HK International Young Readers Fest
The first ever Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival is about to begin! Due to launch in early March, the festival aims to bring the young and old (er, well, the young at heart!) together in a truly literary affair that is involving established international writers such as Eoin Colfer, Mem Fox and Christopher Cheng. Incorporating a schools-only programme with a public weekend line-up (with two full days of free activities), the inaugural festival leads on from the renowned annual Hong Kong International Literary Festival and runs between March 5 and 18. Join us in the run-up to the festival as we periodically publish exclusive interviews with featured writers just for Time Out Hong Kong’s online books section. This week the authors who are taking part and a special contest for young bookworms...
Hailing from sunny Australia, Mem is a pro-activist, writer and former drama teacher. She has written books for children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers.
Self-proclaimed zoologist Chris Cheng used to teach and also managed the very first travelling zoo in Australia, as well as working for several years with an established Immuno-pharmacology scientist before becoming a full-time writer. The Melting Pot deals with racism from a child's point of view in Australia.
Does Sally really live with 92 robots? You’ll have to ask the skilled illustrator and writer yourself in her comic workshops. Her hugely popular book The Comic Strip Big Fat Book of Knowledge was published last year and, in the past, she has illustrated for The Guardian and The Independent newspapers.
Adeline is an award-winning Singaporean writer who has garnered many awards for her published books. The TV show The Diary of Amos Lee, adapted from her children’s book series of the same name, was recently aired for the first time on the Okto channel on Mediacorp.
Princess Laurentien van Oranje
Aside from her royal duties, the princess is a pro-environmentalist and is the writer of the popular Dutch series Mr Finney, a shy amphibian who often ponders on the state of the Earth and its bio-ecosystem.
Lighthouse Girl won the West Australian Young Readers’ book awards and is one of the many novels that Dianne has written for teenagers and young readers. Based on a true story, the novel follows the life of a young girl signalling to WWI soldiers from a lighthouse.
Peter’s quirky and inventive picture books have won him various awards, including the New York Times best illustrated book award. Growing up as a child fascinated with illustration and creativity, Peter studied fine arts and writing in college. He dreams of owning a pet bulldog one day called ‘Phil’.
Eliza was a political journalist for The Strait Times prior to starting her career as an editorial consultant. She takes inspiration from her children’s lives and her various pets as fodder for her stories and novels, including the well-known Ellie Belly stories. She will be demonstrating how to write stories using basic literary canons from the past.
A travelling panda inspired Sarah Brennan’s latest children’s book, Tale of Pinyin Panda. The book was launched at Edinburgh Zoo at Chinese New Year. A former medical lawyer (who also played the Scottish bagpipes throughout university, despite being from Hobart, Tasmania) Sarah is also the author of A Dirty Story and the adult’s book Dummies for Mummies.
Heard of the criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl? Then Mr Colfer will be a familiar name to your ears. Author of the Artemis Fowl series, Eoin also writes The Legends series and several novels for adults. His novels have won prestigious awards around the globe and the final Artemis Fowl novel is due to be released in summer 2012. (See the upcoming issue of Time Out Hong Kong, which hits the shelves on February 29, for our in-depth interview with Mr Colfer and his ‘leprechaun magic’.)
The YRF Club
Do you know a spunky, well-read kid who’d like to be part of a new readers club? Are they natural-born leaders? Invite them to join and they could be in with a chance to meet Eoin Colfer face-to-face (the first 20 members will receive complimentary tickets to his ‘Meet the author’ event in March, as part of the festival). Simply email in their name, age, school and any special skills they might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psst... the YRF club are also recruiting board members, treasurers, speakers, roadies – the whole shebang – and there’s definitely no adults allowed!
The Young Readers Contest
Tell your child to put down that iPhone and stop cutting ropes and releasing pesky red birds. The Young Readers Contest encourages various creative skills such as writing, illustrating and expressing oneself with an imaginative use of colour. They’ve got extracts and pages from featured festival authors to work from – and the lucrative prizes include signed certificates, autographed books, vouchers and commissioned plaques, not to mention: every entrant has a reserved seat at the awards ceremony during the festival’s finale. For more details on how to enter, visit the website http://www.et-english.com/eteng/yrfcontest/index.html.