2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content ~ Singapore

Monday, February 11th, 2013

PaperTigers is a proud sponsor of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, 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. Dates for the 2013 AFCC have been announced – May 25th  – 30th , and festival organizer, The National Book Development Council of Singapore, is hard at work ensuring that this year’s program is equally, perhaps even more so, inspiring than previous years. The AFCC website has recently been relaunched and details for the 2013 festival are being added daily. Early bird registration has begun and the call for submissions has gone out for the Book Illustrators Gallery.

Both Marjorie and I plan on attending this year’s AFCC and will be speaking in several of the sessions. I was blessed to be able to attend the 2011 AFCC and have been counting down the months until I could return. It will be such a thrill to reconnect with old friends and make new ones all while being immersed in the world of Asian children’s literature! If you are able, do try to attend. It may take a wee bit of time to travel to Singapore but it will definitely be worth the effort!

(Read PaperTigers’ July 2011 issue to learn more about my time at the 2011 Asian Festival of Childrens Content).


SingTel Asian Picture Book Award~ Submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2012

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Attention authors and illustrators! Have you heard about the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award? If you have written or illustrated an unpublished Asian-themed picture book (targeted at children ages 0 to six years old) the National Book Development Council of Singapore looks forward to receiving your submission for this new award! Entries are being accepted until Dec. 31, 2012 with the inaugural SingTel Asian Picture Book Award to be presented next May at the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Submissions will be accepted from writers and/or illustrators of any nationality and from any country who are 18 years of age and above. Here’s the press release:

The National Book Development Council of Singapore is delighted to announce the inaugural SingTel Asian Picture Book Award. Beginning in 2013, the award will be presented annually for an outstanding unpublished picture book with a distinctly Asian theme.

The objectives of the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award are as follows:

a) To encourage and inspire the publications of more Asian-themed picture books

b) To stimulate public interest and support for picture books with Asian themes

c) To recognise and award a prize to an excellent picture book with Asian theme each year

The SingTel Asian Picture Book Award offers a total of S$10,000 for the First Prize consisting of S$5,000 for an author and S$5,000 for an illustrator. These will be individually known as the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Author, and the SingTel Asian Picture Book Award – Illustrator.

Closing date for submissions is 31 December 2012. Official rules and regulations can be found here.

For more information, please visit www.bookcouncil.sg.

PaperTigers is proud sponsor of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content and looks forward to working with the AFCC in promoting and highlighting the richnesses of Asian Children’s literature.

Interview with R. Ramachandran, Executive Director of the National Book Development Council of Singapore

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Head on over to the PaperTigers website to read our interview with R. Ramachandran, Executive Director of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS).

Here are a few snippets –

About why the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference, which has since grown in to the Asian Festival of Asian Content (AFCC) came into being in 2000:

As a librarian I realised that the availability of children’s literature with an Asian focus was limited: limited in number, that is. And those books that were available were not attractively produced and were aggressively marketed. The good books produced by the Asian diaspora were too expensive and again not readily distributed in Asia. Asian children were not reading about themselves. The books that were being read were not set in an environment that they were familiar with and could relate to. In the meantime, schools and libraries were being developed. The need for materials for Asian Children was urgent.

About the work of the NBDCS:

Organisations like ours must continue our efforts to impress upon people that stories, reading and writing are fundamental, no matter what form they take and no matter how technology develops.

And about the future of the book:

I still see scope for books as we know them. But a book will have to become a work of art, a niche publication that combines the beauty of paper, words and art on paper, packaged and presented in all its glory to the reader. Such a book will always have a place and a market, even as technology advances and impacts on book publishing as a whole. Like libraries, books will not perish. They will embrace technology, and reinvent themselves as a niche player. […]

What concerns me, though, is that there appears to be a lack of confidence among publishers to rethink and use the changes in technology to present the book in all its might and glory, and to exploit its unique features to retain the readers and buyers.

Rama certainly provides food for thought – what do you think?

Read the complete interview here.

The 2011 Asian Festival of Children’s Content: a photo montage

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Last year in Singapore a new children’s literature conference was launched: The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC). Organized by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and The Arts House, the mission of the AFCC was (and is) to foster excellence in the creation, production and publication of children’s materials with Asian content in all formats and to facilitate their distribution and access, first in Asia and then to children worldwide. The AFCC noted:

Over a billion children in Asia lack good resources, both for their education and entertainment. Those who have the means and the access, benefit from a wide selection of edutainment material available from the West. Asian material, even those available, is seldom promoted and is therefore left unexplored. Bringing quality Asian content to children is paramount as it would make children aware of Asia’s unique environment and cultural values, promote understanding of, and love for, the literary and visual arts. It will thereby lay the foundation for a good and all-round education. This will benefit parents, teachers, librarians and children in Asia as well as the world.

The inaugural AFCC festival was a huge success with over 400 participants from 17 countries attending, and dates were promptly set for the 2nd AFCC to be held 26 – 28 May 2011. Here at PaperTigers we were eager to attend the 2011 festival, especially when the opportunity arose to conduct an AFCC panel discussion with Tarie Sabido (Asia in the Heart, World on the Mind) and Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal (Gathering Books.org). So on May 23rd I departed Vancouver, Canada and headed to Singapore, brimming with excitement and enthusiasm (and a wee bit of nervousness at the thought of my panel presentation) and eager to take part in all the AFCC had to offer.  I was thrilled at the thought of this opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals all eager to discuss Asian children’s and young adult literature.

This was my first time visiting Singapore and I was immediately struck by how perfect a spot it was to hold a festival that focused on the gathering of people from Pacific Rim and South Asia countries. Singapore’s geographical location has resulted in the the country historically being a gathering spot for people of many ethnicities and religions.  The majority of Singaporeans is of Chinese descent (74% according to the 2009 census); 13.4% are of Malay and 9.2% of Indian descent. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil; and multiple religions are represented. The multicultural flavor of Singapore is represented in the distinct ethnic neighbourhoods – Chinatown, Little India and the Arab Quarter – as well as the large number of religious buildings, some of which have great historical significance. The Singapore government recognizes the importance of racial and religious harmony and, of course, this is something that we all would like to see promoted and reflected in children’s literature.

To be in such a multicultural city and then to have even more cultures represented, as attendees arrived for the AFCC from countries such as Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, India, Japan, Malaysia, USA, and Canada, was truly amazing. Each day of the Festival was jam-packed with activities and it was truly an incredible experience to be surrounded by people from all over the globe who shared such a passion for children’s literature. The venue, The Arts House, an almost-200-year-old building that was Singapore’s first Parliament House, was steeped in history and tradition and was the perfect spot to host the festival.

Needless to say, I took many photographs. As well as those of Singapore shown above, below are some of my favorites from the AFCC itself – and you can see more in an annotated slideshow here. And so, to answer Festival Director Dr. Rama’s question about whether the AFCC can be considered to be the Bologna of Asia, my answer is a resounding YES: and I certainly hope to be able to attend again in 2012!!!


New Gallery feature of illustrations from the Book Illustrators’ Gallery (BIG) at the AFCC

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011


Head on over to the PaperTigers Gallery to see some of the work that was included in the Book Illustrators’ Gallery (BIG) at this year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC). The exhibition featured works by artists participating in the conference and in our Gallery you will find both book illustrations and stand alone works by: Jade Fang, Lee Kow Fong, Li Dan, Soo Theng Theng, Wendy Tan, Priscilla Tey and Wong Si-Y.

We also go behind the scenes for a Q&A with Jade Yong of the National Book Development Council of Singapore, one of the AFCC and BIG organisers, who tells us, among other things, of exciting possibilities arising out of the BIG:

The [AFCC] organisers hope to garner support for an award for children’s illustrations, to be introduced at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in the next few years.

The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award Winner is Announced at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

In 2010 the National Book Development Council of Singapore announced the establishment of The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award. The prize, valued at S$10,000, is to be presented biennially for an outstanding children’s book so as to recognize and to inspire excellence in children’s literature published in Singapore.

Mrs Hedwig Anuar was the first Singaporean Director of the National Library of Singapore, a position she held from 1960 until her retirement in 1988. Though she put in place the foundations of the modern library system in Singapore and made contributions to all aspects of library work, this award recognises her outstanding contribution to children’s librarianship and the promotion of books and reading for children. Mrs Anuar was particularly interested in drawing children to the library, especially the baby boomers of the 1950s and 1960s. These people had very little opportunities for education.

Mrs Anuar raised the reading levels of all sectors of Singapore society and especially the children and young people. Numerous programmes were organised to promote the joys of reading. Storytelling sessions for young children, lectures and classes for students and cultural events for the general public were daily affairs at the libraries even then. She was the key inspiration behind setting up the Asian Children’s Collection at the National Library which has now become an outstanding research centre for Asian Children’s Literature.

On May 27th the inaugural Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award winner was announced at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. I was thrilled to attend the evening event which consisted of the Singapore Children’s Literature Lecture followed by the Awards Presentation. The ceremony took place in the historic Chamber Room of  The Arts House and was attended by approximately 200 including Mrs. Anuar. Nobel Peace Prize winner and President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta delivered an inspiring lecture and then presented the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award to The Book That was Handed Down written by Yixian Quek, illustrated by Grace Duan Ying and designed by Goh Caili.

The inaugural Scholastic Asian Book Award winner was also announced: Uma Krishnaswami. Uma was unable to attend the event so author Pooja Makhijani accepted the award on her behalf. Former Managing Editor of PaperTigers, Aline Pereira, was a member of the judging panel for this award. I’ll post more details about it in the upcoming days as unfortunately it is time right now for me to pack my bags and depart lovely Singapore. However, in the meantime, be sure to read  the blog tour for Uma’s new book  The Grand Plan to Fix Everything.

2011 Asian Festival of Children’s Content ~ Singapore

Monday, November 29th, 2010

The inaugural Asian Festival of Children’s Content was held this past May in Singapore and was a resounding success with over 400 delegates from 17 countries attending. The dates for the 2011 Asian Festival of Children’s Content have now been confirmed and the recently released e-flyer can be seen below! If you are interested in doing a presentation at the Festival you have until November 30th to submit your proposal.

The Scholastic Asian Book Award….celebrating stories for children

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Here’s an important shout out to any of our readers who have written a children’s story that is inspired by Asia. Have you heard about the new Scholastic Asian Book Award?

The National Book Development Council of Singapore and Scholastic Asia are jointly launching the Asian children’s book prize. The award, called the Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA), will recognize Asians and children’s writers of Asian origin who are taking the experiences of life, spirit and thinking in different parts of Asia to the world at large. The award will also promote the understanding of the Asian experience and its expression in innovative and creative forms.

The objectives of the SABA are as follows:
• To recognize excellence in fiction in Asian stories for children
• To showcase the diversity of literary talent within Asia
• To encourage and inspire more Asian-themed books and stories

If you have an unpublished manuscript (original or translation) targeted at children ages 6 to 12 years, and reside in Asia or are of Asian origin*, send your submission in asap as the deadline for entries is December 31, 2010.

The award will be presented at a special ceremony during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) in Singapore  in May 2011. In addition, prize winners will be invited to take part and share their special expertise and experience with the participants of AFCC.

For more details, click here.

*For the purpose of this award, Asia comprises the following countries: Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, S. Korea, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives and East Timor. The author must be either residing in the countries listed above or the diaspora living in any part of the world.

November 2010 Events

Monday, November 1st, 2010

(Click on event name for more information)

American Indian Heritage Month~ USA

November Events for Kids at Dar el Shorouk Stores~ Cairo, Egypt

Govenor General’s Literary Award Winners Announced~ Montreal, QC, Canada

SCBWI Write-ins to Celebrate National Novel Writing Month~ France

Sharjah International Book Fair and Announcement of the Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature Winner~ ongoing until Nov 6, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Antwerp Book Fair~ ongoing until Nov 11, Antwerp, Belgium

30th Santiago International Book Fair~ ongoing until Nov 14, Santiago, Chile

Nambook-010: The 5th Nami Island International Children’s Book Festival~ ongoing until  Nov 14, Nami, Korea

Entries Accepted for the 2011 PBBY-Salanga Prize~ ongoing until Nov 15, Philippines

The Children’s Bookshow: Stories From Around The World~ ongoing until Nov 17, United Kingdom

2010 Original Art: Celebrating the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration~ ongoing until Nov 24, New York, NY, USA

Scholastic Asian Book Award~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award 2011~ entries accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

An Exquisite Vision: The Art of Lisbeth Zwerger~ ongoing until Jan 9, Hannover, Germany

Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books~ ongoing until Jan 23, Amherst, MA, USA

Drawn in Brooklyn Exhibit of Original Picture Book Art by Brooklyn Illustrators~ ongoing until Jan 23, Brooklyn, NY, USA

National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Presents From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick~ ongoing until Jan 29, Abilene, TX, USA

International Youth Library Exhibit: The World in Miniature. The Family in Historic Picture Books and Children’s Literature~ ongoing until Aug 31, Munich, Germany

EXEtreme Imagination: A Festival of Literature for Children and Young People~ Nov 1 – 7, Devon and Exeter, United Kingdom

Exclusive Screening: Library of the Early Mind~ Nov 2, New York, NY, USA

Asian Literacy Conference~Nov 3 – 5, Manila, Philippines

NAME’s (National Association for Multicultural Education) 20th Annual Conference ~ Nov 3 – 6, Las Vegas, NV, USA

An Evening with SCBWI Published Authors~ Nov 4, London, United Kingdom

Children’s Book Council of Australia – Zart Art Seminar~ Nov 4, Melbourne, Australia

YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium: Diversity, Literature and Teens, Beyond Good Intentions~ Nov 5 – 7, Albuquerque, NM, USA

2010 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition~ Nov 5 – Dec 5, Nanao, Japan

Children’s Literature Council Fall Gala~ Nov 6, Los Angeles, CA, USA

14th Annual Rochester Children’s Book Festival~ Nov 6, Rochester, NY, USA

OKI (Ohio Kentucky Indiana) Children’s Literature Conference~ Nov 6, Crestview Hills, KY, USA

Adeline Foo’s Book Launch for Famous Amos’ 3rd Diary~ Nov 6, Singapore

8th International Conference on the Book~ Nov 6 – 8, St. Gallen, Switzerland

Once Upon A World Children’s Book Award Program~ Nov 7, Los Angeles, CA, USA

21st Annual Children’s Illustration Show~ Nov 7 – Jan 1, Northampton, MA, USA

Fins and Feathers: Original Children’s Book Illustrations from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ Nov 7 – Jan 30, Raleigh, NC, USA

SCBWI Children’s Lit Booktalk: Meet Author Luis Gatmaitan~ Nov 8, Manila, Philippines

1st Annual Children’s Poetry Festival~ Nov 8 – 10, San Salvador, El Salvador

National Young Readers Week~ Nov 8 – 12, USA

Northern Children’s Book Festival~ Nov 8 – 20, United Kingdom

International Youth Library Exhibit: The Fabulous World of John Kilaka, Pictures and Drawings by a Tanzanian Artist~ Nov 8 – Feb 28, Munich, Germany

Author Deb Ellis at Kidsbooks~ Nov 8 – 9, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards Winners Announced~ Nov 9, Toronto, ON, USA

Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award Presentation~ Nov 10, Auckland, New Zealand

The Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books Weekend Conference~ Nov 12 – 13, Findlay, OH, USA

NBDCS Presents Literacy Instruction for Delayed Readers~ Nov 13, Singapore

Savannah Children’s Book Festival~ Nov 13, Savannah, GA, USA

The Foundation for Children’s Books Presents: What’s New in Children’s Books~ Nov 13, Boston, MA, USA

The 17th Annual British IBBY/NCRCL MA Children’s Literature Conference: Conflicts and Controversies~ Nov 13, London, United Kingdom

Connecticut Children’s Book Fair~ Nov 13 – 14, Storrs, CT, USA

The 108th Annual Conference of the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association~ Nov 13 – 14, Honolulu, HI, USA

SCBWI British Isle’s Third Conference For Writers & Illustrators~ Nov 13 – 14, Winchester, United Kingdom

National Book Week~ Nov 14 – 20, India

Bookaroo in the City! A Celebration of Books in Schools Across Delhi~ Nov 14 – 25, New Delhi, India

South Korean Adventure – Peace Story, Nambook-010~ Nov 15, Auckland, New Zealand

Author/Illustrator Seta Toroyan Presents: The Page Turn in the Picture Book- What it Does and How Children’s Writers and Illustrators Make Use of It~ Nov 16, Brooklyn, NY, USA

13th Literary Youth Festival at the Institut Français~ Nov 17 – 20, London, United Kingdom

28th Annual National Black Storytelling Festival and Conference “In the Tradition”~ Nov 17 – 21, Little Rock, AR, USA

2010 Fall Book Launch for Orca Books Authors~ Nov 18, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Manila International Literary Festival~ Nov 18 – 20, Manila, Philippines

Children’s Literature Assembly Events at the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention~ Nov 18 – 22, Orlando, FL, USA

International Illustrators Forum~ Nov 19 – 20, Munich, Germany

International Children’s and Young Adult Literature Celebration: Open a Door… Open a Book…Open your Mind to the World~ Nov 20, Madison, WI, USA

USBBY Co-sponsored Session at the NCTE Annual Convention: Celebramos con Pura Belpré, Highlighting Hispanic Voices in Literature for Children and Teens~ Nov 21, Orlando, FL, USA

Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) Sessions at the NCTE Annual Convention~ Nov 22 – 23, Orlando, FL, USA

Inky Awards Ceremony~ Nov 25, Melbourne, Australia

National Conference on Poetry~ Nov 25 – 26, Manila, Philippines

Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival~ Nov 26 – 28, New Delhi, India

Calgary Children’s Book Fair and Conference~ Nov 27, Calgary, AB, Canada

Guadalajara Book Fair~ Nov 27 – Dec 5, Guadalajara, Mexico

SCBWI Japan Presents: Children’s Literature Scholar Leonard Marcus — Advice from a Legendary Editor: How Ursula Nordstrom Made Children’s Books That Last~ Nov 28, Tokyo, Japan

The Singapore Book Club Presents "In Conversation with Adeline Foo, Lim Fong Wei and Sangeetha Madhavan"

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Georgette's Mooncakes (Chinese Version) by Adeline Foo, Translated by Lim Fong Wei, Illustrated by Lee Kowling

Georgette's Mooncakes

On July 16th The Singapore Book Club is hosting “In Conversation with Adeline Foo, Lim Fong Wei and Sangeetha Madhavan”.  All are welcome to attend this free event which starts at 7pm at the Earshot @ The Arts House (1 Old Parliament Lane). Discussion will centre on Adeline’s latest children’s book Georgette’s Mooncakes which was translated in to Chinese by Lim Fong Wei.

Adeline Foo has written 15 books  including the acclaimed Peranakan series (Chilli Padi, The Beaded Slippers) and The Diary of Amos Lee which made Singapore’s top ten best sellers’ list.

Sangeetha Madhavan’s picture book A Blue Cat’s Tale (Straits Times Press) was published under the First Time Writers and Illustrators Publishing Initiative 2008. Five of her short stories, commissioned by the Ministry of Education Singapore, will appear on a web portal for children in 2010.