Call for Submissions!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The National Book Development Council of Singapore and Scholastic Asia are launching the 2012 Scholastic Asian Book Award (SABA). The award recognizes Asian writers and writers of Asian origin who are taking the experiences of life, spirit, and thinking in different parts of Asia to the world at large. SABA is awarded to an unpublished manuscript targeted at children ages 6 to 12.

The closing date for submissions for the 2012 SABA is Oct. 17, 2011, 5 p.m. Singapore time. For more information, please visit www.scholasticbookaward.asia.

You are invited. . . [Updated]

Monday, June 13, 2011

I am the guest speaker for the next Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Philippines' Children's Lit Booktalk & Work-in-Progress Critique!

WHEN: 6 - 8 p.m., Monday, June 13 (Yes, later today.)
WHERE: Figaro, 3rd level, Greenbelt 3 Makati

Open to members of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - Philippines and to non-members (18 and above) who are:

* Published/unpublished children's book writers/illustrators
* Keenly interested in children's and young adult literature

BRING: Any children's or young adult book that you want to share, discuss, ask questions about, or use as a spring-board for discussion.

Or, bring a work in progress - your art or manuscript for a children's or young adult book - and get a group critique plus tips on how to get published.

FEE: Php 20 (for SCBWI members, no fee), plus a receipt to show that you ordered something - a cup of coffee, a cold drink, anything! - as a courtesy to the establishment that we’re using as a venue.

I really hope to see you all there! =D

Edited to add: Thank you SCBWI - Philippines! It was a lovely evening chatting about blogging and children's and young adult books. :o)

In My Mailbox / New Crayons: More From Singapore

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Every Sunday for the In My Mailbox meme, YA book bloggers share the books they bought, borrowed, or received over the past week. New Crayons is a similar meme that incorporates children's books and books for adults, and focuses on multicultural literature.

These are the other ASIAN books I bought and received while I was in Singapore a couple of weeks ago:

The Book That Was Handed Down written by Yixian Quek and illustrated by Grace Duan Ying (Straits Times Press, 2008)


Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Scholastic Paperbacks, reprint edition 2008)


Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Marion Lloyd Books, 2009)


Anya's War by Andrea Alban (Feiwel & Friends, 2011)


Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari (Macmillan Children's Books, 2011)


Indian Children's Favourite Stories written by Rosemarie Somaiah and illustrated by Ranjan Somaiah (Tuttle Publishing, 2006)


I also bought a bunch of Singaporean and Japanese teen magazines when I was in Singapore. Heeheehee.

What books did YOU buy, borrow, or receive over the past week? =D

"Tots to Teens: Blogging for lit" by Daphne Lee

There is an article here about the panel discussion on blogging that I was part of at the 2011 Asian Festival of Children's Content in Singapore. =D Please do read it!

Favorite Sessions at the 2011 Asian Festival of Children's Content

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I attended several interesting and helpful sessions at the 2011 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) in Singapore - which was a combination of the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference, the Asian Children’s Publishers Symposium, the Asian Primary and Preschool Teachers Congress, and the Asian Children’s Media Summit - but these were my favorites (aside from these sessions of course):


* I attended two super organized and super informative presentations by Kelly Sonnack, children's and young adult literature agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc.. In "The Role of an Agent and De-mystifying the Publishing Process, Cradle to Grave," Kelly explained everything from the roles and responsibilities of a literary agent to the typical path a manuscript takes to publication and the main deal points in a publishing contract. Very enlightening! In "The Children's Market: What Has Changed and What Sells Now," Kelly spoke in detail about market trends, in the U.S., in picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels. She gave the audience a lot to chew on!


* I learned something very important from author and illustrator Yangsook Choi when she was speaking on creativity ("The Illustrator Who Wants to Write"): You can command your passion. I never thought of passion in that way and had an epiphany when Yangsook was talking about how the pet dog you love will come to you when you call for him, and similarly, your passion will come to you when you call for it.

* Now, before I go on, you HAVE to watch this short film. You HAVE to.



That has got to be my favorite short film ever. Wasn't that just an amazing, educational, and moving piece of storytelling? It's such a sad and beautiful and important story, and such an excellent, impressive collaboration between traditional art and technology.


The most inspiring session I attended at the 2011 AFCC was Nina Sabnani's "Illustrating in the Digital Age," where Nina shared the creative process behind "Mukand and Riaz" and her other animated documentaries.


I was stunned by the genius of Nina and the other wonderful people she worked with, and by the power of "Mukand and Riaz."


Radhika Menon, managing editor of Tulika, was in the audience and spoke a bit about how Tulika adapted "Mukand and Riaz" into a children's book. (Why am I not surprised that innovative Tulika published "Mukand and Riaz"? =D In my notes from Nina's presentation I have written "I love you, Tulika.")



* I loved the positive outlook the Asian Children’s Publishers Symposium had toward digital technology and the need for publishers to diversify and publish across multiple platforms in order to survive and thrive in today's market. Content is still king when it comes to stories for children, but now we share those stories not just through books but also through TV shows, apps, merchandise, games, videos, and much much more.



* Children's technology reviewer Warren Buckleitner was a speaker at last year's Festival and I was very happy to see him again this year. I love how he gives a survey of the latest apps for children and engages his audience. From Warren's sessions at this year's Festival I saw that the best apps for children's books added value to and made books more interactive - without detracting from the stories and the beautiful language used to tell those stories.

Look! Here's a picture of Warren taking a picture of me taking a picture of him!


* One of the useful sessions from the Asian Primary and Preschool Teachers Congress was Professor Chitra Shegar's "Boys and Reading." Professor Shegar shared insights from her five case studies of the reading habits of boys and their pedagogical implications. It was fascinating stuff - some of which I was able to apply in my own classroom as soon as I was back in the Philippines!



* The very best thing about the 2011 AFCC?

THE PEOPLE.

The AFCC is a great venue for networking and I was really happy to be able to spend more time with my friends in the industry and make new friends and connections. Also, I am a READER first and foremost, and the fangirl in me was squealing all throughout the Festival because I was surrounded by warm, sweet, talented, and truly admirable authors, illustrators, editors, publishers, and educators from all over the world - all passionate about and dedicated to creating quality content for children.

To my AFCC family: I miss you! See you at next year's Festival. I've already blocked off the dates (May 26-29, 2012)!

The Singapore Children's Literature Lecture and Awards Presentation Ceremony

Thursday, June 9, 2011


The highlight of the Asian Festival of Children's Content (May 26-28 in Singapore) was the Singapore Children's Literature Lecture and Awards Presentation Ceremony. The lecture, entitled "Society, Culture, and Children," was delivered by José Ramos-Horta, the President of East Timor, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (1996). . . and a children's book author!


President Ramos-Horta had a special guest with him: Luis Soriano, founder of Colombia's Biblioburro, a traveling library that distributes books from the backs of two donkeys.


I got teary-eyed when I realized who the President's guest was. I remember reading about Luis Soriano in the New York Times back in 2008 - this was when I was feeling burnt out from all my work and studies in English language and literature - and feeling so inspired and hopeful and refreshed. I never imagined I would be in the same room as my hero AND a Nobel Peace Prize winner!

After President Ramos-Horta's lecture and a speech from Mr. Soriano came the exciting announcement of the winners of the Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award and the Scholastic Asian Book Award. The awards were presented by the President.



The Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award is a biennial award for an outstanding children's book published in Singapore. The winner of the 2011 Hedwig Anuar Children's Book Award is The Book That Was Handed Down, written by Yixian Quek and illustrated by Grace Duan Ying (Straits Times Press, 2008).


The Scholastic Asian Book Award recognizes an excellent Asian-themed manuscript (for ages 6-12) from an Asian children's writer or a children’s writer of Asian origin. The winning manuscript for 2011 is Uncle Book and Me by Uma Krishnaswami.

Congratulations to all the winners!!!

In My Mailbox / New Crayons: The 2011 Asian Festival of Children's Content Edition

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Every Sunday, for the In My Mailbox meme, YA book bloggers share the books they bought, borrowed, or received over the past week. New Crayons is a similar meme that incorporates children's books and books for adults, and focuses on multicultural literature. For In My Mailbox / New Crayons this Sunday, I would like to share the books I bought at the Media Mart, the "bookstore" of the Asian Festival of Children's Content in Singapore. I always look forward to the Media Mart! Where else can I buy children's and YA books from Asia and around the world - without paying exorbitant shipping fees?

Here are a few pictures of the Media Mart:







Here are the books I bought at the Media Mart this year:

10 Sleepless Sheep for Woolly Nights by Linda Yew (Straits Times Press, 2008)


The Singapore Kid written by Jessica Alejandro and illustrated by Pigologist (Autumn Wonders, 2010)


The Diary of Amos Lee: Girls, Guts and Glory! written by Adeline Foo and illustrated by Stephanie Wong (Epigram, 2009)


The Diary of Amos Lee: I'm Twelve, I'm Tough, I Tweet! written by Adeline Foo and illustrated by Stephanie Wong (Epigram, 2010)


Whoopie Lee: Almost Famous written by Adeline Foo and illustrated by Stephanie Wong (Epigram, 2011)


Mayil Will Not be Quiet! by Niveditha Subramaniam and Sowmya Rajendran (Tulika, 2011)


My Brother Tootoo by Urmila Mahajan (Tulika, 2010)


Mama's Saris written by Pooja Makhijani and illustrated by Elena Gomez (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2007)


The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi (Dragonfly Books, 2003)


The Monkeys and the Capseller written by Anushka Ravishankar, illustrated by Malavika P.C., and narrated by Sanjay Dutt (Karadi Tales, 2008)


Mukand and Riaz by Nina Sabnani (Tulika, 2007)


The Silence Seeker written by Ben Morley and illustrated by Carl Pearce (Tamarind Books, 2009)


Hayley's Vegemania Garden written by Mohana Gill and illustrated by Tan Vay Fern (MPH Group Publishing, 2010)


Hayley's Fruitastic Garden written by Mohana Gill and illustrated by Tan Vay Fern (MPH Group Publishing, 2010)


Next week, I'll be posting the other books I bought while in Singapore!

What books did YOU buy, borrow, or receive this week? Please let me know in the comments section below - or respond with your own In My Mailbox / New Crayons blog post and leave the link below! :o)