Excerpts of transcript: read the full transcript http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/elif_shafak_the_politics_of_fiction.html
"In my mid-twenties, I moved to Istanbul, the city I adore. I lived in a very vibrant, diverse neighborhood where I wrote several of my novels. I was in Istanbul when the earthquake hit in 1999.When I ran out of the building at three in the morning, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. There was the local grocer there -- a grumpy, old man who didn't sell alcohol and didn't speak to marginals. He was sitting next to a transvestite with a long black wig and mascara running down her cheeks. I watched the man open a pack of cigarettes with trembling hands and offer one to her, and that is the image of the night of the earthquake in my mind today -- a conservative grocer and a crying transvestite smoking together on the sidewalk. In the face of death and destruction, our mundane differences evaporated, and we all became one even if for a few hours. But I've always believed that stories, too, have a similar effect on us. I'm not saying that fiction has the magnitude of an earthquake, but when we are reading a good novel, we leave our small, cozy apartments behind,go out into the night alone and start getting to know people we had never met before and perhaps had even been biased against."
"Writers are entitled to their political opinions, and there are good political novels out there, but the language of fiction is not the language of daily politics. Chekhov said, "The solution to a problem and the correct way of posing the question are two completely separate things. And only the latter is an artist's responsibility." Identity politics divides us. Fiction connects. One is interested in sweeping generalizations. The other, in nuances. One draws boundaries. The other recognizes no frontiers.Identity politics is made of solid bricks. Fiction is flowing water."
"Books have saved the introverted, timid child that I was -- that I once was. But I'm also aware of the danger of fetishizing them. When the poet and mystic, Rumi, met his spiritual companion, Shams of Tabriz, one of the first things the latter did was to toss Rumi's books into water and watch the letters dissolve. The Sufis say, "Knowledge that takes you not beyond yourself is far worse than ignorance."The problem with today's cultural ghettos is not lack of knowledge -- we know a lot about each other, or so we think -- but knowledge that takes us not beyond ourselves: it makes us elitist, distant and disconnected."
The Calistro Prize is a RM30,000.00 gift from a private company, Calistro Consultants Ltd to promote children’s books in Malaysia. Malaysians above 18 years stand a chance to win RM10,000.00 and have his/her work published.
The man behind the prize, Dr David Kirkham, the founder and director of Calistro Consultants, is a British national who has been visiting Malaysia for almost thirty years now and has a home in Malaysia.
How did the prize come about and how did the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) got involved as the secretariat for the prize? The story is one of serendipity.
President José Ramos-Horta & Yusof Gajah
It was at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore in May 2010. We were enjoying some refreshments after an inspiring speech by H.E. José Ramos-Horta, the president of East Timor and the winners for two awards –the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award and the Scholastic Asian Book Award - had been announced.
Everyone was in a happy and congratulatory mood. I was with an SCBWI member, Ean when Malaysian artist and mentor of SCBWI, Yusof Gajah, strolled over.
Dr David Kirkham with Yusof Gajah
I mentioned that it would be good if SCBWI could find a sponsor for an award in Malaysia and Ean said she knew someone she could approach. I thought no more of it but Ean was true to her words. Not long after that, back in Kuala Lumpur, I was introduced to Dr Kirkham.
Dr Kirkham studied English at Cambridge and geology and geomorphology with London University and has an MSc in Development Management and PhD in crisis management. He now runs a management consultancy and lectures at several universities.
Dr Kirkham’s early career was in the arts. He worked in the theatre, both sides of the footlights, was director of a rural arts centre in the UK, ran a regional film theatre and has directed many productions. He also served for 22 years in the Royal Artillery (Territorial Army).
Having worked in Malaysia and lived here, Dr Kirkham has a soft spot for Malaysia and confessed to being addicted to teh halia, cili padi and durians. His flamboyant personality hides a sharp incisive mind and he has a good understanding of this country.
We had several conversations on the topic of language in Malaysia that would later influence the Calistro Prize.
We wanted the competition in English as it's an international language and also in Bahasa Malaysia as it's our national language. That means we will need to have two categories (in terms of language not to mention the different genres) and we will probably need two sets of judges. And inevitably the question was raised: so what about the Chinese language, what about Tamil and so on. Finally we came to the decision that as we want Malaysian stories by Malaysians, we will open it to any languages in use in Malaysia and in recognition of the importance of the national language, the winning work will be published in Bahasa Malaysia and the original language it was submitted.
We would still want an English version but for that we will look for another publisher, ie it's not under the remit of the prize.
To aid the judging, we require a synopsis in English of not more than 300 words. I think if one cannot summarise their stories in 300 words, they probably don't have a strong story in the first place. Entries will be read by a team selected by SCBWI especially to meet the different languages. The best stories will be put forward to the judges. The judges will compile a shortlist of 10 stories and we will have the necessary work translated into English for final judging.
So writing skills are still important for eg if there were two similar stories, the better written one will have a better chance. We will also help the winners to improve their work (whether text or illustrations) for publication. We can do that if there's a good story.
Does this imply we do not think Malaysians can write? Of course not! This competition is not aimed at discovering literary skills but to encourage Malaysians to tell their stories – they can use words or a combination of words and illustrations.
This is not entirely unusual: the Noma Concours by the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO had a picture book award a few years back and various languages were accepted but a synopsis in English must be provided.
We hope this will encourage more Malaysians to tell their stories and that they can learn to write / illustrate better. SCBWI will also be having a schedule of talks and workshops on the craft of writing and illustrating for the whole of next year. We also work with different partners and an important one is the Asian Festival of Children's Content every May in Singapore. Prominent internatioanl speakers are invited to speak at the Festival and we want to encourage more Malaysians to take advantage of that to improve themselves and to network.
Having said all the above, we do not know what submissions we will get and this being the first year of the prize, we would like to keep it open and adjust as we go along. But if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask and we will also be compiling an FAQ.
There is so much more we want to do but we will have to take one step at a time. SCBWI is excited at this opportunity and thank Dr Kirkham for his generosity. This is a good start to the New Year! LT
Note: Linda Tan Lingard is the President of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Malaysia
For the last three days (9-11 Nov) I have been attending a WIPO-NUS Executive Program in Strategic Intellectual Property Management. Held at the National University of Singapore, it was organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation in cooperation with the University.
The inaugural Program included an impressive list of speakers : Prof William Fisher III from Harvard Law School; Matthew R Bryan from WIPO; Theo Stamatiadis, Attorney-at-Law based in Barcelona; Prof Felix Oberholzer-Gee from Harvard Business School, Assoc. Prof. Susanna HS Leong from NUS Business School; Richard Buttrick from RB Consulting; and Karen Lee Rata from WIPO.
It was a privilege to listen and learn from such distinguished and experienced speakers from both the academia and the business world. With the aid of Prof Fisher's marvellous mind map, the program provided a foundation for IP knowledge and the various possible ways to deploy IP strategically.
We were challenged, enlightened and in some cases, amused, by case studies in the world of trademarks, patents and copyright and of course business. It was also enjoyable to be in a classroom with people from neighbouring countries. Added to that, the beautiful NUS campus and hospitality of their staff made the program highly satisfactory in terms of feeding the mind, body and soul. Now, back to work!
Prof Felix O from Harvard Business School via video conference
'Calling all writers and publishers! Do you have a manuscript to offer? Are you looking for a Literary Agent? Do you want your book to be marketed and sold in different countries? Is your book suitable for translation? The Singapore Book Publishers Association (SBPA) and the National Arts Council (NAC) invite writers and publishers to take part in the Rights Fair as part of the SWF slate of activities. Come and meet our ASEAN and international publishers from 27-29 October 2011.'
The above was the notice for the Singapore Rights Fair that was held in conjunction with the Singapore Writers Festival. It was a good start for the inaugural Rights Fair that saw agents from Malaysia (me) and America as well as publishers from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Apart from meeting publishers, I was looking forward to meeting writers. I met several but I understand the Singapore Writers Festival had everyone busy going from one session to another so they could only visit the Rights Fair during breaks. I was pleased to meet Dave Seow, children's book writer who has published almost 30 books and we are pleased to represent him for his next series of tween books that I am really excited about. It was good to meet Susanna Goho Quek who we are already representing. Susanna is working on a beautiful picture book that we hope will be published in March next year.
Kenneth, Festival Manager at the National Book Development Council (and RA of SCBWI Singapore) was his usual charming and helpful self. And Mr Ramachandran, Executive Director of NBDCS visited us at the Rights Fair carrying a leather bag and an umbrella (it was raining intermittently in Singapore but with foresight, the fair organisers had provided umbrellas) and I thought of the debonair Mr Steed in the Avengers.
A few people came to find out what a literary agent does and in brief, here's what I have to say:
1. We represent you to get your book published
2. We take care of your rights by among others, negotiating contracts
3. Once a publisher has signed on a writer, the publisher will work directly with the writer but the agent can be helpful as a middle person to mediate any subsequent issues.
But before all the above can happen, you need to submit your manuscript to us and we will decide whether we can represent you successfully or not before we say yes. This means we believe we can find a publisher for your ms. If we don't think we can, we will have to say no as it's not fair to the writer if we say yes and nothing happens. Once we agree to represent you, we will prepare your ms for presentation to the publisher. This means we may need to 'tidy up' your ms and you may need to make some changes but they should not be major changes. Our agency's policy is not to accept ms that in our opinion, requires major changes.
For children and YA, I and Yusof
will be reviewing your ms. For general fiction and non-fiction (motivational books), Janet
, our editorial consultant will be reviewing your ms. We accept children and YA, general fiction and non-fiction. You may send us soft copies of your ms. We will also need to know you as your track record, your background and interests may provide us a link or angle to sell your ms (and for the publisher to sell your book). So please don't send us anonymous mail and don't use pseudonyms (at least not now).
How are we paid? We are paid 10-20% of whatever the author gets depending on whether the book is sold to a local or foreign publisher. We do not charge for evaluating your ms. We will require reimbursement for extraordinary expenses such as overseas postage but you will be informed before the expense is incurred.
A few people came to see me with book ideas. Some of the ideas were very good. But they need to be written down and my advice is to start writing and then rewrite. You may find that your original idea is perhaps not so good after all or that it has changed significantly as you write. But nothing happens until you write.
Some people wanted to know what the current trends are; what are publishers looking for? You can start by visiting bookshops and see what books are being published and how yours are going to be different. This is a commercial view of writing. Writing is creative and you write because you must or you enjoy it. And the secret to becoming good is to start and to keep at it.
The above is how our agency works and may be different from other agencies. Linda
Today for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' (SCBWI) July meeting, we met at Silverfish Bookstore. Deepa who came had been writing for her young son and wondered about the whole process of publishing. She was interested to find an illustrator for her stories and planned to take the self-publishing route.
Briefly, here are the steps to getting your picture book or illustrated book printed and published:Getting an ISBN and Barcode for your book
1. Register your publishing company [you have to set up one first if you haven't already have a company] with the National Library. You just need to fill in a simple form available from the National Library [ask for the ISBN department] to get your registration number.
2. Apply for an ISBN for your book - this is another simple form to fill at the same place. You need to fill in information of your book, like title and author's name and provide the front cover of your book. The ISBN number as well as barcode is provided free and is usually available in half an hour, assuming there isn't a queue [there usually isn't].
3. You may also want to apply for the CIP [Cataloguing in Publication] data for your book which is another form from the same place.
[More detailed information on the above may be obtained from the National Library's site: http://www.pnm.my
]Getting your book ready for illustrating and printing
Looking for illustrators1. So you've written your story and are looking for a suitable illustrator. Some places where you can find local illustrators [apart from googling]:
- Decide on the size of your book - illustrations should be provided according to the book size or in proportion [illustrations may be bigger than the book size but not smaller to ensure quality]
- Decide on the number of pages - optimum pages for print purposes are 16, 24, 32, 36 [ie mulitples of four]. Your story itself may only take 22 pages but the printer will still give you 24 pages - you can leave the extra pages blank or use them for promotional materials.
- You need the following front matters: Title page, copyright page - which should be planned into your book.
[if you find other sources, please let me know so I can add them]Working with illustrators
- the SCBWI local website: www.scbwi-my.org
- visit the Annexe Gallery's KL Alternative Book Fair / Art for Grabs event where freelance artists often take up stands to sell their work - check them out on Facebook or - www.annexegallery.com
- you can also find illustrators at Central Market
- check out the artists' colony at the Craft Complex, Jalan Conlay
Getting to print
- Look at the illustrators' existing work to see if you like their style for your story
- Talk with the illustrator to see if you can work together successfully
- Have a clear idea how many illustrations are required for your book and work out a budget - how much are you willing to spend?
- A one-page full-colour illustration may start from RM150; a black and white (simple illustration) may start from RM50. Covers (front and back) costs more. In general, I like to work out a package deal with the illustrator for the whole book or series of books. Be willing to pay more for an experienced illustrator or for more detailed work which may require some research by the illustrator. It helps to pay the illustrator an advance followed by progressive payments for progressive delivery of work.
- Before deciding to proceed with the illustrator, ask the illustrator to provide, for free, rough sketches (or roughs) of the illustration you require - eg, a key character of your story. You should not expect the illustrator to provide roughs for every page.
- However, once you have agreed to appoint the illustrator, ask the illustrator to provide roughs for each illustration which you will approve before he/she proceeds with the actual illustration. This avoids a lot of grief. If you or the illustrator decide this step is not necessary, you may find it difficult later to change any completed illustrations that are not satisfactory and the illustrator may feel he/she should be paid extra for the additional work which you thought should just have been a correction... see what I mean?
- Depending on how experienced the illustrator is, be prepared to talk through your story with him/her and if necessary, for each page of your book.
- Agree with your illustrator on a suitable time frame. Sometimes the illustrator may misjudge the amount of time needed and starts to fall behind schedule. Then sit down and agree together on a new deadline. This is better than getting frustrated and abandoning the work - you can't use what has been done and you don't have a complete book.
- Find a layout artist who can help you select a suitable typeface and design the book for you. If your illustrator is also a layout artist, you can get him/her to do that. This is a separate job and requires separate payment.
- The layout artist should be experienced and be able to prepare the files for printing - the right resolution, crop marks, bleeds [ie for pages that have require printing right up to the edge] and so on.
- Show the printer the quality of paper, binding, finishing [eg glossy cover or spot varnish or matt cover or embossed title etc] you want - bring book samples. When you have more experience, you will be able to provide detailed specifications such as grammage of paper, type of paper and the different types of finishing - learn from your printer.
So your book is printed. How do you sell it? This question should be asked before you start publishing but is frequently not done. I have made the same mistake and I still have stocks of my earlier books published two years ago. They are good books, well written and illustrated and produced to high quality. We enjoyed the whole creative process and we had our book launches, readings and related activities. But we would be lucky if we recovered our costs.
There are lots of excellent books and website where you can find information on marketing and selling your book. But what do you do if the local bookstore does not want to take your book? Or they tell you to find a distributor and the distributor wants 60% of the book cover price with returns - ie if your books do not sell, they will return them to you.
You can produce e-books or print-on-demand and there are a number of such publishers online. You can use a digital printer [rather than traditional offset] and print small quantities. However, that will increase your per unit cost and you will have to sell your book at a high price [to cover not only your printing/illustration costs but also the percentage required by the distributor or bookstore]. This may not be such a problem if you are able to sell the books yourself directly.
In other words, list down all your costs from the start.
I have not pointed out the need to have your book edited [the text, illustrations and overall concept] and many self-published books would have been better with external input [not counting your relatives and friends]. There is no harm in being open and listening to what others have to say [the SCBWI is a good source], give them due consideration, based on the research and information you have gathered and the final decision is yours. Read and look at other books in the market.
I wish you success.
Picture book display at Silverfish
Kuala Lumpur, 3rd May 2011. Silverfish Books, the independent bookstore at Jalan Telawi, Bangsar is hosting a picture book week from 2 – 7 May 2011. A total of 20 titles will be displayed. Written and/or illustrated by Malaysians, these books bring to us stories that are uniquely our own including stories from East Malaysia. During the week, the books are being sold with special promotional offers and free gifts.
Linda Tan Lingard, director of Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency Sdn Bhd and organiser of the event said, “This is the first picture book week we have organised and we thank Silverfish Books for hosting it.”
“Picture books are a great way to introduce books to children. They are ideal for reading aloud or reading together and are effective for inculcating love of reading among young children. The illustrations and text add to the total reading experience and enjoyment of picture books.”
Yusof Gajah at Silverfish Books
The Agency has brought together an impressive group of people to participate in their first picture book week. They include:
• Yusof Gajah - Malaysian artist Yusof Gajah with his iconic elephant images who is also an award-winning children’s book illustrator.
• Sarimah Ibrahim, popular TV host
• Datin Rossiti Aishah Rashidi - Author of ‘Manja the Orangutan’, who is an advocate for a green lifestyle and being guardians of our environment.
• Emila Yusof - Blogger and illustrator, Emila Yusof.
• Voice of the Children - VOC is an NGO whose mission is to advocate for and promote law and policy reform to protect the rights of the child.
• Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Malaysia (SCBWI) - The Society aims to provide support and training for Malaysian writers and illustrators.
Sharmila Sekaran and Rafilda Abdul Rahman
Sharmila Sekaran, Chairperson of Voice of the Children
, said, “We are extremely happy and thankful to Yusuf Gajah Lingard Literary Agency for this opportunity to participate in the inaugural Picture Book week with two of our very own books, the first set in a series of books. In a collaboration between local and foreign artists and writers, the objective of our books – “The Little Dancing Bear” and “Cats in the Rubbish” – showcase a different world – the real world – where children are exposed to abuse and violence, are maltreated and need our protection.
“It is VoC’s hope that through these books, the readers – children and adults alike – will become aware of the issues regarding the circumstances of many children in Malaysia and that in turn, they will come forward with their support to help make a positive change”, said Ms Sharmila. “We are also very happy to announce that a third book in the series will be launched in June, in conjunction with UNHCR’s World Refugee Day.”
At the press conference, Yusof Gajah who was all fired-up after his recent trip to the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair in March said, “Many local writers and illustrators have not been trained to produce picture books. We want to produce more quality books for children but we must address this gap and provide incentives to writers and illustrators.”
Yusof was proud that two of the illustrators he trained, Jainal Amambing and Awang Fadilah, both from Sabah have since produced a number of picture books which were also being highlighted during this picture book week.
Yusof Gajah is currently working on a series of 10 books on creativity for children and will be identifying appropriate partners for each title. These books are expected to be published early next year.
Voice of the Children (VOC) sees picture books as a good way to bring across the message of child rights. They have published two picture books with more in the pipeline. The books will also come with teachers guide and teaching aids.
A new picture book, Longhouse Days, is currently being promoted at Silverfish, and is written and illustrated by Jainal Amambing, another award-winning Malaysian illustrator. Datin Rossiti Aishah Rashidi, writing the non-fiction picture book, Puteri Tioman the Green Turtle, has been a learning experience. She ventured into snorkeling so that she could see for herself the underwater marine life. Puteri Tioman is scheduled for publication in July 2011 with a foreword by Tuanku Sultan Ahmad Shah, Sultan of Pahang who first encouraged her to write the book.
Kenneth Quek, SCBWI RA Singapore
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Malaysia (Persatuan Penulis dan Ilustrator Buku Kanak-kanak Malaysia) who was represented by its secretary, Rafilda Abdul Rahman said that the society aims to address the gap in training for local writers and illustrators.
They are also helping to promote local writers and illustrators by building a database of writers and illustrators on the www.scbwi-my.org website
. With the sponsorship of the Malaysian National Book Council (Majlis Buku Kebangsaan Malaysia), the Society put up an exhibition of illustrations by local illustrators in conjunction with the recent Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair.
SCBWI is actively involved in the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) due to be held in Singapore from 26-28 May 2011. SCBWI members will be given special promotional deals, said Rafilda.
“Whether you are a writer or an illustrator, the AFCC is the place to be to learn from professionals, to network and to make contact with publishers,” said Kenneth Quek, SCBWI Regional Advisor from Singapore who was at the Press Conference to promote the festival which has the theme, Asian Content for the World’s Children. More information as well as registration may be obtained from www.afcc.com.sg
At the close of the week-long promotion, popular TV host, Sarimah Ibrahim, will be reading a book by Yusof Gajah, on 7th May at Silverfish Books. This will be followed by a free art and creativity workshop for children with Yusof while the participating publishers, writers and illustrators will talk about how and why they produce picture books. Admission is open to the public and is free.
Sidang Akhbar, 3 Mei 2011
Silverfish Books, sebuah kedai buku independen di Jalan Telawi, Bangsar menjadi tuan rumah Minggu Buku-buku Bergambar mulai 2-7 Mei 2011. Sebanyak 20 buah judul akan dipamerkan. Buku-buku ini yang dikarang dan / atau diilustrasikan oleh rakyat Malaysia membawakan cerita-cerita kita yang tersendiri termasuk dari Malaysia Timur. Sepanjang minggu ini, buku-buku tersebut dijual dengan tawaran promosi istimewa serta hadiah percuma.
Linda Tan Lingard, pengarah Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency Sdn Bhd dan penganjur acara itu berkata, "Ini merupakan Minggu Buku-buku Bergambar pertama yang kami anjurkan dan kami berterimakasih kepada Silverfish Books kerana sudi menjadi tuan rumah."
"Buku bergambar merupakan cara yang sangat baik untuk memperkenalkan buku kepada kanak-kanak. Ia sesuai untuk dibaca dengan kuat atau dibaca bersama dan berkesan untuk menyemai minat membaca di kalangan kanak-kanak. Ilustrasi dan teksnya meningkatkan keseluruhan pengalaman membaca dan keseronokan buku bergambar. "
Pihak Agensi juga menampilkan beberapa individu dan organisasi yang hebat untuk turut serta dalam Minggu Buku Bergambar pertamanya. Individu dan organisasi yang dimaksudkan ialah:
• Yusof Gajah – Yusof Gajah, artis Malaysia dengan imej gajah ikoniknya juga adalah illustrator buku kanak-kanak yang terkemuka.
• Sarimah Ibrahim, hos TV popular
• Datin Rossiti Aishah Rashidi - Penulis 'Manja the Orangutan', beliau merupakan penyokong gaya hidup hijau dan pelindung alam sekitar.
• EmilaYusof – Pemblog dan ilustrator, Emila Yusof.
• Voice of the Children - VOC ialah sebuah NGO yang misinya adalah untuk memperjuangkan dan menggalakkan reformasi undang-undang dan polisi bagi melindungi hak kanak-kanak.
• OneRedFlower Press –Penerbit Malaysia bagi buku kanak-kanak dan remaja
• Persatuan Penulis & Ilustrator Buku Kanak-Kanak Malaysia (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators - SCBWI) –Persatuan ini bermatlamat memberikan sokongan dan latihan kepada para penulis dan illustrator Malaysia.
Sharmila Sekaran, Pengerusi Voice of the Children, berkata, "Kami begitu gembira dan berterimakasih kepada Yusuf Gajah Lingard Literary Agency kerana diberi peluang untuk menyertai Minggu Buku Bergambar yang julung kali diadakan dengan dua buah buku kami yang merupakan set pertama daripada beberapa siri buku. Dengan kerjasama antara artis dan penulis tempatan serta asing, matlamat buku-buku kami - "The Little Bear Dancing" dan "Cats in the Rubbish" – memaparkan sebuah dunia yang berbeza – dunia yang sebenar – yang mana kanak-kanak terdedah kepada penderaan dan keganasan, menerima layanan buruk dan memerlukan perlindungan kita.
"VOC berharap menerusi buku-buku ini, para pembaca - kanak-kanak dan juga orang dewasa – akan menyedari isu-isu yang menghimpit ramai kanak-kanak di Malaysia dan mendorong mereka untuk tampil memberikan sokongan bagi membantu melaksanakan perubahan positif ", ujar Cik Sharmila. "Kami juga berbesar hati mengumumkan bahawa buku ketiga dalam siri ini akan dilancarkan pada bulan Jun, bersempena dengan Hari Pelarian Sedunia UNHCR."
Pada siding akhbar tersebut, Yusof Gajah yang begitu bersemangat setelah kembali daripada lawatan ke Bologna International Children's Book Fair pada Mac baru-baru ini berkata, "Ramai penulis tempatan dan ilustrator tidak dilatih untuk menghasilkan buku bergambar. Kami ingin menghasilkan lebih banyak buku berkualiti untuk kanak-kanak namun kita harus mengatasi jurang ini dan memberikan insentif kepada penulis dan ilustrator. "
Yusof berbangga apabila dua daripada ilustrator yang dilatih beliau, Jainal Amambing dan Awang Fadilah, kedua-duanya dari Sabah kini telah menghasilkan sejumlah buku bergambar yang turut diketengahkan dalam minggu buku bergambar ini.
Ketika ini Yusof Gajah sedang mengusahakan sebuah siri 10 buah buku tentang kreativiti untuk kanak-kanak dan akan mengenalpasti pasangan yang sesuai untuk setiap judul. Buku-buku ini diharap dapat diterbitkan pada awal tahun depan.
Voice of the Children (VOC) berpendapat buku bergambar merupakan cara yang baik untuk menyampaikan mesej tentang hak kanak-kanak. Buku-buku mereka juga akan dibekalkan dengan panduan guru dan alat bantuan mengajar.
Buku bergambar terbaru, Longhouse Days, ketika ini sedang dipromosikan di Silverfish. Ia ditulis dan diilustrasikan oleh Jainal Amambing, seorang lagi ilustrator Malaysia yang terkenal.
Bagi Datin Rossiti Aishah Rashidi, menulis sebuah buku bergambar bukan fiksyen, Puteri Tioman the Green Turtle, merupakan suatu pengalaman belajar. Beliau melibatkan diri dalam snorkeling untuk melihat sendiri kehidupan marin. Puteri Tioman dijangka terbit pada Julai 2011 dengan diiringi kata pengantar oleh Tuanku Sultan Ahmad Shah, Sultan Pahang yang mula-mula mendorong beliau untuk menulis buku tersebut.
Persatuan Penulis dan Ilustrator Buku Kanak-Kanak Malaysia (SCBWI) yang diwakili oleh setiausahanya, Rafilda Abdul Rahman mengatakan bahawa pihak persatuan berhasrat menangani jurang latihan bagi para penulis dan illustrator tempatan.
Ia juga membantu mempromosikan penulis dan illustrator tempatan dengan mewujudkan sebuah pangkalan data tentang penulis dan ilustrator di laman web www.scbwi-my.org. Dengan tajaan daripada Majlis Buku Kebangsaan Malaysia, pihak Persatuan mengadakan sebuah pameran berkenaan ilustrasi oleh illustrator tempatan bersempena dengan Pesta Buku Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur baru-baru ini.
SCBWI juga terlibat secara aktif dalam Festival Bahan Kandungan Kanak-Kanak Asia (Asian Festival of Children’s Content - AFCC) yang akan diadakan di Singapura mulai 26-28 Mei 2011. Menurut Rafilda, ahli-ahli SCBWI akan diberikan tawaran promosi istimewa.
"Sama ada anda seorang penulis atau ilustrator, AFCC adalah tempat untuk belajar daripada para profesional, mewujudkan rangkaian kenalan dan berhubung dengan penerbit," ujar Kenneth Quek, Penasihat Wilayah SCBWI dari Singapura yang berada di Sidang Akhbar itu untukmempromosikan festival yang bertemakan, Bahan Kandungan Asia untuk Kanak-Kanak Dunia. Maklumat lanjut serta pendaftaran boleh didapati di www.afcc.com.sg
Di penghujung promosi selama seminggu ini, hos TV popular, Sarimah Ibrahim, akan membacakan sebuah buku Yusof Gajah pada 7 Mei di Silverfish Books. Ia akan diikuti dengan bengkel seni dan kreativiti oleh Yusof Gajah untuk kanak-kanak. Sementara itu, para penerbit, penulis dan illustrator akan berbicara tentang bagaimana dan mengapa mereka menghasilkan buku-buku bergambar. Masuk adalah percuma dan terbuka kepada orang ramai.
Sila ajukan semua pertanyaan ke:
Tentang Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency Sdn Bhd
Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency mewakili penerbit, penulis dan illustrator tempatan dan juga asing serta bertindak sebagai agen sastera dan pengurus seranta untuk pelanggan mereka.
FESTIVAL TO PROMOTE THE USE OF ASIAN CONTENT Kuala Lumpur, 14th March 2011
– Over 500 international authors, illustrators, publishers, distributors, institutional buyers, literary agents and multimedia producers of children’s content will gather in Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC, 亚洲儿童内容节)
from 26 - 28 May 2011. The AFCC will be held at The Arts House and will focus on Asian content for children.
The organisers, The Arts House (艺术之家) and National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS, 新加坡书籍发展理事会), hope the festival will boost the creation, production and publication of children’s materials with Asian content in all formats. The meeting of international industry players is also aimed at improving the distribution and access of Asian content to children worldwide.
Much loved artist from Malaysia who is well known for his iconic elephant paintings, Yusof Gajah, the Regional Adviser in Malaysia for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Linda Tan, publisher of children books under Al-Ameen Serve Holdings Sdn. Bhd, Che Mazlan Saad, and senior lecturer at Sultan Idris Education University who has published more than fifty books for children, Dr Mahendran Maniam will be at the festival. In addition, outstanding students from Malaysia whose works have been chosen for AFCC Student Picture Book Illustration Competition 2011 will also be joining the festival.
The theme for this year is “Connecting with Connect Kids” and apart from providing a platform for children’s content industry players to network, the festival will also host established and emerging writers, illustrators and content producers. To name a few, renowned picture book writer and illustrator from Taiwan, Chen Chih-Yuan, children’s literature specialist who has written 50 books for children, five of them received international awards, Dr. Murti Bunanta from Indonesia, publishing director at Scholastic India, Sayoni Basu and Anushka Ravishankar (‘India’s Dr. Seuss’), Hong Kong’s best-selling English language author, Nury Vittachi, Chief Adviser to the Director of BBC Children’s and the Controller of BBC Learning, UK, Adrian Mills, Regional Director, Applications and Business Development, Kodak China, Duncan Newton, founder of Knowledge Channel Foundation Inc, Philippines, Rina Lopez Bautista, and literary agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency, US, Kelly Sonnack.
At the event, the speakers and participants will engage in discussion and debate on a broad range of issues, including exporting Asian content to the world, challenges and the future of children’s publishing, emerging world of the graphic novels & Manga rave, marketing and reaching out to small readers with the big potential, place of media in children’s education and recipes for a healthy media diet for kids, navigating the digital globe, fostering a love for reading & learning in the 21st century and successful content development strategies.
The public will have the opportunity to participate in the festival as well. There will be a Media Mart where the public can buy the latest children’s materials. The Media Mart aims to be a meeting point and a place where writers, illustrators, digital artists, producers and designers are able to trade rights, sell products and services, have their materials published or translated or repackaged and produced into comics, e-books, graphic novels, videos, films and educational games. Media Mart is also a place to link up with distributors to promote quality Asian children’s content for education and entertainment to the rest of Asia and the world.
During the festival, the organisers will be also presenting the Singapore Children’s Book Prize called The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award, as well as the Scholastic Asian Book Award. Both of the awards aim to recognise excellence in fiction for children. The award-winning works of AFCC Student Picture Book Illustration Competition organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore with the collaboration of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) in Malaysia will also be exhibited during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2011.
The highlight of AFCC 2011 will be the inaugural Children’s Literature Lecture which will be delivered by the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta.
More information on the programme highlights, speakers and registration for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content is available at www.afcc.com.sg
. – END – About National Book Development Council of Singapore The National Book Development Council of Singapore is a non-profit charitable institution founded in 1969. The Book Council’s objective is to establish and develop Singapore as the Asian centre for publishing and literary arts. In pursuance of this objective, the Council works in partnership with Government agencies, private corporations and professional associations to deliver a variety of outstanding talks, seminars, workshops and conferences related to storytelling, reading, writing and publishing. The Book Council presents three prestigious book awards - Singapore Literature Prize, Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award and Scholastic Asia Book Award. It also manages the Centre for Literary Arts and Publishing and Singapore Writers Centre. For more information, visit www.bookcouncil.sg. About The Arts House Occupying the 182-year old building which was the former Parliament House and Singapore’s first Court House, The Arts House was officially opened in March 2004 as the only gazetted government building designated as a multidisciplinary arts centre. The Arts House has since been offering its visitors a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from contemporary arts and entertainment events to lifestyle options. At the same time, The Arts House plays an active role in the development of the Singapore arts and creative scene. We have been supporting and promoting Singapore artists and their artworks through our various initiatives and platforms in Singapore, as well as internationally. The Arts House is managed by The Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee. For more information, visit www.theartshouse.com.sg. For further information on festival and registration, please contact: National Book Development Council of Singapore
DID: +65 6848 8291
DID: +65 6848 8292
by Regina Brooks, literary agent at Serendipity Literary. This text excerpted from Regina's 2009 book,
- Author writes the manuscript.
- Author revises the manuscript.
- Author gets critiques and implements necessary changes.
- Author submits queries to agents.
- Author secures agent.
- Author makes changes per agent’s feedback.
- Agent submits work to publishers.
- Editor reads the manuscript and tells agent she is enamored and plans to share with the editorial board.
- Editor shares the manuscript with the editorial board.
- Editor prepares profit and loss (P&L) statement for the book.
- Editor contacts agent and makes an offer.
- Agent shares offer with the author.
- Agent negotiates the terms of the offer with editor.
- Agent reviews actual contract, makes additions and deletions to the clauses in agreement in the best interest of the author, and sends it back to the publisher’s legal counsel.
- Editor sends final contract to agent.
- Agent sends contract to author for signature.
- Editor prepares editorial notes for author, and the author revises again.
- Author submits final manuscript.
- Editor reviews the manuscript and then prepares it for production.
- Editors in production department copyfit and proof the manuscript.
- Editor sends copyedits to the author for review.
- Author reviews last pass of manuscript after proof.
- Editor prepares back cover copy, catalogue copy, and other tools to sell the book.
- Publicity sends out galley copies to media for review.
- Book is published and starts to be sold.
Writing Great Books For Young Adults.
Malaysians nominated for prestigious Swedish award
FRANKFURT: Two Malaysians have been nominated for the prestigious 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) of Sweden at the Frankfurt International Book Fair here.
They were Mohd. Yusuf Ismail, an author/illustrator and oral storyteller, and Daphne Lee Mei Lin, a promoter of reading, and are up against 173 other nominees from around the world for the Swedish award which carries a cash award of five million Swedish krones.
The fair in Frankfurt is regarded as the world’s biggest event for the publishing industry. ALMA is the world’s largest prize for children’s and young adult literature.
Linda Tan Lingard, a director of Kuala Lumpur-based Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency and Mohd Yusuf, who goes by the pen name of Yusof Gajah, were exalted at the nomination.
The agency bears the name of her husband David Lingard and Yusof Gajah. It has a booth at the Malaysian pavillion.
This is the second time that a Malaysian has been nominated for ALMA, the first time being in 2008 when Margaret H.L. Lim, a children’s story writer from Kuching, was nominated although she did not get the coveted award.
Tan said her agency represents writers, illustrators and publishers, mainly, from Malaysia.
Sabri Ab. Rahman, the senior trade commissioner at the Frankfurt MATRADE office, said a total of RM4.117 million worth of business was transacted by Malaysian companies at the fair. - Bernama