Trust Me, I'm a Storyteller

May 16, 2010

Congratulating Prize Winning Authors and translator

Today I’m highlighting the achievements of Australian authors

Julia Mackay Koelen and Christopher Chen, as well as translator Shokufeh Kavani.

Huge congratulations to Shokufeh Kavani who is one of the receipients of Edna Ryan Awards this year and received her award at a ceremony on Friday 14 May 2010 . For the flyer and further information about the Edna Ryan Awards:

Shokufeh is an artist and literary translator who has translated “The Long Dog and The Winter” from Farsi into English. Shokufeh Kavani has translated a book by Anita Heiss from English to Farsi:Who Am I? The Diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937″.

The translated version by Shokufeh Kavani  has been published by Morvarid Publishers, 2009, Tehran, Iran.  Article in Persian Mirror:

Shokufeh Kavani, winner of Edna Ryan Award 2010

Julia Mackay-Koelan, one of our regular Season of Inspiration writers has just had a poem published in Western Australia in “An Alphabetical Amulet” edited by Andrew Taylor and published by the Peter Cowan Writers’ Centre in Perth, Western Australia. This morning Julia was informed that she is through to Round 3 of judging for the Brit Writers’ Awards Unpublished 2010. Considering there were over 21,000 at the beginning, Julia has done extremely well. There is now an intensive period of judging by high profile judges, who have a very difficult job on their hands as the quality is so high. The finalists should be decided by the start of June 2010.

The Brit Writers Award is a very lucrative annual writing prize worth keeping in mind for next year too. You can register or join their Facebook page for a reminder about the Brit Writers’ Award.

Julia also told me about the following and I wondered if anyone would like to help – also on the Brit Writers website.

“We’re doing a lot to make creative writing cool for young people through our schools programmes across the country. In fact we have over 300,000 children involved now from member schools. Now, a team of pupils at one of our member schools, the Grace Academy in Coventry, are (as their BWA project) trying to break a world record by capturing the largest number of written ‘life wishes’ in 100-150 words.

We’re facilitating this via our website and I would be extremely grateful if you would click on the link below and add your life wish. The whole project It will only take a couple of minutes and as they’re so close to reaching their target, you could help them smash it.”

If you would like to contribute to breaking this World Record, you can go to the website and add your life wish.

Christopher Chen has just returned from the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Sinagpore,. You can read about the Festival and Chris’s impressions; and keep up with the latest in the children’s book world at Chris Chen’s Blog. Christopher Chen recently won the 2009 Lady Cutler Award for Children’s literature. This is awarded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (NSW Branch) for Services to Children’s Literature. Chris has a website at

Congratulations and very best wishes to all these award winning authors.


Today’s Writing Tip

Join an organisation or two so that you can network to find out about the latest literary competitions and opportunities. Keep entering competitions, submitting your work to publications. It takes persistence as well as talent to be a published author.


January 2, 2010

Asian Festival of Children’s Content


Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, prosperous and prolific New Year.


What better way to begin the New Year than with a notice about the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

From: Jade Yong,

National Book Development Council of Singapore

Re: Asian Festival of Children’s Content

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC). I work with the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS or Book Council in short) – a nonprofit charitable organisation set up in 1969 and we are organising the first Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) from 6 to 9 May 2010. We are expecting about 300 to 400 delegates from all over Asia, Australia and New Zealand, North America and Europe to attend the event.

NBDCS has been organising the Asian Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference (ACWIC) for the past 10 years and this time will take the lead and launch the inaugural AFCC. The conference will feature new programmes, including the Asian Children’s Media Market, Children’s Book Award, Children’s Writers Award as well as workshops and master classes.

The goals of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content are to:
·        Develop the writing and the illustrating of Children’s stories and content.
·        Promote publishing of Asian content.
·        Provide the world with access to such material created in Asia.

We hope we would be able to get your support on this by helping to promote AFCC on your website / blog or perhaps put a link to it. The link is:


Jade Yong
National Book Development Council of Singapore
DID: 65 6848 8292      Fax: 65 6742 9466       W:

NBDCS is a non-profit organisation that promotes storytelling, reading, writing and publishing through a variety of interesting and innovative programmes.

For more information:

AFCC Fact Sheet (30 Nov 09)


Today’s Writing Tip

Draft a children’s story with an Asian theme or setting, try aiming for the 8 – 12 year age group rather than the very expensively produced picture books for young readers. Remember to use the appropriate level of vocabulary, keep the story well paced and focussed, don’t over-do the descriptions unless you are deliberately slowing the narrative pace of the story. Really well developed characters involved in a well thought-out plot with lots of action will always appeal to readers of this age group. Try out your draft on some young readers who will give honest feedback and continue to develop your story.

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