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Aspiring children’s book writers to hear from US experts on turning ordinary books into masterpieces

Dated: 3 July 2007

Book projects show potential to debut in Frankfurt Book Fair

Professionals from the children’s book industry in the US will be in town to talk about the quintessential literary and emotional qualities that turn ordinary books into classical masterpieces, at a Masterclass - Writing and Illustrating for Children – on 7 July 2007 at the Grand Plaza Park Hotel.

Organised by the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) and the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), the session aims to nurture aspiring talents in writing children’s literature, as part of the First Time Writers &Illustrators Publishing Initiative (FTWIPI). Todate, more than 300 participants have benefited from the initiative including authors and illustrators of 14 books that were selected for showcase at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2006, the international market for books. For the second edition of the initiative, nine projects have been shortlisted in May 2007 and are in the process of being fine tuned for publication.

Said Mr Seto Lok Yin, MDA’s Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Industry): “We are encouraged by the results of the inaugural FTWIPI in 2005, in which 14 children’s books were selected for showcase at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2006. Following which, nine more were selected from the 100 over entries submitted for the second edition of the Initiative. We believe there are many budding writers and artists with great ideas and stories to tell but they need the finishing touches on how to get their works published and sold. Thus, this coming Masterclass will enable these talents to learn from experienced industry professionals on how to make their content compelling and marketable worldwide. Not only is there demand for children’s books worldwide but also that the copyrights of these books can be sold for the making of movies, animation and TV shows.”

Mr R. Ramachandran, Executive Director of NBDCS, added: “The Masterclass will certainly add to the quality of the submissions for the FTWIPI programme, which is an excellent platform to discover new talents and contribute to the development of Singapore literature;particularly for children in Asia who need books set against familiar background for their growth and development.”

The Masterclass will feature three speakers who are well-known in the US children’s publishing industry. They are:
 Nancy Lamb, author of 40 fiction and non-fiction books for children and adults. Nancy will be sharing with participants techniques of writing and engaging children’s book as well as her experience in collaborating with illustrators on various children’s book projects over the years.

 Andrea Brown, who is the President of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency – an agency which has sold approximately 1,500 books to publishers, from toddler board books to serious, award-winning young adult and adult fiction. She will give insights into the current trends in children’s books publishing. Andrea will also give tips on how to promote a self-published title and provide participants with pointers when submitting scripts to an agent or a publisher.

 Mark McVeigh who has worked at renowned publishing firms such as Scholastic, Random House, HarperCollins, and Dutton Children's Books will share the much “sought after” editor’s thoughts what makes a good and bad manuscript.
Note to Editor

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend the 7 July Masterclass. Please RSVP your attendance for the Masterclass with Christine or Sharanjit by 6 July.

Please refer to Annex A for the programme details. ______________________________________________________________________

For more information, please contact:

Christina Ng (Ms)
Manager, Singapore Writers Centre
National Book Development Council of Singapore
DID: 6848-8293

Sharanjit Kaur (Ms)
Senior Manager, Communications
Media Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: (65) 6837 9365

About the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) was formed on 1 January 2003 to champion Media 21, a blueprint to transform Singapore into a global media city. Media 21 seeks to create a vibrant media environment by establishing Singapore as a media exchange, exporting Made-by-Singapore content, internationalising local media companies, nurturing local media talent and developing digital media. More information on MDA can be found on

About the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS)

The National Book Development Council of Singapore is a non-profit umbrella body inaugurated in February 1969 to promote storytelling, reading, writing and publishing. The Council brings the book industry and literary community together through social events, courses, seminars, conferences and author lectures. Since the Council was established in 1969, it has played an instrumental role to promote reading and writing in Singapore. The Council's vision is to establish and develop Singapore as the Asian centre for publishing and the literary arts.

Writing &Illustrating for Children Masterclass Programme