Friday, 7 June 2013

My tiny piece of the AFCC Pie

Attending The Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) the last three years in a row has been one of the highlights of living in Singapore for me. AFCC is Asia's biggest celebration of children's books. And 2013 was by far the most exciting for me so far.

For many reasons.

First I got to have a cocktail with the beautiful Renae Hayward who came across from Perth for the event (as well as a bit of a holiday). Renae and I met through SCBWI WA in 2009 and have been on the same writerly journey together ever since. Her first book Barking Mad will be released by Walker Books Australia in August 2012 - just a few months before mine. We couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces.  Being together in this fabulous city with a book contract each, was not something we ever dreamed possible when we met four years ago.
Check out those happy grins. Me and my writerly sister Renae Hayward at Blu Jaz, Kampong Glam.

Secondly, I was lucky enough to sit next to Wendy Orr at dinner. I have always been a huge fan of Wendy's, particularly her Nim's Island stories. To me, her writing is brilliant. When I read Wendy's books, her writing is invisible and I see only story. I must be her greatest fan! Here I am doing my best to impress her. Luckily we are both wearing bibs, because I am splashing chilli crab everywhere.

The whole SCBWI Singapore crowd with Wendy Orr at Jumbo Seafood, Boat Quay.

Thirdly I had the great honour of hosting a book launch for my good friend David Seow's 28th picture book, Emma's Elephant. David is one of Singapore's most popular and prolific writers and I was thrilled to be a part of it.  I'm getting better at this public speaking thing. Next time I might even relax enough to smile. Thanks Candy Gourlay for the photos :-)


And fourthly, I got to see the sun set over Singapore with some of my favourite people. The ever gracious and supportive Norman Jorgensen (Award winning Author of The Last Viking and In Flanders' Fields),  his lovely wife Jan (amazing school librarian extraordinaire)  and my husband, Jeff (who has read every word I've ever written and has the patience of a Saint).
Me, Norm, Jan and Jeff at the roof top bar, 1-Altitude.

There were so many more highlights, of which I failed to take photos because I was so enraptured at the time. But in summary,  it was a joy to see so many familiar faces. An inspiration to mix with such talented writers and illustrators. And a complete thrill to be a part of one of the most exciting literary events of the year.

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