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 C: Illustrators’ Palette

6 May

10am – 11am: The postmodern picture book, John McKenzie

This workshop explores the new wave of the picture book whereby the reader’s traditional expectations of story are playfully interrogated. Key concepts include the metafictive, multiple-voices and agency, the pastiche, the carnivalesque and parody and indeterminancy. The workshop is grounded on an overview of key postmodernist propositions. The implications for teaching and ideologies about the purpose of education will be touched on.

11am – 12pm: Parallel Dimensions: Comparing the Graphic Novel in the U.S. and Asia, Jeff Yang & Sonny Liew

11am – 12pm: The boon and bane of wearing Two Hats – Writing and Illustrating, Sally Heinrich

So you’re an illustrator and perhaps you’ve thought about writing a children’s book. Writing and illustrating your own book may mean you won’t have to wait until the publisher finds the right text for you, however, it can also give the publisher TWO reasons to reject your work. Sally will explore the advantages and disadvantages (mostly the former!) of being responsible for both the words and pictures.

12.15am – 1.15pm: Designing and illustrating for educational games and aids, Atanu Roy

Having won various national and international awards for his work, Atanu is actively involved in the curriculum development programmes for primary schools in India. Here, he shares his experience in designing and illustrating a variety of games and educational aids for children, especially for the pre-school; consisting of jigsaw puzzles, board games, coloring books and story books.

2.30pm – 3.30pm: Popular culture and the media: hooking the reluctant reader, John McKenzie

Many children can read but choose not to. The value of graphic novels in developing a challenging and deep curriculum will be explored revealing thus how the problems of aliteracy can be met. This workshop, in challenging the high/low culture binary will also explore popular novella in the primary and middle schools: themes and issues that excite youngsters (and worry their parents and teachers).

4.45pm – 5.45pm: Comics Writing: Sequences of Consequence, Jerry Hinds

Problem: A writer has a series of panels with actions & dialogue on a page, but it involves odd shaped or too many panels that do not visually flow well! We will explore the intricacies of selecting correct panel sizes & shapes to fit a script. Demonstrations with sample scripts of how different actions & dialogue can often dictate the size and shape of a panel, to find a way to have certain amounts of dialogue/narrative to appear in a single panel scene in an effort to better ensure a certain message is relayed to maximum effect.

7 May

9.30am – 10.30am: Visual language: deciphering the picture, John McKenzie

This workshop is designed to introduce the skills and critical language of viewing illustrations in the picture book, covering four main areas; basic form, composition, media and style and the relationship of image to narrative. Concepts include: emotive and imagistic use of line, shape, scale, white space, colour, size and format; compositional use of leading lines, point of view, profile, directionality, framing, cropping, focal distance, visual motifs, visual weight and contrast; the narrative impact of media; relationships of irony, dramatic moments, focus and elaboration, and font as a pictorial element.

12pm – 1pm: Picture Books: Knowing Your Voice, Naomi Kojima

Knowing what you want to say is probably the very first important step in making a good children’s book. In this session, we will explore the various genres and themes in children’s picture books, and examine how artists have expressed their voices through their stories and illustrations.

2.30pm – 3.30pm: Designing & Illustrating for school curriculum materials, Atanu Roy

Textbooks and illustrations come together like meat and potatoes. Illustrations have been used in textbooks for so long that we have taken them for granted. But why and how are they used? Having designed and illustrated more than 100 children’s books, games and educational aids for publishers like Penguin, Scholastic, and Harper Collin and international organisations like WHO and UNICEF, Atanu will share about designing and the use of illustrations in textbooks.

3.45pm – 4.45pm: Illustrating: Making stuff up without stuffing up, Sally Heinrich

Even in fiction, there are times when you need to be historically and/or culturally accurate. It is important to avoid stereotypical portrayal of characters and provide an accurate and authentic reflection of cultures in order to promote cross-cultural understanding. Here, Sally discusses the importance of research and looking into the finer details.

4.45pm – 5.45pm: Modern Myths: Re-presenting Traditional Stories in Graphic Novels, Suresh Seetharaman


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