Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference, 6-8 May

The Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference (ACWIC) celebrates children’s books and media, promotes the writing, publication and production as well as access to Asian Children’s content worldwide. ACWIC actively fosters the exchange of ideas and presents enormous networking and learning opportunities for established and budding professionals in the region.

Target Audience:

Writers, illustrators, pre school and primary school teachers, publishers, librarians, literary agents, distributors and retailers, translators, technology solution providers to the industry and other media professionals related to children’s content will find ACWIC a learning event that they cannot afford to miss.

TRACK E: Publisher’s Daily Bread

6 May

10am – 11am: What publishers look for in Children’s and Young Adults’ stories? – the real score, Anushka Ravishankar & Sayoni Basu   

What do publishers look for in stories? How do we define the different categories and age groups? It is as difficult to generalize the requirements of publishers as it is to generalize the tastes of readers. Anushka draws from her experiences as an editor and writer for very different publishers, to find an answer to the common assumptions about writing for children, while Sayoni shares on appropriate themes and tips on writing for young adults.

11am – 12pm: LaMB: Choosing original content – What producers look for in Scripts, Tracy Wong

What makes your story stand out from the many other scripts in the eyes of the TV producer? An original & compelling story is the basic criteria but beyond that, there are many other factors to consider including the ability to adapt it in different forms of media. Hear how the Animax team combed through thousands of scripts in a regional scriptwriting competition to award an amateur Filipino writer and turn his script into a full-fledged animation titled “LaMB”, across three screens – TV, online and mobile.

2.30pm – 3.30pm: Self publishing: pros and cons, tricks, tips and tools, Shamini Flint & Emily Lim

In the past, self-published books get no respect. Today, all that seems to have changed with some self-published books hitting bestseller lists. However, to be successful, there are pitfalls to avoid as self-publishing is after all a business. The wrong approach can mean wasting thousands of dollars. Shamini and Emily, both successful writers who self-published, will show you the ropes on how to eat, sleep and talk your book.

3.45pm – 4.45pm: Heroes Inc.: How Comics Became Big Business, Jeff Yang & Suresh Seetharaman

4.45pm – 5.45pm: SCBWI – A Worldwide Network for Children’s Writers and Illustrators, Kathleen Ahrens

Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is the only professional organization specifically for those individuals working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia.   There are currently more than 22,000 members worldwide, in over 70 regional chapters, making it the largest children’s writing organization in the world. In this talk, SCBWI International Regional Advisor Chairperson, Kathleen Ahrens, will identify areas where SCBWI can contribute to the professional growth of authors and illustrators in Asia as well as provide answers to frequently asked questions about publishing in the US market. 

7 May

10.45am – 11.45am: Singapore Success Stories

To all those who have said, there’s only so much a locally published book can do, this session is to prove you wrong. Come and see how these publishers and writers did it for the different genres – children’s horror, comics and on Asian subjects.

– The Making of Mr. Midnight, Alex Chacko

– To Save The World! – Nurturing The Next Generation of Asian Scientist, Otto Fong

– New Generation Writers: Writing Asia, Emily Lim & Shekinah Linn

10.45am – 11.45am: Publishing news for students: Values-driven journalism, Dr. Cherian George

Since 2003, a small independent publisher in Singapore has been providing news and current affairs to readers aged 10-16. News For Kids publishes a monthly newspaper, What’s Up, and a quarterly magazine, Mix. While many adults assume that kids are self-absorbed and interested only in computer games, News For Kids takes children seriously, as individuals with a right to know about world affairs. Publisher Cherian George shares his experience with this unique experiment.

2.30pm – 4.30pm: Insider’s Guide to Getting Published

How can you tell if a manuscript is ready for submission or still needs another few rounds? What do you do when editors can’t relate to your story, your intent, or your cultural perspective? Many worthy manuscripts die in the slush pile because they just aren’t ready to be sent in. Get some tips here on getting through an entire writing project to produce submittable work, and finally create opportunities and earn an income from writing poetry, plays, books, films, articles, news stories or other forms of writing. There are choices you can make and action you can take to progress your career starting right now.

– Your manuscript: How do you know when you’re done?, Uma Krishnaswami

– How editors and agents make decisions, Anushka Ravishankar

– What to expect in terms of contracts, advances and editing if you are accepted by a publisher, Holly Thompson

– The Business of Writing: Sustaining Your Writing Career, Paul Kooperman

3.45pm – 4.45pm: Copyright issues in the emerging world of online content, Bill Rosenblatt

The Internet is both a blessing and a curse for writers, illustrators, photographers, and other content creators.  It provides a way to distribute content and achieve recognition at very little cost, yet it has become harder and harder for creators to monetize their content and assert their rights.  We will address issues related to copyright in the online world that affect content creators.  We will discuss options available to content creators for navigating tradeoffs between publicity and control in the online world.

4.45pm – 5.45pm: Adding value to your products: Printing and production techniques for children’s materials, Teri Tan

Children’s books are among the most innovative (and challenging) of all book segments. Often, the quest is to make sure the books are interactive, visually attractive, engaging and one-of-a-kind. For print manufacturers, rehashing old techniques and combining them with new materials (and tricks) to up the wow factor is par for the course. For the book people, knowing what is possible and practical, and keeping up with the latest market trend, is crucial to their success.

4.45pm – 5.45pm: Multilingual Pluralities in Picture Books, Radhika Menon

Multicultural publishing has been the buzzword in children’s publishing, especially in English, for quite a few years now. It is clear that for books from one culture to find acceptance in another, it has to fit into the pre-conceived notions of that culture. Anything different is considered difficult and unfamiliar, too region-specific. These attitudes are true of children’s publishers everywhere. Most publish in the dominant language of the region and cater to the mainstream middle-class market. Unless books from a country reflect the pluralities in languages and cultures of the region, unless authors, illustrators and translators create and engage with culturally distinctive texts and visuals of their respective countries, the books will continue to create and promote stereotypical notions of a culture. Books in different languages and in translation have to grow in quantity, quality and confidence in order to reflect and respect multilingual pluralities.  How can we make this happen – sharing the Tulika experience.


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