SCBWI Philippines and SCBWI Australia had a get-together here in Manila when SCBWI members Dominique Garde Torres (Nikki) and Neni Sta. Romana Cruz and met up with Chris Cheng yesterday, November 21, at the Museum Cafe in Makati.
Chris is the SCBWI Co-Regional Advisor for Australia and New Zealand. He was in town as one of the foreign speakers at Lit Out Loud (LOL), the Manila International Literary Festival organized by the National Book Development Board (NBDB). According to Nikki, Chris was still a little high from the Festival and expressed his admiration many times for the leadership of the NBDB.
But at the M Cafe, Nikki wrote, “we had a very free wheeling discussion which touched on Chris as a writer, Chris as an educator, Chris as the longest running RA in the region with the biggest membership outside of the USA [next to SCBWI British Isles]. In the course of the conversation, we also spoke about the differences betwen the educational systems of Australia and the Philippines and how it impacted on children’s books.
“We also discussed the difference in the definition of Young Adult books in Australia and the Philippines. Apparently, in Australia, they have children’s books and books for older readers. The Books for older readers would be the equivalent of what we consider YA books here. When you say YA in Australia, it is defined as books for older readers which deal with controversial or taboo topics. Chris said that this definition was rapidly getting accepted in the West.”
We hope to see Chris again in Manila next year!
More about Chris Cheng here.
More about the NBDB’s Literary Festival here.