We are SCBWI Singapore and we love to create stories for children. Will you join us?

SCBWI Singapore members (from left): Adan Jimenez, Felicia Low-Jimenez, Melanie Lee, Catherine Carvell, Don Bosco at this event

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, abbreviated as SCBWI, sometimes pronounced SKOO-BEE, was started by Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser in 1971. Here’s a nice account of how it all happened. Today there are 25,000 members all around the world, even a chapter in Ulaanbaatar, which is in Mongolia, in case you’re ever there and would like to say hi or show them your work.

Me, I’m part of SCBWI Singapore. We actually have members from all over the world, with very diverse stories, styles and publishing dreams. Some create picture books, some write middle grade readers, some work on YA novels, all with their own ideas about how to give children something delightful to read and remember. We meet for dinner every month, and we turn up for things like the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.

Here’s a quick introduction to 20 of our members, just a small selection of the group. I’m somewhere in there too. Feel free to contact any one of us if you have questions, interview requests, invitations for talks, workshop proposals, and of course offers to publish or translate our work, thank you.

If you’re a fan of children’s books, whether a writer or illustrator, and you’re keen to join us, do sign up at the main SCBWI website here, and indicate that you’re in Singapore. You’ll hear from the Regional Advisor shortly afterwards.

Here we go, enjoy all the awesome introductions below. :)

— Don

The SCBWI Singapore members featured:

AJ LOW (ADAN JIMENEZ & FELICIA LOW-JIMENEZ) 
CATHERINE CARVELL
DAVID LIEW
DAVID SEOW
DON BOSCO
EMMA NICHOLSON
HELEN SAMPSON
HIDAYAH AMIN
ILONA TAR
JALPA SHAH
LEILA BOUKARIM & BARBARA MOXHAM 
LIANNE ONG
LILY KONG
MALAVIKA NATARAJ
MELANIE LEE
MICHELLE LOWBEER
NAMITA MOOLANI MEHRA
SRIVIDHYA VENKAT

AJ LOW (ADAN JIMENEZ & FELICIA LOW-JIMENEZ)

1) A.J. Low is a husband-and-wife writing team comprising of Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez!

2) Together, they write the Sherlock Sam children’s series and various other things featuring robots, ninjas, cowboys, superheroes, and sofas. Separately, they write reviews, microfiction, and and short stories. They also love books, comics, and LEGO!

3) Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong won the International Schools Libraries Network’s Red Dot Award 2013–2014 in the Younger Readers’ Category. Sherlock Sam and the Ghostly Moans in Fort Canning took third place in the Popular Readers’ Choice Awards 2013 in the English Children’s Books category.

Sherlock Sam Books 1–5 have been translated into Turkish by Nemesis Kitap andBooks 1–3 into Bahasa Indonesia by Buah Hati.

North American English rights have been sold to Andrews McMeel Publishing and Book 1 and 2 have been published in August 2016 with Book 3 following in 2017.

4) We never pass up an opportunity to discuss why we love reading and writing with kids or grown-ups!

5) Email: sherlock.sam.sg@gmail.com

Website: sherlocksam.wordpress.com

Like us on Facebook at: facebook.com/SherlockSamSeries

Follow us on Twitter @SGSherlock and Instagram at aj_low_writers

CATHERINE CARVELL

My name is Catherine Carvell and my book ‘Darcy Moon and the Deep-fried Frogs’ has been shortlisted for the 2017 Singapore Red Dot Awards for Younger Readers! How fan-froggy-tastic is that?

I am available for author talks and library visits until November this year, when I will be heading back to live in Australia.

You can find out more about me here:
http://www.catherinecarvell.com

http://darcymoonbooks.com

You can order my books through Closetful of Books http://www.closetfulofbooks.com

Or contact me directly on cjcarvell@bigpond.com

DAVID LIEW

My name is David Liew and I’m an illustrator, writer, model-maker and sculptor. I illustrated Eliza Teoh’s Ellie Belly series and as well as Melanie Lee’s The Adventures of Squirky the Alien. Book 3 in that series Who is the Red Commander? won the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award in 2016. In 2014, I wrote and illustrated Nightmare on Eat Street — Tales of the Leopard Eating House, an off-beat horror comedy hybrid YA book, being honoured by the Natioinal Arts Council to have it launched at the opening of that year’s SIngapore Writers’ Festival.

In 2016, I illustrated Monster Day on Tabletop Hill (written by the late Akiko Sueyoshi), a bilingual Japanese-English picture book specially commissioned by the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in honour of Japan being that year’s Country of Focus.

I’m available for talks and workshops on visual storytelling and picturebook creation.

Other than in the major books stores, my books are available at Bubbly Books, MPH Online and Closetful of Books

My work can be seen at the various links below:

http://bluewolfe.wix.com/bluestone-arts
https://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Wolfe-Liew/133971020120363
https://www.facebook.com/davebluewolfe
https://www.facebook.com/sleepingironfoundry

I can be contacted at bluewolfe@gmail.com

DAVID SEOW

Emmy winner for Friday Night Lights, Kyle Chandler and me with his copy of my book Blow a Kiss.

I’m a children’s picture book author with 39 picture books published to date and an active member of SCBWI. I’ve been lucky enough to have been nominated for the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award as well as the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. My latest picture book A Royal Adventure has been featured on Hello Online, International Business times online, OK and the Sunday express. OK, so I’m a royalist and I’m not ashamed to say that The Duchess of Cambridge also has her own copies of my books Blow A Kiss, A Day with the Duchess and A Royal Adventure. My illustrator Soefara Jafney and I are both available for readings and school visits.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/davidseowkidsauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorDaveSeow

Blog: http://authordavidseow.blogspot.com

Instagram: kidsauthordavidseow

DON BOSCO

Hello! I write thrilling fiction for teens and children. My stories are mostly inspired by Asian legends and pop culture. I started the publishing studio Super Cool Books in 2011. It was actually a homeschooling project for my two sons. In 2015, my Sherlock Hong series was acquired by Marshall Cavendish for international release. I also write the award-winning Lion City Adventures series. Last year I started 100 WRITERS, a fiction writing support group.

My new paperback releases for Christmas 2016, all published by Marshall Cavendish / Super Cool Books —

. Superkicks Book 1: Time to Play (a middle grade series about girls and boys playing football)
. Magicienne by Ning Cai & Don Bosco (YA thriller)
. Imagine All This: How to Write Your Own Stories

My website is http://www.supercoolbooks.com

EMMA NICHOLSON

Hello! I’m Emma Nicholson and here’s my book, ‘Princess Petunia’s Dragon’, aimed at age six and above.

I always have fun sharing my story with readers young and old, making dragon masks, wearing dragons’ ears, and talking about all types of writing and book production. I can usually be found in a café in Singapore, with a pen in my hand, scribbling words or sketches.

I’ve given talks at Bookaroo Kuching as well as in schools in Singapore, UK and India.

Please have a look at my website: http://www.emmanicholsonbooks.com

You can find my book at: www.closetfulofbooks.com

Facebook page: Emma Nicholson Children’s Book Author

HELEN SAMPSON

My name is Helen Sampson and I have written and illustrated a picture book for 3–8 year olds called Don’t Worry, Spratly!

My book helps children to talk about change; whether they are moving schools or changing year groups. There is also a craft activity linked to the book.

I am a Primary school teacher and so feel at home either reading the story in schools or libraries, giving author talks, leading circle times talking about anxiety or leading art sessions.

If you would like to find out more, please visit my website:

www.helensampson.com

Or visit my Facebook or Twitter page @helensampsonart

You can contact me directly on info@helensampson.com

HIDAYAH AMIN

Hi! I’m Hidayah Amin, a fourth-generation Singaporean of Malay ethnicity. My first short story and limerick were published when I was 11 years old. It was only when I lost my childhood home that I resumed writing and published ‘Gedung Kuning: Memories of a Malay Childhood’ in 2010. I have since written four non-fiction books and three children’s books, including the award-winning ‘The Mango Tree’.

I have given assembly talks, organised reading sessions and workshops to pupils both in primary and secondary schools.

I am contactable via:

Email: helang.books@gmail.com

Website: http://archipelago-consultancy.com/helang-books/

Facebook + Instagram + Twitter + LinkedIn: Hidayah Amin / Helang Books

Most of my books are available in all major bookstores.

ILONA TAR

I’m a children’s book illustrator and also trying my hand at writing. I have a background in architectural design and marketing — kids books are a new venture for me! I’ve set up a publishing company, Little People Publishing, who published my first successfully published book.

My second illustrated book, The Great $20 Adventure was written by the editor of a money magazine in Australia, who also published the book. It’s currently doing really well back home! I’m also working on a second book in our ‘cooking at home’ series called Babcia’s Jam Donuts, the first one Nonna’s Gnocchi, was self-published and still retails in independent bookstores in Australia.

I’m currently working on activity books to support The Great $20 Adventure and would love some insights into this genre! If anyone has experience or ideas! I need a freelance bidding site for illustrators as I cannot do the 52 pages I’m intending by myself!

I’d love you all to like the Little People Publishing page:
https://www.facebook.com/LittlePeoplePublishing/

And The Great $20 Adventure:

https://www.facebook.com/20dollaradventure/

Both pages have samples of my work and links to buy the books!

JALPA SHAH

I am Jalpa Shah, a communications professional and a children’s picture book writer (hopefully!) :) I just finished writing my book and am looking for a illustrator/agent. Email me: jalpasp@gmail.com

LEILA BOUKARIM & BARBARA MOXHAM

LEILA: Barbara and I met three years ago. To this day I believe the stars aligned to bring us together. I went to Barbara asking her to help me find an illustrator who would give my story for highly sensitive children gentle, quiet pictures. Not only did she turn out to be an illustrator, but also the mother of a highly sensitive child. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Barbara and I created My Quiet Adventures, and have since published ‘All Too Much for Oliver’, are releasing ‘Aiden Finds a Way’ this fall, and are busy working on a bunch more stories for kids who are thinkers, worriers, empathetic, intuitive, extraordinary!

The aim of our books is not to “correct” sensitivities. That would not only be impossible but also very unfortunate. Our goal is to try and give highly sensitive children characters and stories they can relate to and give them the courage and inspiration they might need to overcome difficult situations. It’s important to keep in mind that things do not go as quickly in reality as they do in our stories; that is something we mention in the discussion page at the end of our books. Also, our characters don’t cease to be sensitive towards the end of the book, but rather learn to live with their sensitivities and start to enjoy situations that used to make them feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed.

To find out more about our work, please visit My Quiet Adventures. And to read storied about the joys and challenges of raising a highly sensitive child, please visit my blog, Sensitive and Extraordinary Kids.

LIANNE ONG

Hi, my name is Lianne Ong and I am the author of the Stacey & the Museums series, a picture book series about museums in Singapore. My first book, Maxilla, is about my son and that is how I started writing for children. Three of my books have been awarded Second Prize in the Samsung Kidstime Author’s Award in 2015 and 2016.

Schools have used the Stacey & the Museums series as an introduction to cultural and heritage topics, and kids get such a thrill when they see the actual artefacts in the museum after reading about them. Maxilla is a sweet story about caring for the environment and letting go — tough topics for the little ones! I love meeting kids and sharing my journey as a children’s book author.

Follow these Facebook pages so you’ll be the first to know about when my next book is out!

Stacey & the Museums

Maxilla

My books are on sale at leading bookstores in Singapore, and online on Amazon.com, Naiise.com and many other retailers. For an updated list of stockists and other news, visit my website (http://www.lianneong.sg)!

LILY KONG

Lily Kong’s short stories and other writings have been published in magazines and newspapers. She won the NUS Literary Society Writing Contest for an English short story in 1985 and the National Arts Council’s Beyond Words Chinese Picture Book Writing Contest in 2013. She majored in English Literature and Economics at the National University of Singapore and holds teaching diplomas in English as a Second Language, Speech and Drama, Public Speaking and Early Childhood Education. She is effectively bilingual.

Dad’s Too Busy

Six-year-old Emma is having a tough time. Her mum and dad are both too busy to pay much attention to her, and Emma feels really lonely sometimes. When she finds a tabby cat sitting outside her window, she takes it in without her parents’ permission. Soon the secret becomes more and more difficult to keep, but armed with her spunkiness and a newfound independence, Emma and her new companion find much joy in tiptoeing around her parents, and soon become the best of friends.

When her parents finally discover her secret, Emma tells them about how her cat has been there for her, and they realise that they haven’t been giving Emma the time and attention she needs.

Dad’s For Sale

Emma’s back, and feistier than ever. This time, she wants to put her dad up for sale!

It all begins when she accompanies him to his camera shop. There, she encounters a rich and famous actress willing to pay a whole lot to hire a bodyguard. Since Emma’s dad refuses to buy her the pair of rollerblades she wants, she decides to “sell” him to the famous actress to get the money she needs.

That seems like a splendid idea, until she gradually realises that she appreciates and needs her dad…more than she wants new toys.

Dad’s At Home

Emma’s father has lost his job-his beloved camera shop has gone out of business. Emma’s happy that he’ll be home more now, but she can tell that her father is sad, so she makes it her job to cheer him up. But Dad just seems to get more and more worried.

Dad’s At Home turns a complex issue into a simple story to help children navigate around difficult moments with the ones they love.

Dad’s Dyslexic Too

Emma finds out two things: one, that she has lost Ginger, and two. that she has Dyslexia. As she struggles to find out what dyslexia even means while searching for her pet cat, she learns that she may have more in common with her Dad than she thinks.

These are the links of 2 of my 2016 published picture books , “Dad’s too Busy” and “Dad’s for Sale”

shop.epigrambooks.sg/collections/picture-books/products/emma-and-ginger-dads-too-busy-book-1

shop.epigrambooks.sg/collections/picture-books/products/emma-and-ginger-dads-for-sale-book-2

MALAVIKA NATARAJ

I am Malavika Nataraj, author, mum and Japanese-English translator who also writes on all things from motherhood and yoga, to the property market.

My book Suraya’s Gift, aimed at 8–10 year olds, was published by Penguin-Random House in 2015 and is the first book in the Story Catcher Children series. It was launched officially at the AFCC 2016!

Suraya’s Gift is a mysterious story about a girl who loves to write and is given the gift of a magic book.

My passion is getting kids to write their own stories and I run writing workshops for 10–14 years olds on how to find their own writing voice. I also give talks at schools.

You can find out more on my site www.inkypencil.com or visit author page Malavika Nataraj on Facebook.

If you would like to get in touch, email me at: malavika_nataraj@yahoo.co.uk

MELANIE LEE

Hi, I’m Melanie from Singapore! I’m a freelance writer and part-time lecturer. To most people, I say I write books “sometimes for fun”, but really it’s about pushing my writing in creative and meaningful ways.

My books:

The Adventures of Squirky the Alien (a 6-part picture book series), collaborating with fellow SCBWI member illustrator David Liew: adventuresofsquirky.wordpress.com

Imaginary Friends: 26 Fables for the Kid in Us (a collection of illustrated flash fiction): my publisher never quite figured out the readership for it as I’d written these on a whim but I think it’s nice for middle grade and YA! https://www.facebook.com/imaginaryfriendsmph

I’m hoping to try writing a YA novel next but I haven’t quite mustered up the motivation/discipline for that yet! I’m hoping to start in November when most of my “regular” work clears. If anyone is up for just meeting up and writing at some cafe on a weekday morning, let me know!

I’m also keen to explore any storytelling and/or creative writing workshops with The Adventures of Squirky the Alien and/or Imaginary Friends.

All my links:

Website: melanielee.sg

Twitter and Instagram: @melanderings

MICHELLE LOWBEER

I’m Michelle Lowbeer. I’ve lived in Singapore for two and a half years (from Australia), and am a mother of two daughters, aged 6 and 8.

Research has found that nearly one-third of children feel unimportant when their parents are using smartphones. And children’s negative thoughts (like “I’m not important”) — if left unchallenged — will turn into negative self-esteem beliefs that can limit them for the rest of their lives.

Because I know that children learn through the power of story, I wrote a book to try and stop this belief from taking hold.

The book is called “I Am Important”; it’s the first in a series of “Hairy Thought-Buster” books I hope to write. Hairy Thought-Buster is a Superhero for young minds — he busts children’s negative thoughts with his magic popper, and replaces them with positive ones, empowering children to achieve their potential. You can register to receive a free (PDF) copy at www.hairythoughtbuster.com. The book will be ready in about two weeks, and I would love some feedback on it before it goes to print.

I have created an animated video in line with the book’s themes, it’s available to view here:
https://www.facebook.com/hairythoughtbuster/videos/331385637195076/

Web Site: www.hairythoughtbuster.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hairythoughtbuster/

NAMITA MOOLANI MEHRA

I’m a writer, a foodie (cookbook author and cooking school instructor) and a busy mom to a threenager! I quit a 15 year long corporate career a few years ago, to start a small social-impact business called Indian Spicebox that connects my love for food and passion for writing while giving back to little children who need hot meals.

My first book is self-published and called ‘Cooking with Indian Spicebox’ — a cookbook for adults. My second book is called ‘The Magic Spicebox’ and is published by Scholastic. It is a storybook and cookbook rolled into one.

Excited to be participating in the Singapore Writers Festival. Sign up your little ones for our supercool ‘Spices have Superpowers’ workshop and I also host cooking classes for adults and kids at The Providore Cooking School.

https://www.facebook.com/themagicspicebox

Book can be bought on Amazon and Closetful of Books:

http://www.closetfulofbooks.com/products/the-magic-spicebox

https://www.amazon.com/Scholastic-Cookbook-Namita-Moolani-Mehra/dp/9386041006/

Email me: namita.moolani@gmail.com

SRIVIDHYA VENKAT

My name is Srividhya Venkat. My first picture book, Brushing is No Fun was released by Pratham Books, a non-profit publisher, earlier this year. The book is available in English, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali and Kannada.

Along with writing and reading, storytelling is also my passion. I am a member of Storyline, a group of aspiring storytellers, who perform at various libraries (NLB). If you would like to catch me in action, come to the annual 398.2 Storytelling Festival in Nov-Dec 2016.

I enjoy being a member of the Singapore SCBWI. As a children’s writer, it has not only been inspiring, but also helped me connect with other authors/illustrators and learn more about the children’s publishing industry.

I am available for book readings and storytelling.

I occasionally blog at http://srividhya-venkat.blogspot.sg. You can also find me on Facebook.