Skip to main content

My Favorite Session at the 2013 AFCC


{Steph Su delivering her keynote speech at the 2013 AFCC}

Last month, I was in Singapore for the 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC). I hope to share more blog posts (and other social media posts) about my time there, but I would like to start with my favorite session: "Getting the Most Out of Blogging" by very popular blogger Steph Su.

This was the first year the AFCC had a day dedicated to AFCC Seminars, and there was a blogging track in it, which my fellow blogger Liyana Othman and I helped put together. "Getting the Most Out of Blogging" was Steph Su's keynote speech for the blogging track. She shared her blogging journey and the many insights she has picked up along the way, focusing on blogging and the self, blogging and friends, and blogging and professional success.

{me and fellow blogger Liyana Othman}


Maintaining my blogs isn't easy: One, it takes a lot of time and effort, especially because I try to produce quality posts. Two, I don't make any money from blogging, in fact I spend money on blogging. I don't have advertisements on my blogs and I am not interested in sponsored posts. I spend money on books so that I can give them away to my blog readers. I spend money to attend events (like conferences) so that I can blog about the events or so that I can learn more about children's and YA books to better blog about them. Three, I unfairly get pressured about what to blog and when to blog. Blogging is my hobby and yet some try to dictate the content of my blog or the schedule of my blogging.   

Steph's moving speech reminded me why I started blogging in the first place, and why I continue to blog: Blogging allows me to express my passion for children's and YA books, and connects me with others who have the same passion. It's a platform for me as a fangirl, me as a cheerleader. I shouldn't be afraid to blog about what I want to blog about, when I want to blog about it. I shouldn't be afraid or ashamed to take long breaks from blogging. And I can change the content and focus of my blog if I want to. If I force myself to blog about what I don't want to blog about, or if I force myself to blog when I don't want to blog, the quality of my blog posts will suffer or I will get tired of blogging altogether.

Steph taught me that, while the blogosphere is super saturated and highly competitive, blogging isn't about your number of followers, it's about the number of followers you can see yourself being friends with outside of blogging. I have to admit that I got teary-eyed during this part of her speech. I may not have high visitor stats, but I have made many beautiful and incredible friends from all over the world through my blogs.

 {Liyana moderated Steph's session}

Thank you, Steph, for accepting the invitation to be part of the 2013 AFCC and sharing your blogging wisdom. Thank you for inspiring me and helping me regain perspective. I have wanted to meet you in person for a long time and hearing your speech came at the right time in my own blogging journey.

Thank you to the 2013 AFCC team, especially Rama Ramachandran, Ken Quek, and Stephanie Tanizar, for recognizing the value of blogging in the children's and YA book industry and dedicating several AFCC sessions to it. Thank you to Liyana for her hard work as an organizer!!!

 {me, Steph, and fellow blogger Chachic Fernandez}

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino (I Am A Good Filipino) by Noel Cabangon and Jomike Tejido

This one is a real crowd pleaser: Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino , Lampara Books ' 2012 picture book adaptation of Noel Cabangon 's song, with Cabangon's original Filipino lyrics, functional English translations by Becky Bravo , and illustrations by Jomike Tejido ! Cabangon's inspiring lyrics remind children of the ways they can be good Filipinos, such as doing their best in school and obeying their parents. There are plenty of reminders for adults too, such as following traffic rules and not selling their votes during elections. Tejido's illustrations are warm and wholesome, acrylic paintings on hand-woven mats that depict different ways to be good citizens.    You just can't go wrong with Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino ! Children and adults will understand and appreciate the lyrics and paintings. The chords of the song are provided, so music lovers can play and sing along. There are notes and guide questions for educators. There is even

1st Philippine National Children's Book Awards

Yesterday was the announcement of the winners of the very first Philippine National Children's Book Awards (NCBA). The awards are for the very best children's and young adult books published in the Philippines (2008-2009). There are no categories and no rankings for the NCBA. And the NCBA does not only evaluate the text of the nominated books. Illustrations, book design, and even the materials used in printing and binding the books are evaluated when choosing the "best reads" for young people in the Philippines! I was a judge for the awards (yes, this is me revealing my sooper sekrit project!) and I am very proud to now share with you the six winners of the first NCBA. Below are the winners' covers and the judges' comments on the books. Araw sa Palengke ( Market Day ) Written by May Tobias-Papa Illustrated by Isabel Roxas Adarna, 2008 (In Filipino, with English translations) "Listen well," her mother tells her. "Hold on to me tightly, ha?

Author Interview: Mae Respicio

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! How are you all celebrating? As part of my celebration, I'm sharing my chat with author Mae Respicio . Her middle grade novel The House That Lou Built (Wendy Lamb Books, 2018) is about Lou Bulosan-Nelson and her dream to build a tiny house (only 100 square feet!) all on her own and on land that she inherited from her father. This Filipino American coming-of-age story is the recipient of the Asian Pacific American Library Association (APALA) 2019 Honor Award in Children’s Literature . Keep reading to discover more about Mae and the book! Congratulations, Mae! What inspired you to write The House That Lou Built ? There were many things that inspired this book such as my love of building, my desire to write a strong girl at the center of a coming-of-age adventure, and wanting to write a book set in the Bay Area! Although above any of these things what kept me inspired throughout the (sometimes grueling!) writin