Candy Gourlay’s video of the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

candy Gourlay Tall Story ShineOne of my highlights at the recent Asian Festival of Children’s Content was finally getting to meet author Candy Gourlay! Her award winning, debut novel, Tall Story, was one of my favorite reads last year and when I saw that she would be presenting at the 2013 AFCC I was stoked! As it turned out we also both served on the 2013 Singtel Asian Picture Book Award judging panel and it was an absolute pleasure working with her. Candy is a lady of many talents with an infectious sense of humour. When you are around Candy make sure you have some kleenex to wipe the tears of laughter away! In addition to keeping us entertained about her life as author, Candy also shared with us about her obsessions with graphic design, the internet and social media, as well as her experiments with blogging, video and podcasting. Do check out her recently released video of the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content and head over here to visit her website and here to visit her blog Notes from the Slushpile.

paw_sm3Photo of Candy with her new novel Shine taken during the 2013 AFCC in Singapore. Shine will be released this coming Fall. The 5-CD audiobook of Tall Story has just been released by Listening Library in the United States! You can also download it on Audible.com.

Excitement building for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content ~ May 25 – 30, Singapore

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

AFCC logoThe excitement is building for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content being held May 25 – 30 in Singapore. PaperTigers is proud sponsor of the AFCC, an annual event that brings together content creators and producers with parents, teachers, librarians and anyone interested in quality Asian content for children around the world. This year’s conference will have an added emphasis on young adult literature and children’s works in translation and will be featuring Malaysia as the country of focus. Two years ago I was blessed to be able to attend the AFCC and we subsequently devoted a PaperTigers issue to Singaporean Children’s Literature and the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.  This year Marjorie and I will both be attending and to say we are cloud 9 would be an understatement!

Last week the AFCC organizers held a press conference at the host hotel, Hotel Grand Pacific, right across the street from the official festival venue, theCentral Public Library.  Head on over to Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal’s wonderful Gathering Books blog to read about and see photos from the press conference (click here). Also, be sure to check out Myra’s Pre-AFCC Glitter posts in which she will be conducting short interviews with AFCC invited guest speakers and other conference attendees. First up is Holly Thompson who will be launching her newest YA novel The Language Inside at AFCC, Holly was raised in the USA and is a longtime resident of Japan. Her verse novel Orchards (Delacorte/Random House) won the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature  and is a YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults title. She recently edited Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories (Stone Bridge Press) and was a guest blogger on our blog last year. Click here to read her PaperTigers’ blog posts.

Marjorie and I will be participating in several of the AFCC sessions. First up for us is Marjorie’s seminar/workshop The Fine Art of Reviewing Children’s Books. Should you be attending  the AFCC we would love it if you were able to partake in this event! Details are as follows:

The Fine Art of Reviewing Children’s Books

Monday, May 27th
2:15pm – 5:45pmMarjorie_Coughlan_-_SWIC_200_250_90_s_c1

Presentation:

  • What makes a good book? What makes a good review?
  • The components of a book review.
  • Choosing books to review,

Break

Workshop:

    • Group-discussion, reviewing a book
    • Writing a review for publication

Marjorie Coughlan is the Editor of PaperTigers.org, a website and blog which seeks to highlight the richness of multicultural books from and/or about anywhere in the world, with a particular focus on the Pacific Rim and South Asia. PaperTigers.org is part of PaperTigers: Books+Water and includes the WaterBridge Outreach program.

May 2013 Events

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Click on event name for more information

Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival~ ongoing until May 4, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

afccSKETCH: Illustrate your interpretation of what One Big Story means in the context of children’s literary content ~ submissions accepted until May 13

6th Nami Island International Children’s Book Festival~ ongoing until May 31, Nami Island, Korea

Mitali Perkins’ Fire Escape Writing Contest~ submissions accepted until June 1, Canada and USA

Children’s Books Ireland Poetry Tree Exhibition~ ongoing until June 8, Dublin, Ireland

Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares Art Exhibition at the Carle Museum~ ongoing until June 9, Amherst, MA, USA

Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards Celebrating Multicultural Awareness, International Understanding and Nature Appreciation~ submissions accepted until June 25, USA

Carle Museum Exhibition: The Caldecott Medal: 75 Years of Distinguished Illustration~ ongoing until June 30, Amherst, MA, USA

Write Up a Storm: Foyle Young Poets Competition~ submissions accepted until July 31

The Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA)~ submissions accepted until Oct 21

National Share-a-Story Month~ United Kingdom

Get Caught Reading Month~ USA

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month~ USA

Asian Heritage Month~ Canada

BOOKtopia, the West Vancouver Children’s Literature Festival~ West Vancouver, BC, Canada

Paula Yoo’s Annual NaPiBoWriWee (National Picture Book Writing Week)~ May 1 – 7

Linda Sue Park to Give the 31st Annual Zena Sutherland Lecture~ May 3, Chicago, IL, USA

27th Annual Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival~ May 4, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

Hudson Children’s Book Festival  May 4, Hudson, NY, USA

The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature Presents — Children’s Literature: Braving Our Endangered World~ May 4, New York, NY, USA

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week~ May 4 – 11, Canada

REFORMA 9th Annual Mini Conference~ Libraries Break Barriers: How Libraries and Librarianship Opens Doors~ May 10, New York, NY, USA

Stories Under the Banyan Tree: In Celebration of South Asian Month with Karma author Cathy Ostlere~ May 11, Toronto, ON, Canada

Children’s Literature Council of Southern California Spring Workshop~ May 11, Pasadena, CA, USA

Children’s Book Week~ May 11 – 18, Malaysia

The Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala (hosted by author Lisa Yee)~ May 13, New York, NY, USA

Children’s Book Week~ May 13 – 19, USA

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival~ May 15 – 19, Auckland, New Zealand

Children’s Book Ireland’s Annual Conference~ May 18 – 19, Dublin, Ireland

Get Drawn In! A celebration of European Picture Book Makers~ May 20 – 26, Dublin, Ireland

Sydney Writers’ Festival (Kids’ Program)~ May 20 – 26, Sydney, Australia

Library and Information Week~ May 20 – 26, Australia

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Week Celebrations~ May 20 – 27, Stockholm, Sweden

UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity, for Dialogue and Development~ May 21

Asia and Oceania Regional IBBY Congress~ May 23 – 26, Bali, Indonesia

The Guardian Hay Festival: A Festival for Tots, Teens and In-Betweens~ May 23 – June 2, United Kingdom

paw_sm_MCAsian Festival of Children’s Content~ May 25 – 30, Singapore

Three Special BEA Events for Children’s Booksellers~ May 29 – 31, New York, NY, USA

Children’s Literature: A Coming of Age~ May 30 – 31, Manila, Philippines

The Literature Centre (formerly Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre) Exhibits and Programs~ Fremantle, Australia

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

Books Illustrated Events and Exhibitions~ Middle Park, Australia

International Youth Library Exhibits~ Munich, Germany

Tulika Book Events~ India

International Library of Children’s Literature Events~ Tokyo, Japan

Newcastle University Programme of Talks on Children’s Books for 2011-2012~ Newcastle, United Kingdom

Seven Stories (the National Home of Children’s Books in Britain) Events~ Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Discover Children’s Story Centre~ London, United Kingdom

Arne Nixon Center’s Children’s Literature Book Clubs for Adults Events~ USA

Events Sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress~ USA

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ Amherst, MA, USA

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Exhibits~ Abilene, TX, USA

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Events

Part 2 ~ Project Splash! Asia to be unveiled next month at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

AFCC logoToday’s blog post on Project Splash! Asia is  Part 2 in a series. The article was originally posted on the AFCC website and has been reprinted here with permission of the festival organizer, The National Book Development Council of Singapore.

Message by Evelyn Wong, Partnership Director, AFCC
(Part 2 of 2. Read Part 1 here)

A collection of about 50 selected water themed books with Asian content will be exhibited at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, AFCC2013, and the new titles will be donated to the National Library Board after the Festival. A review of the collection and bibliography of over 100 books will be published and launched together with the collection at the Festival. There will also be a special session during the Festival to share what we have learned from these stories. The bibliography, prepared in collaboration with the National Library, will be a resource for parents, teachers and libraries that will not only spark the imagination, creativity and pure joy of reading, but also inspire children to value the importance of water in our lives, to think about the challenges faced by children and families around the world, and to want to learn what we can do to make a difference.

When we shared the water-themed project we would be doing for AFCC2013 last year, the Singapore National Cooperative Federation (SNCF) welcomed us to join in a mass reading of “A Very Big Storm” written by Singapore children’s author Emily Lim, in celebration of International Year of the Cooperative Movement . The event, organised in collaboration with NTUC Seed Institute, NLB and 10,000 Fathers Reading, was a sight to behold and music to the ears! Coincidentally, water features in 3 of the 4 stories commissioned by SNCF to creatively and subtly teach children about the core values of the cooperative movement.

We were welcomed to contribute to the PUB Primary School Water Festival which aims to engage children in a fun way to treasure water and do their part to protect and conserve this precious resource, and collaborated with NLB to feature water-themed books. Children loved the story-telling session with “Little Otter Goes Fishing” by Emily Lim. Inspired by the children’s response, PUB’s H2O Competition this year will invite primary students to write their own stories, and we are looking forward to the winning stories and young Singapore writers.

Books drawn from Project Splash! Asia will provide a platform to engage students on the importance of water. We will also be linking to an online sustainability challenge created by Earthcheck and the Singapore Polytechnic that emphasises the practical aspects of sustainable conservation.

Besides the stories by Emily Lim, what will the collection and bibliography include? Will you and your children be interested in these stories? Do you like paper airplanes? Come join us at AFCC2013 for the launch of Project Splash! Asia, and let your imagination soar! Click here for the AFCC website!

Some titles that will be included in the Project Splash! Asia Collection of Children’s Picture Books

  

A Very Big Storm” and “Little Otter Goes Fishing” by award-winning Singaporean children’s author, Emily Lim

The Water Dragon – A Chinese Legend” retold in English and Chinese by Li Jian , the first book featured in PaperTigers online Illustrators Gallery from its Water theme Multicultural Children’s Books (click here to see the gallery and here to access the archived Water theme issue)

Wave” by internationally acclaimed Korean-American artist, Suzy Lee (click here to see PaperTigers’ gallery of her work)

AFCC – The Celebration of Diversity! by Mr. John McKenzie

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

AFCC logoPaperTigers is a proud sponsor of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) , an annual event held in Singapore that brings together content creators and producers with parents, teachers, librarians and anyone interested in quality Asian content for children around the world. This year’s conference will have an added emphasis on young adult literature and children’s works in translation and will be featuring Malaysia as the country of focus. As we lead up to the 2013 AFCC (May 25 – 30th) we will be blogging about featured speakers, program details and more.  Both Marjorie and I will be attending the 2013 AFCC and we hope to see you there! For more information about the AFCC visit the festival website by clicking here.

Today’s blog post by Mr. John McKenzie was originally posted on the AFCC blog and has been reprinted here with permission of the festival organizer, The National Book Development Council of Singapore. You can read John’s previous article, Why I Can’t Miss the 2013 AFCC, by clicking here.

AFCC – The Celebration of Diversity! ~ by Mr. John McKenzie

Imagine it! You are sitting in a televised quiz show and a lot of money hangs on the next question and your answer. You wait with bated breath! “What is the difference between a conference and a festival?” Ah Ha! You smile. You have been to AFCC before and think that you’ve got a handle on it. “A conference is a formal meeting of people within a speciality or subject field whereas a festival is a celebration of diversity often associated with holidays and events.” Applause breaks out and the host smiles. He leans forward and passes over an envelope. “That will give me a free ticket to next AFCC 2013!” you grin.

That is the heart of the matter. The Asian Festival of Children’s Content is firstly a celebration of diversity across Asia where East meets West, North meets South, and Singapore is the hub. This is evident in the speakers, their languages and their careers, their stories as well as awards that are being given. Visitors undertake diverse journeys to get here. Books too travel the globe, being translated into multiple languages. We celebrate the local as much as the global. Let’s look at something of this diversity for 2013! For example, in the Media Summit, Alexander Smith is an expert at translation of English and Japanese across multiple media platforms. Charmain Kwan is Vice-President of Programming the Discovery channel across Asia and the Pacific, Ervin Han is involved in a local production company who “regularly pitches at international media markets” and Marc Checkley, who originally was from New Zealand, has worked in Beijing, UK and now Singapore! If the medium is the message, then the message is all about the transnational.

Secondly, the term “children’s content” seems a strange term at first in that it defies being fixed by a subject speciality. What the term signifies is that story today comes in many guises and that all have value: from traditional storytelling around the fire to that latest application downloaded on a smart phone; from an anecdote shared over a lunch to being huddled around a computer game; from sitting in a quiet space at home reading The Hunger Games series to listening to a friend read aloud in a shared reading class at school; from strumming a guitar whilst singing a lyric to nestling in the dark space of a cinema frightened out of one’s wits by the latest ghost story. We live and are surrounded by narrative; without story, we are nothing. This festival then is an umbrella organisation whereby the creators, the producers and the mediators of stories for children and about childhood can come together and learn from each other. Let’s look at what is special about 2013! For example, Kiran Shah is a professional storyteller who has shared her passion across Asia and in the US and is part of the Parents’ Forum; Lavina Chong  is skilled in reader’s theatre and uses music to engage early childhood children will be speaking in the Teacher’s Congress; Nicholas Mark, an Australian,  who is speaking at the Writers & Illustrators conference,  collaborated with an Indonesian illustrator Bambang Shakuntala to create a fantasy/adventure story written in Bahasa Indonesia; and Malavika PC who is a Workshop facilitator from India, uses theatre and music with Tamil children and, if you look closely at her blurb on the AFCC web page, likes being something of a quiz master too! If there is a common message in AFCC 2013, it is all about transmedia.

If you care then about children (and who doesn’t?) and you specifically care about the type and quality of stories that are told to them that speak of what it is to be, in the vast diversity of Asia in the world, this festival is the place to come. The organisers want to welcome you as an individual within a community.

The quiz master leans forward to the next contestant. “Who wrote Nim’s Island?” The nervous Irishman nimbly leaned forward and whispered, “Arr! Not sure. Must go and find out. Ah’ve hearrrd aboot a festival. When d’we go?” The quizmaster smiled and leant forward.

John McKenzieAs a Principal lecturer at the University of Canterbury College of Education, John McKenzie designed and implemented the graduate level Diploma in Children’s Literature. He has many conference papers to his credit and is involved in the development of literacy qualifications in South Africa. He received the Betty Gilderdale Award for services to NZ children’s literature.

December 2012 Events

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Click on event name for more details

National Year of Reading~ Australia

Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse~ ongoing until Dec 3, Montreuil, France

A Journey Without End: Ed Young~ongoing until Dec 30, Omaha, NE, USA

The Illustrators’ Journey Art Exhibition Featuring Art by Shaun Tan, Matt Ottley and More!~ ongoing until Dec 31, Fremantle, Australia

Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, United Kingdom

2012 South Asia Book Award~ submissions accepted until Dec 31

SingTel Asian Picture Book Award 2013~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

Exhibition of Artworks from Jeannie Baker’s Innovative Picture Book, Mirror~ ongoing until Jan 2013, Blacktown, Australia

Reflections… On the Work of Jeannie Baker~ ongoing until Jan 2013, Blacktown, Australia

17th Annual Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature~ ongoing until Jan 1, 2013, Concord, MA, USA

23rd Annual Children’s Illustration Show~ ongoing until Jan 13, 2013 Northampton, MA, USA

Appleton Museum of Art Exhibit: Sendak & Co: Children’s Book Illustrations Since Where the Wild Things Are~ ongoing until Jan 20, 2013, Ocala, FL, USA

Exhibits of Winning Entries from the 2012 Growing Up Asian in America Contest~ ongoing until Feb 2013, USA

Nami Island International Illustration Concours for Picture Book Illustrations~ submissions accepted until Feb 15, 2013, Korea

Tall Tales & Huge Hearts: Raúl Colón~ ongoing until Mar 29, 2013, Abilene, TX, USA

Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards Celebrating Multicultural Awareness, International Understanding and Nature Appreciation~ submissions accepted until June 25, 2013, USA

The Children’s Literature Centre at Frostburg State University Presents Storybook Holiday~ Dec 1, Frostburg, MD, USA

The 92Y’s Children’s Reading Series Presents: An Evening with  National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers~ Dec 1, New York. NY, USA

The Foundation of Children’s Books Presents a Special Book Group Party with Grace Lin~ Dec 1, Brookline, MA, USA

“Dreams of a City” SCBWI Greece Illustrator Exhibition and Book Event~ Dec 1 – 22, Athens, Greece

Iconic Images: Ten Years of Collecting for The Carle. Gallery Tour with Curator, Nick Clark~ Dec 2, Amherst, MA, USA

Asian Festival of Children’s Content Book Club Presents the Singapore Launch of If I Were A Blue Kangaroo by Dave Seow~ Dec 5, Singapore

Bangalore Literature Festival~ Dec 7 – 9, Bangalore, India

Puppet Show and Book Presentation at the SCBWI Greece Illustrator/Author exhibition~ Dec 8, Athens, Greece

So You Want to Choose the 2013 Caldecott?~ Dec 9, Amherst, MA, USA

Summertime Stories Family Event~ Dec 10, Blacktown, Australia

Bengaluru Sahityotsava~ Dec 14 – 16, Bangalore, India

The Best of the Best in 2012 with Susan Bloom~ Dec 15, Amherst, MA, USA

Children’s book reading of “The Giant’s Star” by Marivita Grammatikaki. Music by Nikos Xanthoulis~ Dec 16, Athens, Greece

Chapter & Verse’s (A Book Club for Adults Discussing Children’s Lit) Mock Newbery and Caldecott Discussions~ Dec 20, USA

The Literature Centre (formerly Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre) Exhibits and Programs~ Fremantle, Australia

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

Books Illustrated Events and Exhibitions~ Middle Park, Australia

International Youth Library Exhibits~ Munich, Germany

Tulika Book Events~ India

International Library of Children’s Literature Events~ Tokyo, Japan

Newcastle University Programme of Talks on Children’s Books for 2011-2012~ Newcastle, United Kingdom

Seven Stories (the National Home of Children’s Books in Britain) Events~ Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Discover Children’s Story Centre~ London, United Kingdom

Arne Nixon Center’s Children’s Literature Book Clubs for Adults Events~ USA

Events Sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress~ USA

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ Amherst, MA, USA

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Exhibits~ Abilene, TX, USA

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Events

2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content Project Splash Asia!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

With our current PaperTigers issue focusing on the theme of Water in Multicultural Children’s Books and with water playing a crucial role in our Spirit of PaperTigers Outreach (read yesterday’s post to learn more), I was thrilled to learn that water-themed children’s stories will also be highlighted at next year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore!

Project Splash Asia! AFCC 2013

Next year will be the United Nations International Year of Water.

Community and school programmes in many countries will include reading, performing and creating water-themed stories.

Share your favourite stories that have water as a theme, such as Wave by Suzy Lee (California US: Chronicle Books, 2008), Amansinaya-Goddess of the Sea, by Eugene Evasco and Jomike Tejido (illustrator) (Philippines: LG&M, 2007), The Wakame Gatherers by Holly Thompson and Kazumi Wilds (illustrator) (California US: Shen’s Books, 2007), and Water Tales From Around the World (India: Tulika Publishers, 2010).

Project Splash Asia! aims to publish a bibliography and collection of favourite water-themed children’s stories from or about the region for AFCC 2013.

The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) hopes the compilation of a bibliography of children’s stories around a universal theme will be a regular project for AFCC to showcase the diversity of talents and children’s literature in the region.

For suggestions and enquiries, please email afcc@bookcouncil.sg.

PaperTigers’ Global Voices feature with award winning author Holly Thompson (USA/Japan)~ Part 2

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

English-language Asia-set Children’s and YA Fiction ~ by Holly Thompson

Part 2 of 3 (read Part 1 here)

Some years back as we settled into our bicultural family life with young children here in Japan, although we were surrounded by books in Japanese and took full advantage of Japan’s healthy picture book and middle-grade market, we discovered that finding English-language reading material to support our bilingual children was no easy task. Because our children attended Japanese schools, English education happened in our home, and we needed a steady supply of English-language books. But libraries in Japan stock few English-language books, and bookstores here carry very few and at hefty mark-ups, so whenever friends or family visited from the U.S. they brought books to us. Returning from a trip back to the States, our luggage was always heavy with books. We book-swapped with families in Japan, we ordered from Scholastic with our English-after school group, and we pounced on book sale tables at international school fairs. At last, Amazon Japan with free and quick delivery of affordable overseas books came to the rescue.

Always on the lookout for books relating to our lives while raising our bilingual children, we soon became aware of a lack of English-language children’s books that reflect Japan. English-language picture books set in Japan were rare, and those that existed, we discovered, tended toward folktales and nonfiction. Where were the day-to-day stories that reflected the landscapes and people and value systems surrounding us? Where was Japan?

We treasured our Allen Say books, especially Kamishibai Man and Grandfather’s Journey.

We read and reread the bilingual Grandpa’s Town by Takaaki Nomura. We enjoyed folktale retellings like The Seven Gods of Luck by David Kudler and Yoshi’s Feast by Kimiko Kajikawa. and biographical works like Cool Melons—Turn to Frogs by Matthew Gollub. All excellent, but we were discouraged that such English-language titles set in Japan were few and far between.

Searching for other Asian cultures in English-language picture books yielded similar results—folktales, nonfiction and concept books, but few fictional stories set in Asia.

As the children grew older, we came to realize that even less common than English-language picture books set in Asia were English-language middle-grade and YA novels set in Japan and Asia. What we found was mostly historical fiction. Of course we read and loved Korea-set historical novels by Linda Sue Park, Japan-set novels by Lensey Namioka such as Island of Ogres, Geraldine McCaughrean’s China-set The Kite Rider, and Minfong Ho’s Cambodia/Thailand-set The Clay Marble. We had our antennae out searching for Asia-set stories, and this 2009 blog post by librarian and children’s literature specialist Jenny Schwartzburg lists many of the titles we discovered.

But we wanted more. Contemporary realism in all its guises. Fantasy. Humor. Mysteries. Sci-Fi. The full spectrum. We wanted the ordinary everyday life of tweens and teens in Japan and Asia in English. Translations (to be addressed in Part 3 of this 3-part series) would seem to be the solution, but there are so few Japanese, and more broadly, so few Asian children’s and YA books translated into English that our choices were extremely limited.

At long last, though a bit late for our grown children, I think we are beginning to see an upswing. More English-language children’s and YA fiction titles set in Asia, are being published and winning awards. And these are being written not just by authors with limited, surface experience in Asia, but by those with solid footing in Asia such as Candy Gourlay (Tall Story), Mitali Perkins(Bamboo People), and Uma Krishnaswami (The Grand Plan to Fix Everything).

And in many parts of Asia there are laudable efforts in place to nurture English-language, as well as local-language, writers. There are now professional organizations like the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators providing networks and mentoring for English-language writers and illustrators in Asia. There are conferences such as Singapore’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content, the Japan Writers Conference, the Manila International Literary Festival, and Asia Pacific Writers, which will hold its third summit this year in Bangkok. We now have the Scholastic Asian Book Award and the new SingTel Asian Picture Book Award. There are creative writing MFA programs in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and AsiaWrites now announces residencies and opportunities. These are welcomed developments for the future of Asia-set and Asia-related books for children and young adults. Hurrah! An Asia-grown literature boom is long overdue.

Why is it so important to cultivate English-language writers in Asia? Because not only do the vast numbers of English-language readers in Asia need to find Asia in all its manifestations in the books they read, but English-language readers around the world need the opportunity to set foot in the different universes of Asia through literature.

When books are published these days, they travel the world. A book, like a website, goes abroad. A children’s or YA book in English does not only communicate with readers in the country in which it is published but it speaks to English-language readers wherever it may travel. Let’s hope that English-language publishers everywhere will come to realize that Asia, with its huge, diverse and growing population, deserves greater attention and more playing time through Asia-set fiction for children and teens.

Holly Thompson was raised in New England and is a longtime resident of Japan. Her verse novel Orchards(Delacorte/Random House) won the 2012 APALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature  and is a YALSA 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults title. She recently edited Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction—An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories (Stone Bridge Press), and her next verse novel The Language Inside (Delacorte/Random House) will be published in 2013. She teaches creative writing at Yokohama City University and serves as the regional advisor of the Tokyo chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Visit her website: www.hatbooks.comPart 3 of her series will be posted here on the PaperTigers’s blog on May 30. Part 1 can be read here.

 

The 3rd Asian Festival of Children’s Content takes place this week in Singapore!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

PaperTigers is a proud sponsor of  the 3rd Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) which takes place this week in Singapore. From May 26 – 29, participants from around the globe will gather ” to meet, interact, network and find common ground and business opportunities with the entire community of children’s content creators.” Last year’s AFCC  was highly successful with over 600 conference participants from 23 countries. ( Read our blog posts about the 2011 AFCC by clicking here and our website focus issue on Singapore and the Asian Festival of Children’s Content by clicking here). The 2012 AFCC is bound to break  attendance records with the introduction of new awards, a country focus (Philippines), specialized language workshops and a greater reach to communities in Asia. Be sure to check the AFCC’s Facebook page for timely updates and photos from this year’s event as well as the AFCC website . If you are lucky enough to be attending this year’s conference and will be blogging, facebooking or tweeting please leave a comment below with the relevant links so we can follow along!

2012 Asian Festival of Children’s Content Press Events

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The 2012 Asian Festival of Children’s Content (of which PaperTigers  is a proud sponsor!) will take place May 26 – 29 in Singapore. Programme Director Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal has just announced that “For the first time, the AFCC is launching a Regional Focus during the conference, a tradition that we hope will continue throughout the coming years. I am very happy to share that the Country of Focus this year is the Philippines.”

This week there are two exciting press events happening for the 2012 AFCC. One in Manila….

And one in Singapore…

For more details on these events and to learn more about what is being planned for the 2012 AFCC, head on over to Myra’s blog Gathering Books and read her latest post “Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore: Bigger, Bolder, and Brighter.”