The Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) aims to celebrate and promote the creation and appreciation of children’s books and content, with a focus on Asian themes.
With a mix of professional conferences, seminars, masterclasses, workshops, evenings events, and a book fair, the AFCC is a unique event right here in Asia that provides an opportunity for writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, distributors, parents, children, teachers, and librarians to meet, learn, develop their craft, and discover business opportunities.
The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) has been organising the Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference (ACWIC) since 2000. Leveraging on the success of this conference, ACWIC morphed into AFCC in 2010. It was reconstituted as both a professional trade, and to a limited extent, consumer event in 2010.
Last year, we had 159 Speakers and Moderators, 744 Conference Delegates and over 3,500 participants from Australia, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, UK, USA and Vietnam!
This year, the 5-day festival will feature Indonesia as the Country of Focus, as well as over 100 local and international speakers including authors, illustrators, publishers, and industry professionals from countries like Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Thailand, the United States and United Kingdom.
Board of Advisors
Ms Claire Chiang
Senior Vice President,
Banyan Tree Gallery (Singapore) Pte Ltd
Mr Nury Vittachi
Author and Columnist,
Mr R Ramachandran
National Book Development Council of Singapore
Mr Ashok Nath
Chairman and Conference Director,
Atty Ma. Andrea D. Pasion-Flores
Mr Christopher Cheng
Writer and Storyteller
Ms Durreen Shahnaz
Impact Investment Exchange and Shujog
Mr Dwijendra Kumar
National Book Trust India
Ms Evelyn Wong
Ms Kim Chongsatitwatana
Deputy Managing Director,
Ms Mari Yamada
Executive Adviser, Tourism and International Affairs Bureau,
Gifu Prefectural Government
Dr. Murti Bunanta
Children’s Literature Specialist and President,
Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature
Ms Nellie Dato Paduka Haji Sunny
President, Brunei Darussalam Library Association
Ms Selina Lee
Book Club, Education, and Trade, Scholastic Asia
Ms Tang Sulan
Author and Professor,
School of Literature at Hunan Normal University
Dr Thant Thaw Kaung
CEO, Myanmar Book Centre, and Managing Director,
Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation
Writers & Illustrators Conference
Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal
Educator, Reviewer, Blogger
Mr Benjamin Farr
Teacher-Librarian, Tanglin Trust School
Mr David Liew
Ms Fong Ying Yi
Manager, National Library Board
Mr Marc Checkley
Founder & Creative Director, IO CREATIVE
Ms Adeline Foo
Author and Scriptwiter
Mr Leslie Lee
Executive Director, Media Networks, Southeast Asia,
Walt Disney Company
Ms Jacqueline Chan
Head of Production, IO Creative Pte Ltd
Teachers Congress & Parents Forum
Ms Angela Anthony
Ms Geraldine Zuzarte
Centre Director, The Caterpillar's Cove Child Development and Study Centre
Ms Helen Marjan
CEO and Director of Studies, Lorna Whiston Schools Pte Ltd
Ms Katie Day
Dr Tay May-Yin
Principal Master Teacher/ English Language, English Language Institute of Singapore
The NBDCS first organised the Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference (ACWIC) in 2000. Leveraging on the success of this initiative, NBDCS launched a much larger event called the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) in 2010, of which (ACWIC) is now a part.
AFCC 2017 is the eighth edition of the Festival. The Festival aims at providing an opportunity to the community of children’s content creators to share their challenges and achievements, to develop new stories as well as explore the possibilities of marketing their publications both regionally and globally.
AFCC Growth 2010 – 2016
AFCC focuses on Asian content. In many Asian countries, children’s books have for a long time been mainly imported from the US and UK. While we have all enjoyed reading those books we also think that it is important for children in Asia today to see and read about characters and situations that they can relate to and resonate with.
In addition, it is also necessary for the children in the rest of the world to be exposed to books from Asia as well, so that they have a better understanding of Asian culture, tradition and way of life. As globalisation becomes prevalent the need for books from each of the Asian countries to be readily and easily available in and beyond Asia has become increasingly important. Hence, AFCC not only promotes the creation of more Asia content but also explores ready availability of it throughout the world.
Achievements of AFCC
Closer Relationship between Asian Countries
Over the years AFCC has been instrumental in developing closer working ties with the different national book institutions in Asia. For example the National Book Development Board in the Philippines, Kota Buku in Malaysia, National Book Trust in India, the Hunan Publishing House in China and the International Library of Children’s Literature, the Chihiro Museum in Japan as well as the Society for the Advancement of Children’s Literature, in Indonesia. The mutually good relationship has resulted in fruitful collaborations.
The Western Australian (WA) literary organization, Writing WA would send at least 5 writers/illustrators to AFCC. The participation of WA writers at AFCC would be jointly subsidised by both the Book Council and its counterpart in WA. Both the organisations further cooperated and published, “Near and Dear” – a collection of stories by Singapore and Western Australian Writers.
Country of Focus
In 2013 we introduced the concept of the country of focus where we focus on a particular country’s children’s literature each year. As part of this initiative which we undertook we developed joint publications between countries of focus concerned.
In 2015 we issued a joint publication with the country of focus – China, called ‘Lion’s Heart, Painted Thoughts: Children’s literature from Singapore and China” – a collection of stories from authors from Singapore and China.
In 2016, with Japan which is the country of focus, we published the following two bilingual books:
- Benji Yumi Origami by Emily Lim
Illustrations by Kazumi Wilds
Translation by Yumiko Fukumoto
- Monster Day at Table Top Hill by Akiko Sueyoshi
Illustrations by David Liew
Translation by Cathy Hirano
A spectacular launch of the books underwater in 2016 – perhaps the only launch of its kind in the world!
The Country of focus had an additional advantage to participants of AFCC. It introduced for the first time in some depth the respective country’s literary luminaries who hitherto had been unknown to them. It also paved the way for closer understanding of the market of this particular countries and more formal links. For instance, the National Book Trust of India accorded us the Country of Honour status at their New Delhi World Book Fair. The Book Council was able to lead a delegation of 50 publishers, writers and illustrators to India and expose them to books and writers in the Indian Subcontinent. This gave rise to great interest in Singapore’s authors and publishers.
It is hoped that AFCC will develop Singapore into a centre for cross country collaboration of writers and publishers as well as assistance to facilitate the entry of each other’s publications in their respective countries.
Singapore Authors and Books
NBDCS Chairperson Ms Claire Chiang with Minister of State Ms Sim Ann, during the launch of 3 picture books in CMTL, as supported by the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism, of which Ms Sim was then Vice-Chairman.
Unlike the Country of Focus which changes from year to year, Singapore authors, illustrators and books get special treatment and mention every year. At least 50% of the moderators and speakers at AFCC would be Singapore writers, illustrators, academic teachers and principals,
We celebrate our writers and illustrators and their works on a special evening during AFCC called Celebrating Our Stars (COS). During the evening a presentation of Singapore’s new publications is made, new authors introduced and distinguished authors recognised. In 2013 we awarded the Life Time Achievement Award to Jessie Wee the pioneer of Singapore’s children’s literature. Plans are being made for HABA – Singapore’s only literary award for Children’s writers to be presented at this event and not during the opening ceremony where it has hitherto been featured. We also take the opportunity to launch the specially funded books at this occasion as well.
BOOK LAUNCH: (Left) Dr Seetha Subbiah at the B1 Exhibition Area, with guest of honour, Mr SR Nathan, Sixth President of Singapore; (Right) Dr Seetha’s Book
At the AFCC Book Fair, Singapore books dominate the Book Fair where they are displayed and sold.
Numerous new Singapore books are launched. Launching at AFCC has special significance as the books are noted by the delegates from more than 20 countries.
NO REFUNDS ON REGISTRATIONS ALLOWED
NO TRANSFER ON REGISTRATIONS ALLOWED
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