Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference (ACWIC), 26 & 27 May 2011

Conference Director: R Ramachandran, Singapore

Conference Consultant: Pooja Makhijani, US/Singapore

Do you write stories or publish content for young readers? Or are you a writer/illustrator of children’s books? Whatever your publishing goals, objectives as a writer or teacher of children, the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference (ACWIC) 2011 is the place to be, to network and do business with publishing professionals, from first-time authors to seasoned editors. Book your place now!

For: Writers, illustrators, preschool and primary school teachers, publishers, librarians, literary agents, distributors and retailers, translators, and other professionals related to children’s content.

27 May 2011

Alchemy of Writing

10.45am – 11.45am / Play Den

Turning Life Experiences Into Fiction by Dianne Wolfer, Australia

During this practical session, award-winning YA and children’s author Dianne Wolfer will suggest ways that emerging writers can draw on personal experience, family history and daily events to create fiction and non-fiction for a cross-section of markets. Dianne will share tips for developing ideas, characters and settings. She will also discuss various ways to market and share your completed stories.

2.30pm – 5.30pm / Living Room

Writing Chapter Books For Boys by Stephen Mooser, US

It is a common belief that boys don’t like to read. Perhaps the real problem is that there are not enough good books out there that interest boys. In this workshop, Stephen Mooser, author of more than 60 books for children, most of them chapter books aimed at boys, will lead the class through a series of exercises designed to develop characters and plots that will entice kids, especially boys, to pick up your book, and then to keep turning the pages.

Illustrators’ Palette

9.30am – 12.30pm / Living Room

Creating Your Own Storyboard by Choi YangSook, Korea/US

Children respond better to images than words, whether it’s in picture books or graphic novels. How do artists strengthen the art of visual storytelling to lead and engage our young readers effectively? We will look at various book illustrations and focus on pagination, sequence, composition, and atmosphere. There will be a silent visual storytelling game for everyone to participate in, followed by an exercise of creating your own storyboard. Please bring your own sketch pad and drawing tools.

10.45am – 11.45am / Screening Room

Illustrating in the Digital Age by Nina Sabnani, India

Image-making has been dramatically influenced by digital media and it is hard to imagine the absence of digital tools in the publication of illustrated books. Today, digital tools shape and influence approaches to image-making and image-manipulations which in turn redefine the role and skills sets of an illustrator. Digital media allows for a rich collaboration between the hand and the machine amongst other possibilities. For an artist who chooses to mediate between the two realms, it offers rich opportunities to bring together different sensibilities, where one may inspire the other. Nina Sabnani will also show two films Mukand and Riaz, and The Stiches Speak, that were later adapted as illustrated books for children. Both films and books were made using digital tools and hand-crafted embroideries by traditional artists.

4.00pm – 5.00pm / Screening Room

Evoking Imagination in Illustration and Animated Films by Nina Sabnani, India

The process of creating and receiving images is interactive and the author/illustrator is always in a dialogue with the reader. In this respect, both illustration and animation have inherent qualities that trigger the imagination of the artist and the reader/viewer. To demonstrate this, Nina Sabnani will share about her collaborative work with the storytellers and traditional artists from Rajasthan to create the book HOME which is used to elicit stories from children. The book is inspired by the Kaavad portable shrine, and is designed to encourage children to tell their own stories by interacting with the images. She will also show a short animation film that is based on one of the Kaavad tales.

Insider’s Guide to Getting Published

9.30am – 10.30am / Play Den

Getting Published: A Candid Discussion with a Writer and a Publisher by Liz Rosenberg & Neal Porter, US

If you are a writer who is planning to pitch your manuscript to agents or publishers or an artist looking to illustrate picture books, you need to know how the business side of publishing works, including what you can expect to get for your work, and where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them. After getting a contract, understanding the relationship between the editor and the author is the next critical step. Renowned editor at Roaring Brook Press, Neal Porter, will conduct a lively and open discussion with one of his prize-winning authors, Liz Rosenberg, on how their own editorial relationship evolved, and on all you’ll need to know as you take your first steps in book publishing.

The Marketplace

2.30pm – 3.30pm / Play Den

The Children’s Market: What Has Changed and What Sells Now by Kelly Sonnack, US

The children’s market is blossoming in big and exciting ways, so it’s a great time to be writing for kids and teens. Kelly will discuss the trends in the children’s book biggest market and trendsetter throughout the world, U.S., what editors are and aren’t looking for, what’s working, and how the children’s industry has changed in the last 10 years thanks to authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer.

2.30pm – 3.30pm / Screening Room

Adaptation: At Best, Metamorphoses; At Worst, Just a Mess by Arvind Ethan David, UK

Many, perhaps the majority of the most successful children and young adult entertainment brands now exist in multiple mediums. Books become movies, movies become stage-shows, theme parks become movies, and then turn back again. Why this is so is can be answered by talking about brand, ‘audience pre-awareness’, profits, and fear. But the “How” of the creative process of adapting one thing into another, the dangers in crossing the treacherous river of format and the perils of messing with well known and loved stories is one of the most fascinating and little discussed of creative challenges. As a writer and film-producer, Arvind Ethan David has experience of the trials and tribulations of adaptation – from Douglas Adams to William Shakespeare, from stage to page to screen and back-again. He shares his war-stories and suggests a theoretical framework for thinking about what types of stories are best suited for what mediums.

Understanding Children’s Literature

9.30am – 10.30am / Screening Room

Negotiating the Folktale by John Mckenzie, New Zealand

This session is designed to demonstrate that the folktale (with a particular focus on the Cinderella story) is a wonderful site for playfulness in the reading classroom. The session will explore a range of folktales across different cultures and show how each age and culture plays with the archetypes and makes the stories their own. The proposition that play is a serious business is not lost in this workshop. You will be able to see how literature can support key ideas in social studies. Key concepts include types and motifs, archetypes and postmodern responses to the folktale.


The festival organisers reserve the right to change speakers, events and/or session times, dates, and other details as necessary.


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