Asian Festival of Children’s Content

And so where is Christopher Cheng (no this is not a Where’s Wally adventure) — it’s hot and humid (I just love it) and there are a gazillion tourists walking around.

Last night I landed in Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content which has just begun. This is the third year the festival has been running (Singapore Arts have done lots with writing over the years) and I am thrilled once again to be here … and this time as a board member as well as presenter. A great new addition to the festival is the ‘guest nation’ feature and this year it is the Philippines. The festival takes in four sub strands – the teacher strand, the parents forum, the media summit and very importantly for me the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators strand. SCBWI is a part sponsor of the festival. Yeah!

This really is a major festival that needs to be on all literary calendars for those in the Asia Pacific region and hopefully it will grow from strength to strength. Last year Steve Mooser was the keynote speaker and this year it is Leonard Marcus. I caught up with Leonard in New York earlier this year when we went on a walling tour so I am most definitely looking forward to hearing him speak.

I have written a post that has just popped up on Cynsations (go on have a look at Cynsations) about the importance of networking. Networking is how I got involved with the AFCC three years ago and has been the link for many of my international appearances of late.

And just to demonstrate, these are some of the terrific folks I bumped in to over breakfast just this morning —

  • the lovely Andrea Pasion-Flores (we chit chatted over breakfast),
  • Candy Gourlay (we chit chatted after breakfast),
  • Dianne Wolfer (we chit chatted in passing during breakfast) 
  • Rukhasana Khan (down in the foyer waiting to have breakfast),
  • Uma Krishnaswami (also down in the foyer waiting to have breakfast), and Uma has a brand new book being launched here. Last year it was announced at this festival that Uma’s manuscript won the Scholastic Asian Book Award and this year it is published. Hooray for Uma. 

And totally buzzed I am to put up here a new award that I was involved in developing. It’s the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award … and the first one will be awarded here at the festival next year!

… and the folks above I have met on quite a few occasions – networking is not just a one off occasion! It continues.

So, as is my way I have to add here a piccie of last night’s dining treat – Singapore Laksa. I just adore Laksa.

And for my first full day in Singapore it has been time for:

  • catching up with a few of the folks mentioned above, 
  • walking over to the festival venue to check in and gather goodies (they have a really nice sample bag) 
  • putting the finishing touches to my presentations.
  • zapping out to the electronics mall right next door to the hotel to grab an adaptor for my iPad. The mall is full of electronics stores – including heaps of Mac things … and they all charge the same price!
  • and adding a few images to the SCBWI presentation for tomorrow night.

So the AFCC doth begin.
More soon.

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