Asian Festival of Children’s Content
The Asian Festival of Children’s Content, managed by the National Book Development Council of Singapore, explores the entire spectrum of children’s content, from creation to distribution to consumption.
It is the place to meet writers, illustrators, producers, media professionals, and educators from Asia and around the world. The 2016 edition, with Japan as the country of focus, attracted 12,000 attendees from Singapore and the region. The five-day event hosted 114 conference sessions, 120 speakers from 13 countries, and 40 book launches. For the 2017 (and eighth) edition, running May 17–21, the spotlight will be on Indonesia; see afcc.com.sg.
Singapore Writers Festival
Organized by the Singapore National Arts Council, the 2016 edition will feature a record-breaking 320 writers, speakers, and performers. Some of the big names joining the festival include Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin), poetry scholar and critic Marjorie Perloff, investigative journalist Frederik Obermaier, Gosho Aoyama (creator of the Detective Conan manga series), Eka Kurniawan (Beauty Is a Wound), and Tash Aw (The Harmony Silk Factory). The 10-day event kicks off on November 4 and will have the theme “Sayang,” a Malay word that connotes love as well as a sense of lost opportunities. Visit singaporewritersfestival.com for details.
National Reading Movement
This five-year initiative by the Singapore National Library Board is focused on getting more adults to read, promoting reading in mother tongue languages, and collaborating with the community to build a vibrant reading culture across the city-state. It kicked off on June 3 with an online pledging campaign. More than 430,000 people have already promised to “read more, read widely, and read together,” the slogan used to promote various activities, including reading sessions, author discussions, and poetry recitals. The program includes a “mobile library” on subway trains that allows for downloads of recommended e-books or short essays to read during the ride; the Read@Work initiative, which curates books and delivers them to offices; and new book clubs and reading corners for senior citizens. The Library Board also marked July 30 as Singapore’s first National Reading Day.
StoryDrive Asia and Singapore Publishing Symposium
At its inaugural staging in November, this power-packed event will throw the spotlight on content owners, creators, aggregators, and consumers, and get everybody together to talk business. A joint effort between the Singapore Book Publishers Association and the Frankfurt Book Fair, and supported by Singapore’s National Arts Council, this event is about tapping into cross-media business opportunities in Asia, exploring new trends and monetization methods, networking with industry experts, and identifying new business partners. The Publishing Symposium segment complements the Singapore Writers Festival in promoting Singapore writing for publication. This event will be held November 10 and 11; more details are available at storydriveasiasg.com.