AFCC Poster-01 I am doing a series of interviews with invited guest speakers and other conference attendees: a Pre-AFCC 2013 Glitter, if you will. A shower of golden fairy dust and pixie glitter and virtual confetti to signal the coming of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content this year!

Today, I am happy to welcome our featured storyteller, Naomi Kojima here in GatheringBooks! Naomi is one of the keynote speakers for this year’s Festival, and we are very privileged to hear her thoughts about AFCC.

Naomi Kojima photo1

Your keynote for this year’s AFCC is entitled Reaching for the World: The Art of Asian Illustrators in Children’s Books – could you provide a very quick teaser about what the conference attendees should look forward to in your keynote?

There are many talented Asian illustrators of children’s books, and many wonderful Asian picture books ready to reach the world. I will show the work of illustrators whose books have travelled well from Asia to other countries. How did these books win a place in the hearts of children around the world? What can illustrators do to introduce their work to the world? Please come to find out!

Click on the image to be taken to the AFCC website.
Click on the image to be taken to the AFCC website.

You would also be a part of the panel session “First Look: Illustration Critique” – from your experience, do you think that such feedback/critique is helpful particularly to aspiring children’s book illustrators/artists?

Yes, definitely! Constructive feedback/critique is very helpful for aspiring illustrators and also all illustrators. Feedback/critique can help you see your work objectively. You may discover something new about yourself and your work. At the First Look panel session, illustrators will have the chance to receive three critiques from three different people. Now that doesn’t happen often! I was on the panel session First Look last year, and I was very impressed by the illustrators who submitted their work. The First Look panel session is exciting and challenging. I know it is scary and takes a lot of courage to submit work for feedback, but I hope there will be many brave illustrators again this year. 

afcc logoWhat is the event/session that you are most looking forward to attending during this year’s AFCC?

I am interested in the sessions with Asian themes. It is always difficult to decide which session to go to, as several interesting sessions are offered at the same time. Each year I wish I could split myself in two or sometimes in three. That way I would be able to cover all the sessions. I know I will be wishing the same thing again this year. This year the country focus is Malaysia, and I look forward to learning about children’s content in Malaysia.

What are some of the things you miss most about Singapore? For people who are visiting Singapore for the first time what are some of the neat places that you can recommend?

Parottas! I love to watch parottas being made, and I love it with curry. I would recommend a morning walk on Fort Canning Hill, the Peranakan Museum, the Asian Civilization Museum, a visit to Katong, Little India and the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, ginger tea at Arab Street and an evening by the river.

What do you love most about AFCC?

I love the energy and joy at AFCC. It is a great place to meet people who are engaged in creating and promoting children’s content. During the Festival, people can learn about each other’s craft, passion and culture. Each year I go home filled with inspiration and hope, and ready to work.

Looking forward to spending time with you here in Singapore, Naomi!

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

5 comments on “[Pre-AFCC Glitter] Meet Naomi Kojima

  1. Myra – your Pre-AFCC posts are making my heart race. So looking forward to meeting you and your wonderful interviewees there!


  2. Pingback: Looking for a little Pre-AFCC (Asian Festival of Children’s Content) Glitter?

  3. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Award-Winning Picture Books from the Philippines: Tight Times and Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! |

  4. We’re all about children’s books, and especially those books published by SCBWI members who are participating in our conference. We are proud of the number of published authors and illustrators in our region.


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