An exciting line-up of online programmes await you, as we feature more than 50 local and international speakers! They include New York Times bestselling author Holly Black (US); author of the bestselling Gumiho series Kat Cho (US); Oscar-nominated animator and illustrator Koji Yamamura (Japan) and two-time Lambda literary award winner and translator Lawrence Schimel (US/Spain).
Other featured speakers include the Dean of Early Childhood Care and Education Department at the Singapore Centre for Chinese Language (SCCL) Dr Cheng Wan-Ni (Taiwan/Singapore), author of award-winning children's book Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure Eva Wong Nava (Singapore), bestselling Y.A. author, Pushcart prize winner in both poetry and fiction Mariko Nagai (Japan) and The Little Singapore Book author Sim Ee Waun (Singapore).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eva Wong Nava (Singapore )
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.
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.
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 8 years he quit his unfulfilling job and sold his house to follow his true passion: drawing comics.
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.
Grace Ter (Singapore )
Grace Ter has been a music and movement educator for eight years. She is trained and certified in Kodaly and Orff methods of early childhood music pedagogies, and plays the organ, piano, guitar and ukulele for leisure. Besides teaching young children, Grace is also a curriculum specialist and teacher-trainer for both preschool and primary school teachers.
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.
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 inclusive books.
Holly Black (US )
Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty 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.
Hwang Sun-mi (Korea )
Sun-mi Hwang is a South Korean writer, who has won many awards and published more than forty 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 twenty years and has also been adapted into a comic book, a play, and a musical, and has been translated into thirty languages.
James Liu (China )
James manages the IP acquisition for kids and international projects for 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, specializing in kids content.
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.
Jose Monfred C.Sy (Philippines )
Jose Monfred Sy is a researcher in protest cultures, political ecology, and digital humanities. His writings have been published in Literary Cultures across the World, Asia Politics and Policy, Unitas, and in the book Ecologies in Southeast Asian Literatures: Histories, Myths and Societies. He is also a children’s book writer and a human rights activist. Currently, he teaches at the Bakwit School for the Lumad indigenous people under the Save Our Schools Network.
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).
Koji Yamamura (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 is also writes and illustrates picture books.
Kristyn Maslog-Levis (Philippines )
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.
Lavina Chong (Singapore )
Lavina Chong has been an Early Childhood Educator for the past 30 years and has taken on roles as a classroom teacher, teacher trainer, professional staff development instructor, consultant, curriculum specialist, conference speaker and a University professor. She is the Managing Director of Wigglepods Pte Ltd, a creative music movement company, that specialises in the arts for children 0-12 years.
Lawrence Schimel (US/Spain )
Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) lives in Madrid, Spain and writes in both Spanish and English. He's published over one hundred twenty 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 (Top Shelf); his translations into English include the middle grade novels The Wild Book by Juan Villoro (Restless Books) and The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos (Sourcebooks).
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.
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.
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.
Michelle Worthington (Australia )
Michelle Worthington is a real life book fairy. Her magic powers include turning coffee into award-winning picture books and waving her magic wand to help aspiring authors all over the world. Michelle empowers both readers and storytellers to dream big, no matter their background or abilities. Michelle is also an award-winning author of empowering picture books for children and two-time winner of the International Book Award and finalist in the USA Best Book Awards.
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.
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.
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.
Ngo Chew Yeh (Malaysia )
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.
Nor Hidayah Mohd Amin (Singapore )
Hidayah Amin is an accidental writer. When the government acquired her childhood home, she wrote Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood. She has created inclusive books for readers of all abilities and about children with disabilities. Hidayah has written eight non-fiction books and seven children's picture books since 2010.
Nurul Fateen Keisha (Singapore)
Keisha is an associate librarian at Jurong West Public Library, curating programmes to encourage children teenagers to read.
Renu Siva (Singapore )
Renu Silva is a librarian from the Mother Tongue Language Services team at the National Library Board. Renu has over 8 years of experience in library work specializing 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tina Walton (United States )
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.
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.
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.
Yulia Loekito (Indonesia )
Lia Loeferns 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.
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.