Asian Festival of Children’s Content; Macmillan, Binc Open Diversity Scholarships

In News by Porter Anderson

In recognition of the Singapore Book Council’s 50th anniversary, the Asian Festival of Children’s Content names Singapore its ‘Country of Focus.’ And in the States, Macmillan and Binc open a second year of diversity-driven bookseller scholarships.

At the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2017. Image: AFCC

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Ticket Sales Open for Singapore Festival

Ticket sales have opened for the ninth edition of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, which will run from September 6 to 8 at the National Library on Victoria Street. Its Country of Focus this year is Singapore, itself, and the overall theme is “Imagine Asia”—in part, a recognition of the Singapore Book Council‘s 50th anniversary.

More than 90 Singapore and international writers, illustrators, publishers, storytellers, educators and digital media producers from as many as 14 countries are expected to participate in the programming, with key speakers including Japanese picture book author and illustrator Satoshi Kitamura; UK publisher Sarah Odedina, who has worked with authors such as J.K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman; and novelists and digital storytellers Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo of Dim Sum Warriors.

The program this year is devised in three tracks, comprising:

  • The Writers and Illustrators Conference for literary artists
  • A Cross-Platform Summit in which media producers and writers come together
  • A public-facing Teachers and Parents Forum, educators and families are introduced to literacy cultivation and bilingual opportunities

The Singapore “Country of Focus” element has an emphasis on Singaporean traditions in children’s books and digital platforms, and an exhibition of the work of the late Singapore illustrator Kwan Shan Mei will be accompanied by Suchen Christin Lim’s presentation of the show’s annual Children’s Literature Lecture.

There’s also to be a public book fair component to the program and two prize presentations, the Hedwig Anuar and Scholastic Asian book awards.

Through July 31, there’s an early-bird discount on tickets with code AFCC2018 at the program’s site here.

At the Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2017. Image: AFCC

Bookseller Scholarship Program in Diversity Returns

For a second  year, the Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship is being mounted to promote professional development for booksellers “traditionally underrepresented in the industry,” in association with the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation.

The application period opened Friday (June 1) and will close on July 1.

In media messaging, the program reports, “The Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship was introduced as a pilot program in 2017. The success of the 2017 program led to the continuation of the scholarships in 2018.

“The program is intended to encourage a greater number of individuals from underrepresented groups to choose and/or continue careers in bookselling by offering up to a maximum of $500 for a bookseller from a traditionally underrepresented group to attend a regional trade show.”

In a prepared joint statement from the co-chairs for Macmillan diversity and inclusion programs, St. Martin’s Press’ Monique Patterson and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group’s Angus Killick, are quoted, saying, “Judging by the responses we received from last year’s participants, this is a worthwhile and rewarding program, which opens up a valuable experience to booksellers who would otherwise find it out of reach.”

And speaking for the nonprofit Binc program, its director Pam French is quoted, saying, “The Binc Foundation exists to help booksellers thrive. By working with Macmillan Publishers to bring diverse voices to regional trade shows, we’re enriching conversations and improving the story of the bookselling industry.”

According to media materials, to be eligible to apply for a scholarship, a bookseller must have worked in a bookstore as a regular full- or part-time employee for a minimum of 90 days. The bookstore must be a member in good standing of one of the regional trade associations. The applicant will answer three brief essay questions and the winners will be selected by a panel composed of Binc board members, booksellers, bookstore owners, and publishers.

There’s more information and application information here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.