Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2013

This year marks the fourth annual AFCC convention, and it also marks the first year that I attended, both as a participant and as a visitor. I attended for only one day–the day of the blogging seminars–and this post will cover that.

When May 27th came, I was a huge bundle of nerves. This was the day that the blogging seminars would happen–the seminars that Tarie and I had pitched and planned to the Singapore Book Council.

I set off early in the morning to moderate the keynote speech, with invited guest and blogger extraordinaire, Steph Su of Steph Su Reads. Now, this may seem like an exaggeration, but meeting Steph was such an honour. Here was one of the most talented book bloggers in the industry, a blogger whose views I respected, and all I did was get down to business.

Steph being all knowledgeable and badass.

Steph, on the other hand, was fantastic. Her speech was knowledgeable, insightful and inspiring; there was not a moment where someone wasn’t taking notes in that roomful of industry professionals, authors, illustrators, educators and bloggers.

I know.

Her hour-long speech covered how to get the most out of blogging, both personally and professionally. She gave some great advice about giving the blog room to breathe and grow. I hope that Steph would post some parts of her speech, because that speech was ace and everyone should hear it.

The audience busy taking notes. Tarie, third from left.

We were off to a good start. Next up was the panel on fostering relationships within the community, of which I managed to catch only the last few minutes. It was warmly received by the audience, and there was a good Q&A session where tips were traded back and forth.

Last was a panel on the current and future state of blogging. Moderated by Tarie, and consisting of Steph and Candy Gourlay, this panel was the highlight of the whole event. Candy and Steph’s banter was hilarious as they debated what worked–and didn’t work–in the current scope of blogging, and what they hoped to see in the community in the future. There was a rousing round of applause when it ended.

Candy Gourlay, Steph Su, Tarie Sabido

And that was the end of the blogging seminars. There were some things that worked out great, and others that could be improved upon, but overall? I hope that these seminars would continue to be part of the AFCC; it was great to have a session where audience members and panelists could interact informally, trade advice and network.

As the blogging seminars were ongoing, there was also several events dedicated to YA that I was extremely excited to attend. Unfortunately, I was not able to make a single one of them. I know. Bummer. However, with the increasing relevance of YA literature in both the publishing and entertainment industries, I hope that there will be several panels dedicated to the topic.

Overall impression of the AFCC

I’m impressed by the broad scope of the literature covered during AFCC. Despite its name and its focus on all things Asian (authors, literature, illustrators, novel protagonists, etc), AFCC does invite many notable industry professionals from all over the world to contribute their views on the current state of literature.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the warm, informal ambiance in all of the panels and workshops that I attended was not it. Everyone was so welcoming, and there was a real sense of community that permeated the convention. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and newbies such as myself were quickly welcomed into the fold. This could be in part due to the repeat attendees and speakers who were already comfortable in such an environment, but it could also be due to the fact that people there were simply thriving in their element.

That said, I’m looking forward to attending AFCC for many more years to come. Once again, a huge thank you to the Singapore Book Council for being so welcoming. They have a great vision, and I’m thankful that they allowed me to share my vision with them, and for making it happen. Here’s to bringing the literary arts scene back in the spotlight.

  10 comments for “Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2013

  1. Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 3:50 AM

    Ahhh – thanks for saying nice things about our panel. I really enjoyed meeting Steph too – there’s so much to say about blogging! Next time, you must must must make time for some YA events! Lots of love!

    • Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 3:53 AM

      Hi Candy,

      Thank you for making the panel such a success! Yes, I agree. There were some really fantastic thought-provoking YA panels–I hope they’d continue with it next year!

  2. Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 4:03 AM

    Liyana, it is so amazing that you did this. I’m sure Steph was just as honored to meet you!

    • Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 4:09 AM

      Hi Liviania,

      Great to see you again! Aw, thanks so much for saying that! How’re you doing?

  3. Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 7:03 AM

    I read Steph’s blog. She really is amazing. I suspect that if you were up there giving a talk, you would be pretty amazing too :D

    • Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Hi Llehn,

      Yes, she was! Her speech has inspired me to be a better ad more dedicated blogger. :P

  4. Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 11:16 PM

    It was so good to meet you – and thank you for your nice comments about my session with Vivian and Michelle. It was my first time at AFCC too and I felt just as you did about the welcome and atmosphere. I’m sad it’s over already!

    • Friday, 31 May 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Hi Marjorie,

      Was it? You were such a pro–thought you’d attended for a while. :P Hope to see you there next year!

  5. Monday, 3 June 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Hi Liyana, it was definitely fun at AFCC and it’s great to meet you! I only manage to attend the final blogging session and it was an interesting debate between Candy and Steph. AFCC has a new supporter and I’ll definitely hope to attend in the years to come. :)

    • Tuesday, 4 June 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Hi Michelle,

      It was great to meet you too! Glad to hear that. See you at AFCC 2014!

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