So, back on home soil, a bit more of an update on Tuesday at AFCC.
My session was originally titled Apps for Toddlers but that soon evolved to incorporate ebooks as well. It really was in two parts :- One a checklist for evaluating what makes a good app / ebook, and for that I really can’t go past the data that has been compiled by my friend Warren Buckleitner (Child Technology Review) who has been in the business from the outset. He reviewed software that was created for Atari and he now also writes for the New York Times as well … and he really knows his stuff as well. He has developed a grid / checklist for evaluating software and it is terrific and really easy to use, so rather than reinvent the wheel I rode it! Two looked at my personal involvement as a writer first and foremost in the digital medium and the programmes that I have been working on over the last few years, looking at the things that worked for me and the things that didn’t,and how I am now much the wiser and more cautious – all good of course. The end result was that questions went on and on and on … they had to kick me out of the room – and the questions continued outside as well. Also chatted about the frustrations and the highlights and very much my personal insights into what goes in to creating the digital material. I really still get bamboozled how the programmers make the objects on the screen do the things they do!
Food – yes we did eat well. The organisers really have turned on wonderful spreads at the festival and these really are the times that, as presenters, you get even more question. And of course it is a networking opportunity. Most food breaks were filled with folks asking me more questions but it was also time to meet others … some I haven’t seen since last AFCC. I think there might have been a green room or retreat room of sorts for presenters but I preferred to mingle with the throng!
I sat in on a few presentations as well. For me it is really interesting to hear other folks speak, not only their content but also the way presentations are delivered. There are always things to be absorbed and maybe a few snippets to utilise. Sometimes too it is hard to choose what sessions are visited – and even though I have been to a few SCBWI First Pages panel sessions over the years I try not to miss them because it is really fascinating to hear what is being created and I guess underlying that too is the thought that one day I might just hear a work from a writer who will rocket to the front! It is also very enlightening to hear what the panelists are saying about the work they are presented with – especially when, like at this session, the panelists are editors and publishers and who are acquiring manuscripts!
The board meeting was my first. It was great to meet many of the other fol. When I accepted the invitation last year I really didn’t realise that it was such a global board. Members are from not only Singapore and Australia but also Myanmar, Philippines, Malaysia, India, and Japan. Of course AFCC is not just for Singapore. It is an outreach as well to the Asia Pacific region so it is only logical that there be representatives from a broad spectrum of folks from within the region. It did go longer than planned, so I think that is good and we certainly discussed future developments for AFCC festivals, like ways to improve the attendees experience and future programme initiatives. And then there was the board photo below, which, it was decided would be used in next year’s printed programme … and me the only one not in a dress shirt, but my shirt was a very new, nice, all cotton t-shirt! It is very much more formal than I am used to. Board meetings are a big responsibility and it is pretty amazing to think that a meeting like that an have an influence on what will happen in future developments for festivals and organisations. that’s why I consider it a privilege to be on the boards that I am, and I hope that my input is valuable.
The final AFCC event for me was the Singapore Children’s Literature lecture. In previous years this has always been fun and this year that tradition continued with the lecture, award presentations, and drama. It was wonderful to again hear Leonard Marcus deliver a lecture with his insights into three of the greats of children’s picture book creation, Maurice Sendak, Mitsumaso Anno and Eric Carle. A dramatisation of a book by Singapore author David Seow was presented with lots of students transforming into flies in the room. The winner of the Scholastic Asian Fiction Award was announced and I know that I take lots of photos but there were sooooo many flash lights going off that there was no need for the facility lights!
… followed by MORE FOOD and networking and meeting folk, and an evening walk around the river foreshore.
And suddenly, apart from the masterclasses the next day, AFCC for 2012 and my trip to Singapore is over.
More on the Carolinas later but Pam Vaughan (official photographer for the New England conference last weekend) has just sent me oodles and poodles of photos … so if you don’t want to see piccies of me in action – then look away now! There are photos of me with friends, of me panelling, photos […]