February 23, 2018 – Thailand’s inaugural International Children's Content Rights Fair (ICCRF), held on December 6-9, 2017, at Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC), was a great success, becoming a crucial part of promoting and strengthening reading culture among all age groups in Thai society and across ASEAN. The fair supported Thailand 4.0 – the country’s economic development scheme that encourages every organization to focus on enhancing knowledge through the improvement of learning resources and reading materials. It also provided a marketplace for copyrighted children’s and young adult books with creative content in the ASEAN region.
Several fascinating activities were held at the fair, including an exhibition of illustrated books from around the world that were showcased at the 2017 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Another highlight was the inaugural ASEAN Illustration Contest. The award was presented by the ICCRF to children’s book illustrators from across ASEAN, including those of other nationalities who worked in the 10 ASEAN member countries. The objectives were to raise standards and showcase works of regional illustrators and bring them wider public awareness, while encouraging a new generation of illustrators, youths and the general public to be more interested in reading and the art of making children’s books. Two Thai illustrators won awards from the contest, while another award went to an illustrator from the Philippines.
Mr. Athorn Techatada, Chairman of the International Children’s Content Rights Fair (ICCRF), said it was the first time for Thailand to organize such an international content rights fair. The organizing committee intended to make it an annual event with the aim of promoting Thailand, especially Chiang Mai, as the learning hub and knowledge exchange centre of the ASEAN region, as well as promoting legal and fair trading of intellectual property rights.
One hundred twelve illustrators participated in the ASEAN Children’s Books Illustrator Awards. Those included two from Brunei, one from France (Thailand-based), 15 from Indonesia, one from India (Thailand-based), six from Malaysia, nine from the Philippines, nine from Singapore, three from Vietnam and 66 from Thailand. The awards were divided into three categories: Award of Excellence, Best in Fiction and Best in Non-fiction. The Children’s Book Illustrators Awards also received support from Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited. In the contest, two Thai illustrators won awards. Mr. Kampanart Sangsorn received the Award of Excellence for Somwang’s Story, receiving a cash prize worth US$5,000. Ms. Jitsuda Bowornkij won the Best in Non-Fiction category for Thailand’s Underground Animals, receiving a cash prize worth $2,500. The Best in Fiction Award went to Mr. Joffrey Atienza’s Malong, the Magic Cloth, receiving a $2,500 cash prize.
The ASEAN Illustration Contest will be held continuously as part of the International Children’s Content Rights Fair (ICCRF), with the next scheduled to take place from November 29 - December 2, 2018 at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC). Both amateur and professional illustrators are encouraged to join the contest. Criteria for submissions include illustrations that have been published in children’s books or multimedia between November 1, 2017 - August 31, 2018, or unpublished works. The contest also welcomes art schools or art institutes to submit works of their students from the past two academic years, as well as publishers who wish to submit their illustrators’ works.
This year the awards will be divided into four categories: the ASEAN Children’s Book Illustrator Award of Excellence – one award worth USD 5,000; the ASEAN Children’s Book Illustrator Best in Fiction – one award worth USD 2,500; the ASEAN Children’s Book Illustrator Best in Non-fiction – one award worth USD 2,500; and the Rising Star Award – five awards worth USD 500 each. The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2018. Interested contestants can find information and submit their work online at http://iccrfthailand.com or contact the secretariat at email@example.com.