஊக்குவிக்கும் மற்றும் நீங்கள் இருக்கும் போது தமிழ் மீது ஒரு பாராட்டைத் தூண்டும்.நாடக உத்திகள் மற்றும் கதை சொல்லல் களைப் பயன்படுத்துவதன் மூலம், தமிழ் மற்றும் உங்களைப் பற்றி மேலும் கண்டறியும் போது உங்கள் படைப்பாற்றல் மற்றும் கற்பனையை வளர்த்துக் கொள்ள இந்த திட்டம் உங்களை அனுமதிக்கும்.

There’s more than one way to train children’s proficiency in Tamil, and you can keep your textbooks away for this session! This interactive programme will engage you in a fun and educational way that will inspire you and evoke an appreciation for Tamil while you’re at it. By using dramatic techniques and storytelling, this programme will allow you to develop your creativity and imagination while you discover more about Tamil and yourself. This session will be conducted in Tamil. 

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Register for Workshop

AKT Creations

AKT Creations (Singapore )

AKT Creations is a local arts company that offer programmes, such as workshops, stage and video productions and lectures which are both fun and educational that enthuse and inspire performers, participants and audiences, while imparting and inspiring skills which last a lifetime.  

2:00pm – 3:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Being the Voice for the Forgotten: Writing For and About Kids with Disabilities

Children’s stories should go beyond fairy tales and fantasy. Readers should be able to read stories about the “forgotten”—children with special needs who are marginalised, hidden and ignored. In turn, these “forgotten” children should be given the opportunity to read the “same” literature as their “normal” peers. Join this interactive workshop to understand, appreciate and advocate having a stronger voice for children who are often left on the sidelines, and re-examine what normalcy is.

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Register for Workshop

Hidayah Amin

Hidayah Amin (Singapore)

Hidayah Amin had her first short story published when she was 11. It was only when she lost her childhood home that she resumed writing and published Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood in 2010. Hidayah has since written eight non-fiction books and published 14 children’s books including 10 books for readers with and without disabilities.

4 June (Friday)

10:00am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Looking Back, Creating Forward

This online workshop is inspired by the legend of Radin Mas Ayu, a princess of the Javanese royal court in Singapore legend. Drama educator Jeffrey Tan will lead participants in a voyage to the past to create content for the future. Using various drama strategies, including Tableau, Thought Tracking, Conscience Alley, and Improvisation, the participants will dive into the shoes of the characters in the legend, while contextualising them into modern times.

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Register for Workshop

Jeffrey Tan

Jeffrey Tan (Singapore)

Jeffrey is an experienced Theatre Director and Drama Educator. He has taught ‘Creativity in Collaborative Learning’ and ‘Lesson Planning’ for the National institute of Education, ‘Educational Drama’ for Nanyang Technological Universtiy, 'Children's Theatre' for the University of Warwick and 'Educational Theatre' for New York University's Study Abroad Programme in London. 

10:00am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Keep Playing! How to Engage Children in the Museum and at Home

Digital spaces and content are equally important in enabling creators to communicate with their target audiences. In this panel, discover how children learn from embodied experiences and muscle memory, while considering the importance of designing spaces for both structured and incidental learning experiences. Meet two Arts managers who have contributed to innovative art spaces for children’s learning in this striking in-person workshop!

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Register for Workshop

Shereen Tan

Shereen Tan (Singapore)

Shereen is the Outreach & Education Manager at the Malay Heritage Centre under the National Heritage Board. She oversees the educational programmes, volunteer management and outreach initiatives at the Centre. She previously worked in outreach for the National Parks Board.

Yap Jia En

Yap Jia En (Singapore)

Jia En is a Visual Design and Exhibitions Manager at The Artground, a Children’s Art Centre which provides positive arts experiences across a variety of art forms. She works with creatives to design and develop arts spaces that welcome children from every community.

5 June (Saturday)

10:00am – 11:30am (SGT) Convert Time

Using the PEER strategy during Book Reading to Enhance Young Children’s Language Development

What has The Very Hungry Caterpillar got to do with dialogic reading? Find out in this session which introduces participants to dialogic reading -  a way to read to children and enhance the interactions around the text they are reading. You will be introduced to the PEER strategy, where educators provide feedback and scaffold children towards growth in vocabulary and expressive language. You will also learn how to use CROWD prompts—an acronym for five different types of prompts that educators can utilise to enrich the questioning process. With these activities, participants will gain confidence in choosing books, asking questions and responding effectively when reading to 2- to 5-year-old children.
 

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Register for Workshop

Yvonne Pek

Yvonne Pek (Singapore)

Yvonne Pek is presently a lecturer at the NIEC – TP campus. Yvonne received her PhD, specializing in Language and Literacy, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Masters of Arts (Literacy Specialist) at Teachers College, Columbia University. Yvonne is passionate about supporting the literacy learning of young children from less privileged backgrounds. She has taught at a variety of preschool settings and developed curriculum for a large childcare network.

Jenny Cheok

Jenny Cheok (Singapore)

Jenny Cheok received her Master of Education (Early Childhood) from the University of Southern Queensland. Jenny’s passion for young children’s language and literacy learning has spurred her to take a foundation training course in Dyslexia Studies from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, participate in Story Writing workshops, and organise poly students in conducting story-telling sessions at various NLB branches.

Marie Angelie

Marie Angelie (Singapore)

Marie Angelie holds a Master of Education from the University of Adelaide, Australia. Before devoting her time to being a lecturer, she served as a Cluster Principal at a private childcare where she led a team of principals for centre operation and executing curriculum. She is passionate about teaching children's language and literacy with storytelling and story dramatisation.

2:00pm – 3:30pm (SGT) Convert Time

Promoting Book Reading and Writing with TikTok

In this workshop, local social media influencer Amy Ang will explain and guide you into the world of reading and writing on Tik Tok. Find out more from her about creating social media content, setting trends and going viral! You will also learn tips on how you can use social media to promote and share your own ideas about reading and writing. Join this online workshop to know more about #Booktok!

In light of the recent announcements for tightened COVID-19 measures, all in-person workshops will be taking place online and subject to changes in date and time. Registrations are on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Register for Workshop

Amy Ang

Amy Ang (Singapore)

Amy is a content creator on Tiktok and writes during her free time. She currently studies Mass Communication in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and enjoys reading thriller, crime and mostly fictional stories. Her favourite author is Amy Harmon, and she enjoys sports like shooting and table tennis. She intends to travel across China when she graduates.