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.


6 May

12.15pm – 1.15pm: From Page to Stage:  The Art of Adaptation, Jonathan Dorf

Les Misérables, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Huckleberry Finn and hundreds of other books have been adapted numerous times over the years, and adaptations, particularly of known titles, are always in great demand at theatres and schools. During our session, we’ll explore topics as choosing material and securing permissions, styles of adaptation and theatricality, scene selectivity and finding the dramatic action.  By its conclusion, you will have a step-by-step blueprint for taking a book from the page to the stage.

2.30pm – 3.30pm: How to write screen-friendly stories that can be developed into video games, Nury Vittachi

The global video game industry is now bigger than the music industry, and by some measures bigger than the movie industry. Further, it has an aura of excitement the children’s book industry lacks. In this session, Nury who has worked with game design teams reveals the keys to entering this exciting new market. You’ll learn how stories for games are completely different than tales for books or films. Includes key tools for shaping game-stories and hooking up with game developers.

7 May

12pm – 1pm: Producing an Animation based on a script: The production secrets revealed, Tracy Wong & Sung LinGun

LaMB the animation movie, not lacking in quality and star power, won Taiwan’s Golden Bell Award for “Best Animation” in 2009.  It features a stellar voice cast including Van Ness Wu, Josie Ho, Tanaka Chie, songs by international bands Simple Plan and Click Five, as well as costume design by renowned fashion designer Vivienne Tam.  From deciding on animation style, creating the storyboards to character design… find out what goes on behind the scenes in making LaMB the animation movie.

4.45pm – 6.15pm: Aspiring Writers: Kick Starting your Career in Writing, Facilitator: Daphne Lee

Panel: Adeline Foo, Jin Pyn Lee, Sharon Ismail, Stephanie Ho

Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming the next writer on the bestseller list! Come and hear what these new generation writers have to say about expanding your maiden work into a series (or more), writing for different age groups, promoting your works and finally winning international awards. Be inspired to start you own piece immediately.

8 May

9am – 10am: What is Young Adults Fiction? Where it came from and where it is heading, Ken Spillman with guest speakers Holly Thompson and Paro Anand

Young Adult fiction has a long and distinguished past in the USA, Australia and Britain, but remains a developing genre in many Asian markets.  Here award-winning YA novelist Ken Spillman, with guest speakers Holly and Paro, will discuss some of its characteristics and provide insights into what distinguishes it from junior fiction and books for adults.  When does it work, and why is it needed?  Perhaps more importantly, what is its future?

9am – 10am: Indian English Literature and International Book Prizes: How Indian writers have adapted the English language to express themselves, Mita Kapur

Chutneyfication is a delicious word, coined by Salman Rushdie, to describe the way in which the tastes and flavours of the English language have collided with the spicey, sharp, sour, sweet tastes of Indian idioms to produce an altogether different dish. The fact that many Indian writers have won or been shortlisted for major literary prizes simply underlines the fact that today’s writers are explorers whose territory is language itself, rather than ‘subjects’ to some sovereign tongue. Thus, Asian authors do not need to stick to the pure, or what is traditionally called ‘good’ English, and they do not have to force themselves to make their writing appeal to a non-Asian audience as well.

12pm – 1pm: What Makes a Good Idea: for a Story, Play or Film, Paul Kooperman

Whether its theatre, television or cinema, how do you take an idea, write it down and turn it into something that people will want to produce as a film or stage production? This session will touch on the process of taking an initial concept for a film or play to writing it down in script form in a way which will excite readers, directors, producers and, ultimately, an audience. Paul will raise questions about where ideas come from, what makes a ‘good idea’, and key elements of storytelling for performance.

12pm – 1pm: Dressed for Success. Designing book covers that sell, John Danalis

Great stories dressed in drab, ill-considered covers languish on the shelves. John and Stella Danalis have been designing attention-grabbing, award winning book covers for the past ten years. “We feel that the future of the books we design rests – in no small measure –in our hands,” he says. In this session, John shares his insights and tips on how to develop and design book covers that buyers and borrowers reach for.

5pm – 6pm: Writing for teenagers with special needs and youths at risk, Paro Anand & Rukhsana Khan

Whether it is on a global scale with issues like terrorism or on a very personal one with issues like divorce, bullying or domestic violence, talking about issues that are difficult in real life can be sensitively dealt with through the safety net of story. This session explores the ways in which two authors who write for such teenagers, go about creating stories that resonate with this disenfranchised group. Writers for the young have a social responsibility that goes beyond just the pleasure of writing.

5pm – 6pm: Rhyme without Reason: Writing Verse, Anushka Ravishankar

Anushka’s stories, most written in verse form with the sort of metre and rhyme that would make Dr Seuss proud, have enchanted children everywhere with the nonsensical and fantastical world she creates. She has won national and international acclaim for the jubilant and artful verse-tales she’s released. Discover the joys of rhyme and rhythm, of meaning and nonsense at this session on writing verse for children.  

6.30pm – 7.30pm: In Conversation with Jessie Wee and Margaret Lim

Publishing children’s books by Asian writers seem to have started just within the last few years when interest in and support for children’s book publishing grew. However, there are pioneer children’s books writers who had paved the way for new writers almost 3 decades ago. We’re pleased to present the Singapore and Malaysian pioneers – Jessie Wee and Margaret Lim. They will, share their thoughts and experiences on their early struggles and their subsequent successes.


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