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Showing posts from May, 2017

Delving Deeper into the Art of Story Telling - AFCC Sessions Part 3

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My conference triage is reasonably simple:
if I manage to glean a new sliver of information that enables me to improve my craft or happen upon a revelation that deepens my understanding of story telling or experience affirmation of a belief or method I am already practising, then I feel I have gained something useful. The following round-up highlights some of the sessions I attended while swanning around the Asian Festival of Children's Content this year.

Deep Point of View (DPOV): What is it and How to Write It with Kathleen Ahrens 

Kathleen encouraged us to first re investigate our Intention - why we write. Knowing that then allows us to engage with the readers' emotions and therefore establish, DPOV.

She introduced us to different POV Characters and the tenses and view points they can be portrayed in for example, first person, third person, second person etc.
as narratoromniscientmultiple viewpoints single major viewpoint
Deep Point of View
A way to connect with the main chara…

Death, Divorce & Other Difficult Topics - AFCC Sessions Part 2

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Slovakian author, Petra Nagyova Dzerengova apologised for the excruitiating pronunciation of her name but offered no apology for her choice of subject matter for her Asian Festival of Children's Content presentation.

As Deridre Hanna of Paradise Kids taught me, one thing in life is certain, 10 out of 10 people will die. There is no point trying to hide it. Petra reasoned there is also no reason not to share discussions about these types of issues with young children.

Despite the fact that more and more authors are tackling so called 'difficult' subject matter in children's books, yours truly included, there is still a reluctance to openly share them. Debate on their usefulness continues to circle like a pack of wary hyenas. Petra examined the salient reasons for busting through the doubts, which she supported with examples of a number of picture books that handle the subject (of death) well.

On Death...
We try to ignore it in most, but not all, culturesIf adults don…

Educating Through Books - AFCC Sessions Part 1

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'Books have a powerful way of triggering the imagination of children and building their understanding of the world.'
CEO  Elaine Ng of the National Library Board, Singapore
This was a sentiment echoed not only in my own seminar at this year's Asian Festival for Children's Content 2017 (AFCC) but in many other sessions I attended and moderated for as well. 
The official AFCC 2017 program, which ran from 17 - 21 May 2017, is nearly 90 pages long bursting with over 120 conference sessions and book-related events for delegates and the general public. That's a lot of talking, work-shopping, pitching and exchanging. I was delighted to be in the thick of it having been invited to present and launch my latest picture book there. I can but hope to reproduce the animated vibe and sense of camaraderie I experienced wondering up and down the multi-floored, air-conditioned halls of the mighty National Library, but I'm going to try... ...starting with, Leslee Udwin's EDUC…

Appreciating Asia - The AFCC in a lotus nut

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There are over two billion children in Asia. That's approximately two billion potential little humans to reach with story, impact educationally and influence for tomorrow. Mind blowing, don't think? I do.

As mind blowing as the Asian Festival of Children's Content from which I've just returned. Based in Singapore, this annual event encompassing over four distinct yet complementary conferences, 'promotes and celebrates the creation, development and appreciation of quality' children's content in a way I have never experienced before.

While the focus is understandably on Asian content and its creators, the flavour and vibe of the festival is undeniably international. I, along with a handful of other ANZ creators and industry personnel including Wai Chim, Briony Stewart, Lee Battersby, Kirsty Murray and Frances Plumpton, felt nothing but the quintessential open-armed warmth of Asian hospitality. In spite of the mind boggling number of delegates and presenters,…