The Asian Festival of Children’s Content

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) (May 30- June 4) is a wonderful festival held each year in Singapore with speakers from all around the world including Australia, New Zealand, USA, Korea, UK, Japan and India as well as local authors and illustrators.

The National Library of Singapore shown in the photo above, is a beautiful building in the heart of the city. All the sessions were hosted in rooms throughout the library as well as in the plaza, which had a stage set up for public events.

As an Australian author, it was a wonderful opportunity to showcase my work and raise my profile internationally. The audiences are made up of local writers and illustrators, publishers and agents as well as other speakers. But people from all over Asia come.

Each year there is a focus country. This year it was India. Next year it will be China.

I spoke on three panels which I shared with fellow Australian author Jen Storer, Singaporean husband and wife team known as AJ Low, US author Mitali Perkins and Korean illustrator, Il Sung Na.

Here I am with Jen Storer and Singaporean authors AJ Low (Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez)

And here with US author Mitali Perkins and Korean illustrator Il Sung Na

The topics covered were:

An Appetite for Series, Feeding off the Reader’s Hunger

The Vast Spread of the Sea, Asian Diaspora Writers and their Works

Writing About Different Cultures

I also had my own session on Using Asian Myth, Magic, and Imagination in Children’s Fiction


David Liew is a local Singapore illustrator and here we are at The Pod, a room at the very top of the library with the most amazing views of Singapore.

As well as speaking I also enjoyed going to other speakers’ sessions like this one given by Leonard Marcus. Leonard is an author, critic and historian and one of the leading writers about children’s fiction. In his session he talked about the history of the picture book.

I also went to an interesting session given by Literary Agent Fran Lebowitz about how to pitch your novel which I have blogged about Here

In this photo is Singapore illustrator, David Liew, Festival Director Kenneth Quek and UK illustrator James Mayhew showing us the sketches they did around Singapore earlier that day.

And after the closing ceremony, I had drinks with New Zealand author Gillian Torckler and Literary Agent Frances Plumpton

There is nothing more satisfying or inspiring than sharing knowledge with like minded people.

The Asian Festival of Children’s Content brings together children’s authors, illustrators, publishers and educators from all over the world and proves that children’s and YA literature is alive and well.

And a vibrant and growing industry.


4 thoughts on “The Asian Festival of Children’s Content

  1. It was such a joy to be involved in this festival. I enjoyed every moment and urge all our peers to get involved. (It was also a joy to hang out with you, dear Gabi. It was easier to arrange than when we’re both in melbourne… lol)

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