Singapore Gathering

It is a delight to be back here in Singapore – this time for the 2014 edition of the AFCC, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I arrived a tad late last night but the streets were still a buzz of activity. And who did I first see down in the hotel lobby – my delightful friend Jen Storer. As a supporting partner SCBWI has a strong presence here at AFCC so there are quite a few of the Asian SCBWI leadership crew here.

Each year AFCC has a country of focus and this year it is India so it was terrific to finally meet Mr M A Sikander, the director of the National Book Trust in India. I will be there in September to do workshops and schools with them as well. As the country of focus for AFCC Indian creators are showcased, and this year Atanu Roy has filled the AFCC programme with his glorious illustrations.

Throughout the day I dropped in on a few session listening to folks talking about experiences and some with ideas for developing book creators, and there were also plenty of meetings on the side as well. One of those, whom I first met at breakfast this morning, was Peggy McNamara who is the chair of general teacher education at Bank Street — I visited the school last year when we were in New York and they also picked Python for their annual best of list. Kathleen ran a well attended writing workshop –  folks want more of this here. Since doing the luscious illustrations for Water Susanna has also created the text and illustration for Fun at the Opera – and that was launched here too so of course I had to attend that gathering but as Susanna found out I don’t dance … but some of the others did!

Tonight was India Night with two hours celebrating all things Indian. A few nibbles first and then we were serenaded with the some quite amazing sitar playing, speeches and chats and then of course the unveiling of bilingual and Indian publications. Strange as it may seem, for one brought up on western music, I thoroughly loved listening to the sitar playing and watching the skilfulness of the sitar players and the rhythm provided. And now that the first day is done it really has been a meeting of the clan. I had planned on spending some of it in the hotel room doing a bit of work but that sure didn’t eventuate! Heaps of folks I have caught up with today!!

Another photo from the India Cultural Night is this of me snapped with Claire Chiang (R), chairperson of AFCC and Ms Sim Ann (a Singaporean MP who has many ministries one of which is Education). Thanks Jacob Kong (he is the official photographer for the festival) fro grabbing my camera.

claire & ms Sim Ann

Claire & Ms Sim Ann

While walking the fair it was a thrill to have this photo snapped: Jessica was given Zoo You Later last year bought here and she had to come and tell me how much she enjoyed the book! thanks heaps!

with Jessica

with Jessica

But above everything else that has happened here today – the wonder to behold would have to be the TAMIL and HINDI (or is that Hindi and Tamil) editions of WATER. I could not believe seeing my name (which I can’t even recognise) written sooooo differently. Yee hah! Now published in India I am!

Water multilingual

Water multilingual

So that’s a quick wrap. Day one done of the Writers and Illustrators Programme for AFCC … roll on day two!

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