Spotlight on India

2014 Scholastic Asian Book Award shortlisted authors from India. Ms Aditi Krishnakumar and Mr. Vivek Bhanot.

SINGAPORE - India has a rich collection of literature and this year, the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), together with the National Book Trust of India, will be sharing some of these literary works with children here at the Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) from May 30 to June 4.

The event aims to bring quality content to children through a variety of platforms that are enriching and interactive.

Notable Indian authors and illustrators like Atanu Roy, Manjula Padmanabhan, Subir Shukla and Kumar Dutta will be chairing programmes and workshops at the AFCC.

Other festival highlights include India Night, a dinner event in celebration of Indian heritage and culture. There will be storytelling by professional storytellers Rosmarie Somaiah and Kiran Shah as well as the book launch unveiling translations of Mr S.R. Nathan's children's picture book, The Crane And The Crab, in Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

This was announced at a press conference on April 24 when the high commissioner of India Vijay Thakur Singh addressed the conference.

She said: "I am very encouraged by the efforts to promote quality content in Asia. It is my wish that children from around the world will get access to the treasure trove of stories and cultures in Asia, fostering cohesion and mutual understanding while, ultimately, learning."

Festival Director of the AFCC, Kenneth Quek added: "Every year, we are heartened to see the number of delegates and the public coming to the AFCC growing.

"As such, we have raised the number of free programmes at the AFCC for more people to participate in."

Also present at the conference were the five short-listed candidates for the Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014. This award is a joint initiative between the NBDCS and Scholastic Asia. It is recognition for outstanding writers of childrens' material in Asia and of Asian origins.

Among the five finalists are two Indian authors, Aditi Krishnakumar and Vivek Bhanot. The other finalists are from the Philippines and Singapore. The prize, worth $10,000 will be presented to the winner during the opening ceremony and awards presentation on May 30.

The festival is also a platform to bring together writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, distributors, parents, teachers, children and librarians to meet, learn, develop their craft and discover business opportunities.

The six-day event will be filled with ticketed and free programmes such as professional conferences, master classes, workshops, a rights fair and media mart, as well as public events. These programmes will be held at different community libraries.

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