Why I Can’t Miss the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2013 in Singapore ~ by Mr. John McKenzie

Wednesday, February 27th, 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 – 20th) 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.

Why I Can’t Miss AFCC 2013 ~ by Mr. John McKenzie

I am excited! I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a programme for a festival or conference, I am excited about two things. One thing is the new learning that the programme seems to offer and the second thing are the new people that I will get to know. Even at my ripe old age, I look forward to another learning journey, a journey where one never arrives! So, I want to share with you my excitement about AFCC 2013. Firstly, as a Kiwi who comes from a rather remote island “down under,” the idea of focusing on a particular country is great! My experience of Malaysia is limited (other than a brief journey 30 odd years ago) so I am eager to hear Cinthia Koeskal tell her story in becoming a young adult writer and to explore the degree to which there are universal dilemmas in her novels that speak to young people across cultural boundaries. In a similar way, I want to explore the art works of  Yusof Gajah and negotiate any cultural particularities that speak of national identity. I have to admit that I am passionate about picture books and will have enormous pleasure searching the book stalls for new treasures like Emilia Yusof’s picture books. I am particularly interested in representations of folktale  and I look forward then to the Malaysian focus during the Festival.

My love of the visual means that I always look for novels that include images as much as narrative, especially for an older audience. For example, when I read in the AFCC web-based review of Dianne Wolfer’s book Light Horse Boy that “the story is told via text and letters, interspersed with stunning charcoal sketches by Brian Simmonds, primary source documents and historical photographs,” I know I have to go knocking on the door The Plaza, National Library on 28th May at lunchtime and enjoy hearing about this book that is to be launched on this occasion. To add depth to my understanding of the picture book, the sessions on the art of the picture book by Patrick Yee and Julia Kaergel, the paper engineering session by Joseph Tan  and the exploration of graphic novels by Wolfgang Bylsma, Paolo Chikiamco  and Sonny Liew are all high on my agenda.

However, what I really appreciate about AFCC is the chance to go in depth as part of the AFCC Seminars and Master Classes where a full day can be spent on professional development. This year, a newish door is being opened up to me through the work of Kate McCallum and the idea and practices of transmedia productions. We live in an age of multi-literacies whereby story is presented though many platforms thanks to digital technologies. From film to computer games, web pages to phone applications, story is now visualised as moving images. The questions that are in my mind are, what is gained and what is lost though this complex interweaving of media; how can children become active creators as well as engaged participants? I am sure Kate will passionately share her knowledge and perspective on this.

I look forward to my return to Singapore. The warmth of the hosts (as much as the weather), my sense of safety and comfort in wandering around the many shops and spaces of Singapore and above all the friendliness of previous visitors as much as strangers makes all the difference. If you see a slightly balding old fella with a Kiwi accent, say hello!

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.

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).


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!

More treats in store at the 2012 Asian Festival of Children’s Content ~ Singapore

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

More news about the upcoming 2012 Asian Festival of Children’s Content taking place this month in Singapore! Head on over to Gathering Books and read their blog post “Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2012: A Luscious Feast“! Lots of great photos to enjoy too.

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.”

2011 Singapore Young Author Award Winners Announced

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

The 2011 Singapore Young Author Award Winners were announced last week! Head on over to Gathering Books to find out more and see photos from the event.

The Tiger is Now Tweeting!! Come Join Us on Twitter.

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Cue the trumpets….in 3, 2, 1…

The Tiger is now tweeting!!!

PaperTigers is excited to announce that we are now on Twitter. You can find us there under the name PaperTigersOrg (http://twitter.com/PaperTigersOrg). Or click the Twitter icon on the side of our blog to be taken directly there.

We look forward to exploring this type of social media and being able to connect with our readers in real-time, as well as follow the tweets of those involved in multicultural children’s and young adult literature around the world.  Special shout-outs to Mitali Perkins who became our first follower and to all those who tweeted that PaperTigers had arrived on the scene. We can see how information spreads quickly with Twitter and look forward to jumping in with a big roar!

2011 promises to be a year full of exciting events as regards children’s and young adult literature, and we are thrilled to announce that we will be attending the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore this coming May. Obviously being able to tweet while attending such events will be wonderful and we look forward to being able to share our experiences in real-time on Twitter.

So come on over, introduce yourself and join the Roaring Twittering Tiger!

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.

Myra Garces-Bacsal Blogs About The Singapore Book Club's Event: In Conversation with Adeline Foo, Lim Fong Wei and Sangeetha Madhavan.

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Several weeks ago I posted about The Singapore Book Club’s July event: In Conversation with Adeline Foo, Lim Fong Wei and Sangeetha Madhavan. Panelist Adeline Foo recently emailed me and told me that Myra Garces-Bacsal’s attended the event and blogged about it at Gathering Books. Read Myra’s review (which includes pics and video!) and not only will you feel like you attended the event  but you will really get to know best-selling children’s author Adeline Foo as she talks about her work ethic, where her ideas come from and what lessons budding authors must know.

Myra sums up the evening by saying:

Generally, I thought it was a good evening. It was a long travel from my home  but it was well worth the trip. One possible add-in perhaps that may be considered if there is going to be another “book club” is that an actual specific “book” would be discussed by the attendees in greater detail…Strictly speaking, it was more a panel discussion with book authors than an actual “book club” where you discuss specific targeted books and argue about the characters’ motivations, affect, and personalities in the “club.” Considering though that it was the first children’s book club ever organized, I thought it was a success. Kudos to Adeline, Sangeetha and Fong Wei and the National Book Development Council for organizing the evening. I am avidly looking forward to more evenings filled with discussion about children’s books and themes with aspiring writers, book authors, illustrators, and lovers of children’s literature.

One thing that clearly shone through from last night’s book club, and my earlier coffee and conversation with David Seow, another prolific children’s book author in Singapore – is how tenacious and passionate these writers are despite the seemingly-insurmountable odds stacked against them, being situated in a comparatively small country in Asia. Cheers indeed to the fantasy, magic, and enchantment of children’s books. Keep the faith, everyone.

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.