By Edward Nawotka
This past weekend, the first Asian Festival of Children’s Content was held in Singapore. It may be the first literary festival of it’s kind to replace the word “literature” with “content.” But, hey, Singapore has always viewed itself as a progressive nation-state.
Claire Chiang, the festival’s advisory board chairperson, told Publishers Weekly’s Terry Tan: “We have had easy access to, and benefited from, a wide selection of educational and entertainment content from the West. In contrast, Asian materials, even those already available in the marketplace, are seldom translated and promoted, and therefore largely unexplored. This is a big loss for children worldwide, and an untapped industry with tremendous potential.”
Among the other issues raised were the need for more qualified translators for Asian languages, the dearth of collaborative projects, and the lack of a database tracking books published in Asia.
Also, two new book prizes — Scholastic Asian Book Award and Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award, were announced. Each offers S$7,300 in prize money.
READ: Our report from last November’s Singapore Writer’s Festival.