Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR130531: Christopher Chen and other Australian writers share the wonders of creating content for children at NBDB Little Lit Fest

Christopher Chen and other Australian writers share the wonders of creating content for children at NBDB Little Lit Fest

31 May 2013

Multi-awarded Australia-based children’s book author Christopher Cheng was among the luminaries sharing their knowledge at the NBDB Little Lit Festival at the Museo Pambata last 31 May. Cheng is the author of such popular picture books as One Child, Sounds Spooky and Python, as well as historical fiction titles New Gold Mountain and The Melting Pot, and non-fiction titles 30 Amazing Australian Animals and Australia’s Greatest Inventions and Innovations.

The Little Lit Festival, organized by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) focussed on a thriving aspect of the book industry – children’s content – and brought together content creators and producers with parents, teachers, librarians, and everyone interested in the quality of content developed for children.

Cheng was joined by equally-revered fellow Australian writers: Ken Spillman, author of children’s titles such as Love is a UFO, Radhika, and the Jake series; and Wolfgang Bylsma, the Editor-in-Chief of Gestalt, Australia’s leading independent graphic novel publishing house.

Aside from serving as a resource person during the Festival’s panel discussions and workshops, Cheng also held a story-telling session for 7-12 year old children, which included  wards from the Kuya Center for Street Children, an NGO which provides shelter, counselling and basic education for children living on the streets. The Kuya Center is a beneficiary of the Direct Aid Program (DAP) implemented by the Australian Embassy – Manila.

Australia’s DAP is a flexible, small grants program for selected recipient countries. DAP in the Philippines is designed to support small-scale sustainable development projects and activities that: alleviate poverty and contribute to the recipient country’s developmental outcomes; address women’s issues and participation; give special attention to the needs of children, individuals with special needs, youth and disadvantaged groups within a local community; enhance the long-term productivity and sustainability of the physical environment; and have historical and cultural significance that contribute to the development of a community and a sense of identity.

Cheng, who is co-chair of the International Advisory Board for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), is an active presentor in schools, conferences and festivals around the world on quality content for children and was very keen about participating in the Little Lit Festival in the Philippines.