Singapore’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content: May 23-26

In News by Porter Anderson

The 15th edition of the Singapore Book Council’s mostly industry-facing program features public exhibitions and events for families and kids.

A session at the 2023 edition of the Singapore Book Council’s Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Image: SBC

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

Themes: Innovation, Exploration, Inspiration
With the Philippines as guest of honor this year—called “country of focus” in this show’s terminology—the Singapore Book Council‘s 15th Asian Festival of Children’s Content is set for May 23 to 26 and is themed on “Curiosity,” with organizers intending to “delve into how curiosity drives innovation, powers the imagination, and spurs children in their exploration of the world around them through books and stories.”

While the Philippines is set to be guest of honor at Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2025, a major point of interest at the festival in Singapore will be that 2024 marks the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

As many as 80 speakers are anticipated to be part of the programming at this year’s iteration of this primarily industry-facing event, with specialists onstage from Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

As always, those making presentations include authors, illustrators, and translators. Some of them engaged to speak are:

  • Emila Yusof (Malaysia), the 2020 Anugerah Sastera Perdana Malaysia winner
  • Baek Heena (South Korea), an Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate
  • Joseph Namara Hollis (UK), the 2022 Klaus Flugge Prize winner
  • Zeno Sworder (Australia), Children’s Book Council of Australia award winner
  • Lawrence Schimel (US), translator and senior editor in Madrid with NorthSouth Books
  • Andrea Wang (US), a Newbery and Caldecott awardee
  • 周 见信 Zhou Jian Xin (Taiwan), winner of the Hsin-Yi Children’s Literature Award

Singapore’s illustrators and writers are represented this time by a group including:

  • Colin Goh, co-creator of The Dim Sum Warriors
  • Sim Ee Waun, author and publisher
  • Pauline Loh, Scholastic Asian Book Award finalist
  • Amanah Mustafi, middle grade author
  • Sarah Ang and Janice Khoo, picture book writers
  • Louisa Joanne Lee, a storyteller
  • Germaine Tan, a psychologist, author and mindfulness teacher
Writers, Illustrators, Translators

Attendees at the 2023 Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Image: SBC

Main areas of programming are to include innovation in terms of processes and tools; exploration of the creative process in motivation and inspiration for those who produce children’s books; and imagination that goes into the creative process behind content for younger readers.

Set again this year at Singapore’s NLB Plaza, the program is devised to allow kids and their families a chance to engage in programming and activities focused on parent-child bonding, creative expression, and “experiential learning.”

Once more, exhibitions are part of the presentation this year, open free of charge to interested citizens. They include the annual Book Illustrators Gallery (BIG) and a showcase of wordless picture books,

Early-bird admission is available now to April 22 with discounts for seniors and students. Those who can be in Singapore for the show in May can get more details and registration information here.

The festival is programmed mainly for writers, illustrators, translators, publishers, parents, educators, and media producers. Pitching sessions and meetings are part of the program for those who are looking to get a project off the ground.

Part of a performance on ‘Vietnam Night’ at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Image: SBC


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore is here, more from us on Singapore and its publishing scene is here, and more on children’s books is 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.com, 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.