2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Literature Call for Papers!

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

You’ve heard us rave about the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content and now here’s your chance to get involved next year. Hot off the press news from the festival organizers:

AFCC Call for Papers!

AFCC is calling for papers! We are looking for new insights on trends, observations, and AFCC logodevelopments in the field of children’s content with proposed sessions that will be useful to AFCC attendees and encourage discussion. AFCC is a conference for creative professionals, publishing industry professionals, and media industry professionals, not an academic conference, and all proposals should be targeted accordingly.

In order to qualify as a presenter, you should be published or have relevant experience in your field. Proposals should include a session outline and a one-paragraph biography of the presenter.
Deadline: 19 August 2013
strong>Geographical coverage: Worldwide
Topic: related to Asian content for children
Reading Fee: none
Contact: kenneth(at)bookcouncil(dot)sg or stephanie(at)bookcouncil(dot)sg

For further information, please check out this link.

Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014

The Award is presented biennially for an unpublished manuscript targeted at children aged 6 to 18 years, written by authors of Asian descent, living in Asia, who are 18 years of age and above. The Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014 offers a prize of S$10,000 and will be presented during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in May 2014.The closing date for the submission is 21 October 2013.
Visit the website for more details!

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 If you have written or illustrated an unpublished Asian-themed picture book (targeted at children ages 0 to six years old) the National Book Development Council of Singapore looks forward to receiving your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.

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.


Scholastic Asian Book Award 2012 – Submissions deadline 17 October

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The deadline for submissions to the 2012 Scholastic Asian Book Award is just under a month away, on 17 October 2011 – 5.00p.m. Singapore time.

The National Book Development Council of Singapore and Scholastic Asia have jointly launched the 2012 Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA). The award will recognise Asians and writers in Asia who are taking the experiences of life, spirit and thinking in different parts of Asia to the world at large. SABA is awarded to an unpublished manuscript (original or translation) targeted at children of ages 6 to 12 years.

This year’s inaugural award was won by Uma Krishnaswami and we can’t wait to see the book. Former Managing Editor of PaperTigers Aline Pereira was one of the judges: read about her Personal View about the Award and the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, where the Award Announcement was made.

For more information, visit the SABA website.

The 2011 Asian Festival of Children’s Content and its Bounties by Aline Pereira

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Aline Pereira is an independent writer, editor and media consultant specializing in multicultural children’s books, and until January this year, she was Managing Editor of PaperTigers, a post she had held since 2004. So we are very happy to welcome her back with a Personal View she wrote following her attendance of the Asian Festival of Asian Content in Singapore in May.

Aline had a special part to play in the Festival as she was one of the judges for the inaugural Scholastic Asian Book Award, along with “Chief Judge Nury Vittachi, journalist and Hong Kong’s best-selling English language author; Anushka Ravishankar, award-winning children’s poet and author (India); John McKenzie, principal lecturer at the School of Literacies and Arts in Education at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand); and literary agent Kelly Sonnack (Kelly grew up in Singapore), from the Andrea Brown Literary Agency (US).”

In her article, Aline shares with us her impressions of the Festival as a whole, and gives us a peek behind the scenes of the award. You can read the whole article here – and here are a couple of extracts to whet your appetite.

The big picture

A consistent thread seemed to run through a good number of the panels and sessions, as well as through informal conversations: “There are plenty of valid ways to produce and deliver a book”. This naturally led to discussions about the enormous changes the publishing world has gone through in the last decade or so, and all the things that have played a part in these changes. And to think that there was a time, not long ago, when people believed the Internet was a passing fad… Now one can only ignore the internet, social media and digital platforms at one’s peril. Without a doubt, these new technologies have affected the way children’s books are acquired, published and marketed, but one of the many things I came away with from those sessions and conversations was that having these new tools, platforms and processes is simply a means, not the end goal. Without losing sight of readers’ needs, the end goal continues to be finding ways to foster the creation, reception, and dissemination of a diverse children’s literature in all genres, mediums and platforms. When it comes to bringing children and books together, it should never be an either/or scenario, but a “the more, the better” one. After all, why get territorial and deaf to voices (platforms, devices) that are not our own? With regards to Asian content, AFCC was a call to join forces in that effort.

One of my favorite sessions was presented by US publisher Neal Porter (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press) on which types of books travel well to other countries, which don’t, and why. He calls himself (more…)

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