Asian Festival Children’s Content – Day 1

Breakfast really is a place for networking … well it is if you are standing around waiting for folk to arrive for breakfast. There was more meeting and shaking of hands and “you’re here again” said in the nicest possible way!!

But before I continue about Day 1 of the writers and illustrators strand last night’s dining treat was here at the hotel on the top floor — Hainanese Chicken and rice and soup, and black bean sauce, and chilli and finer sauce …. yummy!!!

So day 1 saw an opening keynote from Leonard Marcus talking about authors and illustrators searching for the right balance of education and entertainment in the books that we create, commenting also on the way kids learn and the things that they learn from the books they read. It’s the counting, and the days of the week and the food that can be eaten in the Very Hungry Caterpillar. His insight and knowledge of children’s books is wonderful … like the fact that the Very Hungry Caterpillar was originally going to be called Willy the Worm!

Day 1 also saw a talk presented by Helen McAleer, MD of Walker Books UK and her talk on their approach to the multiformat future of publishing where publishers need to think outside the traditional publishing format (and authors and illustrators and agents too) with it now involving ebooks and apps and licensing and productions … and other business ventures. But two focal points stood out:

  • Publishers must diversify and utilise their content, and 
  • the Content is King. Great content is the foundation of everything.

Great writers are still always needed!

There were also panels on the challenges of selling books in the Asia pacific region as well as panels on the very aspect of the asian-ness of titles and enabling them to be published for an international audience.

And this morning I was able to do my thing and present the first of my two talks, this one called Book Trailers, fashionable fad or the future … and it must have been passable as lots of folks want the notes – i don’t hand out notes at these sessions. These days lots of folks take photographs of the visuals anyway but if they really want notes they can contact me through the website to get them .. and thus drive traffic through my website and boost the rankings – oh and saving a few trees at the same time too. this photo below is a little deceiving as the room were a lot of folks filling the back rows … what is this ting about sitting as far away as you can from the front!

Book Launches are a part of most festival, this festival included. Yesterday found celebrity Edmund Chen launching his new title … instant crowd as this guy is a television personality, much photographing and a goodie bag for all – but wonderfully, today our IRAC (International Regional Advisor Chair) Kathleen Ahrens  and Marjorie van Heerden (SCBWI RA South Africa) launched their lovely new dual language (with CD) title Numbers Do & Ears Hear. It’ been a long time n the making but it is done! Hooray! At the launch Leonard and Kathleen were pouring over the book … much admired. Alas, somehow my books never made it here! (bother, blast, ratkies!)

As SCBWI is a part sponsor Kathleen chaired a session that is well received at most SCBWI conferences – First Pages, when illustrators submit a sample spread of (in this case) 6 pages which is then critiqued by the panel.

session was just about packed

Other features of the day were about books crossing boundaries, picture book development n emerging countries, as well as a abel of Filipino authors and illustrators talking about their works. Interestingly there has been much less emphasis this year on the digital publishing side of things than in previous years, where folk were even forecasting the demise of the traditionally printed books. Not sure whether that is because of the programming or whether there is less interest in general but there sure seems to be less digital sessions – although I am doing one tomorrow.

And so a few meetings were part of the day and day one is done – except for tonight’s SCBWI sponsored dinner … for which I now have to prepare!

celebrity launch
lots of photographing

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