AFCC Recap

Hey guys! I just wanted to take a very short break from reviews to give you a little insight into my personal life. Earlier this month I had a wonderful opportunity to help out at Closetful of Books, a bookseller/distributer in Singapore, at the AFCC–the Asian Festival of Children’s Content. Tickets to get in are super expensive, but of course working there had it’s perks. While I worked I also got the chance to meet some wonderful people and hear about some wonderful books.

June 3

I arrived in the morning at the National Library in Singapore, where the festival was being held, and headed out to the Closetful of Books stall.

There weren’t too many people milling about so I went to watch a presentation. The speaker was Candy Gourlay, a Filipino author based in London who wrote Tall Story and Shine, and she ran a keynote called Why Asia Needs More Writers for Children and Young People. I really enjoyed her talk because she was really funny and she talked about why #WeNeedDiverseASIANBooks (preach!). I was sad that I missed the beginning and a bit at the end, but I loved the talk. Seriously need to get my hands on her books soon.

Anyway, after that it got kind of busy. I helped out at four book launches in total: 

During the book launches I basically sat behind the audience with copies of the authors books in case people wanted to buy them or directed people upstairs to the stall where they could buy signed copies of the book.

After that I helped around the booth, got some awesome free lunch, and helped out at the booth some more. I got to use a sticker gun for the prices for the first time, which was pretty awesome for me because I’ve always wanted to try it, haha :P

And that concluded the first day of work!

June 4

I woke up pretty early in the morning and went to the hotel to pick up AJ Betts, the author of Wavelength and Zac & Mia. I then took her to the Australian International School where she first gave a presentation to Year 9’s and then did two workshops after that. I was constantly taking photos of the whole thing, so I got over 200 photos initially! 

It was really cool, because I got to learn more about Betts’s upcoming novel as well as writing tips and techniques, which was really helpful and interesting.

After that we headed back to the main library. When we got back, Denise, one of the co-founders of Closetful of Books gave me a copy of Wavelength, which I got AJ to sign! I’m super happy about that and can’t wait to start reading it. Here’s an awesome picture of us at the stall:

I helped out with the stall for 20 or so minutes–

–which at some point I had to sit at the cashier’s spot for 5-10 minutes and watch over the stall while Denise went to go do something. Tons of people came out and looked at the stall at that point, so it got really busy. I felt really lame because I couldn’t ring up anyone’s purchases or answer most questions about some of the books that were on sale, hah :P After Denise came back, I got free lunch again (woohoo!) and then I headed home.


Even though I didn’t go see many of the talks, etc. I still loved the work experience. I love the book industry and learning about the different branches of it. Even though this experience was pretty short, I still loved it and will be looking out for more bookish opportunities in the near future.

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