In this guest post, Vidhya Venkat writes about her experience at this year’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content
The AFCC (Asian Festival of Children’s Content) was held recently from May 30-June 4, 2014, at the National Library in Singapore. The festival encompassed conferences catering to teachers, parents, writers, illustrators and anyone else with a passion for children’s writing. Not only that, there were master classes, workshops, talks, activities and book launches.
Being an aspiring writer, I attended the 3-day Writers and Illustrators Conference and got an opportunity to listen to speakers from around the world – Sally Gardner, Mitali Perkins, Leonard Marcus, Mark Greenwood, Gabrielle Wang, being just a few.
India being the country of focus, there were several representatives from NBT (National Book Trust) and some from CBT (Children’s Book Trust). NBT laid out a large kiosk outlining profiles of some of the authors attending/speaking at the conference. There was also an exhibition of an assortment of Indian children’s books from various publishers in India. Tulika Publishers set up a booth displaying a number of its publications. Manjula Padmanabhan, Sandhya Prabhat, Sampurna Chattarji, Nina Sabnani, Payal Dhar were some of the many Indian literary stars at the conference.
India Night was held in an auditorium a short walk away from the National Library. The event was graced by former President of Singapore, Mr. S.R.Nathan, among other dignitaries. A short cultural program comprising sitar recital by children and skit presented by professional storytellers, Rosemarie Somaiah and Kiran Shah, entertained the audience. Launch of Mr. S.R. Nathan’s “The Crab and the Crane” in the 3 regional languages and Mr. Chris Cheng’s “Water” in Hindi and Tamil were other highlights of the evening.
Throughout the conference, there were several opportunities to network and mingle with the conference attendees/speakers.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and i felt a little sad when the conference drew to an end. But it has certainly inspired me to renew my writing aspirations from a fresh perspective.
Thank you Vidhya for giving us a glimpse into AFCC 2014.