story, science, technology and creativity

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Asian Festival of Children’s Content: rice bowls, networking and see-you-soons

Smiley coffee

Ahh… Thank you AFCC! You’ve been great!

Alas, the official part of the 2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Content is over.

The best, however, is yet to come as we see links strengthened and partnerships born. I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop.

Thanks to everyone for a great festival. I learned so much, laughed so much and didn’t sleep quite as much as nature would probably have intended.


EDIT: OMG! Check out the Book Council’s Judi Ho’s beautiful piano composition. Gorgeous!

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Asian Festival of Children’s Content: non-fiction, first pages and the undeath of dystopia

AIMG_3940nother great day at the 2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Content!

My session today was on children’s non-fiction, chaired by friend and reviewer Marjorie Coughlan (editor of soon-to-be-launched Mirrors Doors Windows), and paired with friend and history buff Mark Greenwood, author of beautiful books celebrating true stories from our incredible history.

I also went to two terrific sessions on YA (and no, dystopia isn’t dead; it’s only that publishers are sick of reading it :-)) and a very interesting hour called First Pages, where the bold and brave allowed a panel of experts (editor, agent and publisher) to comment on their first 100 words.

I found this session extremely empowering: pages I loved, the experts didn’t like at all. Pages they loved, I would have edited heavily.

So…it just goes to show: write what you love, people! Write what you love.

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Asian Festival of Children’s Content: giant moths, awesome authors and fear of spouses


IMG_3457The 2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Content is in full swing, and I’m loving it.

(So is my head.)

I’m loving the torrential rain and giant moths and spicy food, the old friends and new friends, the fever of book-loving and humidity and passion for children’s literature and words. No wonder I love Singapore!

Today Mahtab Narsimhan and I presented a packed session on telling scary stories… Mahtab lives in Canada, so with the 12-hour difference, our 4pm session was the equivalent of a 4am session for her, and after an all-nighter too. How’s that for a scary story! 🙂

Luckily, thanks to our cunning Skype planning sessions and natural wit and charm, the session was terrific. Lots of interesting questions and willing volunteers. Lots of secret phobias and unusual ones too (fear of spouses!?!). I’m looking forward to tomorrows sessions even more now! Whee!

Thanks so much to WritingWA for the chance to be here, and to the Singapore Book Council for organising.


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Dinosaurs at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum

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Dinosaurs at Singapore's ArtScience Museum

Rawr! Welcome to Singapore!

I’m in Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, and my first stop was the ArtScience Museum’s awesome dinosaur exhibition.

It’s a tough life for a dino-writer 🙂

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Connect with 1.5 billion children: Countdown to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content

Want to connect with 1.5 billion children?

Need to discover new markets for your writing and producing?

Want to learn more about what’s going on in Asia in terms of creating content for children?

Think you could benefit from building a network of creatives from across the globe?

Or just want to make a difference in the world through your work?

Erm…all of the above.

Singapore Writers Festival Words Go Round 2013

Me and the awesome kids from Bukit View as part of Words Go Round 2013.

Whee! Thanks to the amazing WritingWA, I’m going to the 2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Content, to do all this AND soak up some of Singapore’s fabulous food and entertainment.

I’m presenting and participating, and in my usual style, I’ll be attending absolutely everything I can, squeezing the most out of every opportunity until my eyes are bloodshot and all I want to do is write, write, write.

I ADORE Singapore. I was there last year for the Words Go Round festival, and everything was amazing. Everyone was so welcoming and encouraging and helpful and I said I’d go back in a flash.

Well, FLASH!
And THANK YOU to everyone involved in making the AFCC great.

I seriously cannot wait!

Catch me (and so much more) at the AFCC 2014, Singapore

I’m presenting Whatever Happened to Non-fiction, on non-fiction for children. It’ll be a fab, fun session, followed by Mark Greenwood presenting Breathing Life into History, and I’m telling you, he does it well! Looking forward to it!

I’m also co-presenting a session on scary stories for children, with Canada’s Mahtab Narsimhan. Mahtab’s TARA trilogy draws inspiration from Indian mythology and is maybe a million times scarier than TAKESHITA DEMONS. I’m scared just writing about it! I can’t wait to meet her and present our session: Are YOU afraid of the dark?

See you there!