The Writers & Illustrators Track gathers writers and illustrators together with publishing industry professionals to share, network and celebrate literature for both children and young adults from Asia and around the world.

Attend exciting sessions that discuss the development and creation of quality literary content for children and youths and connect with local and international literary professionals!

An AFCC Festival Pass gives you full access to these sessions.

You can visit this page to find out how you can access the programmes. VOD sessions will be available from the day after the event to 30 June 2021, 2359 (GMT 0800).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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. 

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 – 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.

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.

1:30pm – 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.

3:00pm – 4:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

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

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

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.

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.

9:30am – 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.

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.

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.

3 June (Thursday)

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.

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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.

5 June (Saturday)

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.

10 June (Thursday)

4:00pm – 7:00pm (SGT) Convert Time

Fiction Books for Children Aged 5-12: Writing and Editing Insights

update: Due to unforeseen circumstances, this session has been cancelled.
Please contact [email protected] for any enquiries. 

What makes a good chapter book and middle-grade book? What are the key points that writers and publishers need to keep in mind when creating content for readers aged 5-12? Learn more about the world of children's fiction and pick up useful tips and techniques in this masterclass, which will include exercises geared towards those who wish to write for this age group.

Please note that this masterclass was previously listed for 3 June, Thursday, but the date has now changed to 10 June, Thursday. 

 

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Fiona Scoble

Fiona Scoble (UK)

Fiona Scoble is Senior Editor in the fiction department at Nosy Crow, a multi-award-winning, independent children’s book publisher, where she edits books for children aged 5-12. Prior to this, after studying English at the University of Cambridge, Fiona worked as a journalist and arts project manager before joining Macmillan Children’s Books in 2013, where she managed the Macmillan Prize for Illustration and worked on commercial picture books.