Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Reflecting on 2014

Reflecting on 2014 with SCBWI Japan


Contributed by Holly Thompson, SCBWI Japan Regional Advisor


SCBWI Japan had a full and eventful year in 2014. Here is the complete list of 2014 SCBWI Japan events:


Jan. 10  Of Asia and Children’s Books: Focus on the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, Tokyo featuring R. Ramachandran, Exectutive Director AFCC, and Bolormaa Baasansuren and Ganbaatar Ichinnorov, SingTel Asian Picture Book Award Winners for Old City


Feb. 22 SCBWI Japan Writers’ Day 2014, Yokohama featuring Distance Critiques with agents Andrea Welch and Anna Olswanger, craft lecture by Editor Andrea Pinkney via video, and librarian Wouter Laleman speaking on School Visits


Mar. 3 Meet the Author Dinner with Ruta Sepetys, Tokyo


Apr. 18 Rosemary Wells Master Class, Tokyo


May 16 RA Holly Thompson SCBWI Japan presentation, Japan International School Librarians Meeting, Chofu 


May 17 Comic Book Writing with Sean Michael Wilson, Tokyo


May 30–June 4 AFCC, Singapore: ARA Mariko Nagai and IC Naomi Kojima, presentations and SCBWI meeting; Cathy Hirano, translator of the 2014 Andersen Award winner Nahoko Uehashi, presentation arranged and supported by SCBWI Japan members; SCBWI meeting/dinner


June 22 SCBWI Japan Creative Exchange in Akiya, Kanagawa


July 3  Children’s Books of Malaysia with Yusof Gajah and Linda Lingard, Tokyo


July 10 SCBWI Japan Regional Team Meeting, Yokohama


Aug. 23 Gallery Visit and Dinner with Illustrator John Shelley, Tokyo


Sept. 26 SCBWI Japan Creative Exchange, Tokyo


Oct. 18 SCBWI Japan Translation Day 2014, Yokohama featuring translators Juliet Winters Carpenter, Daniel Hahn (on Skype), Cathy Hirano, Alexander O. Smith and Lynne E. Riggs


Oct. 25–26 Japan Writers Conference, Iwate, with SCBWI Japan lunch meet-up


Nov. 6 Illustrator Ross Kinnaird—Using Humor to Motivate Reluctant Readers, Tokyo


Dec. 7 SCBWI Japan Bonenkai Brunch, Tokyo


And a few more details:


In May, RA Holly Thompson presented at the semi-annual meeting of Japan International School Librarians giving an overview of SCBWI and introducing them to the SCBWI website and ways to search for SCBWI speakers. SCBWI Japan is included, via Holly, in the Japan international schools librarian listserv. SCBWI Japan receives advance news of visiting authors and illustrators, and publicizes SCBWI events to the librarians and their school communities. The librarians run the Sakura Medal program; SCBWI Japan member books have been nominated for awards since the program’s inception some ten years ago. SCBWI Japan members are increasingly invited to present at international schools in Japan.


In May/June, ARA Mariko Nagai and IC Naomi Kojima attended and presented at the Asia Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) in Singapore. Take note: Japan will be the country of focus for AFCC 2016!


In August, RA Holly Thompson, TC Avery Udagawa, plus two SCBWI Japan members, attended the SCBWI Summer Conference in LA. Avery was the first translator to receive an RA Tribute Fund Scholarship. Thanks to her efforts there are more opportunities for SCBWI translator members worldwide.


SCBWI Japan translators continue to be very active. In June, they created a presence at the IJET conference (international conference of the Japan Association of Translators) in Tokyo. In October, SCBWI Japan held Translation Day 2014; this was the third biennial Translation Day and was highly successful, bringing together many professionals in the field of Japanese-English translation of young adult content. See the Translation Day Event write-up on the Translation Group Blog (


Thank you to all of the thoughtful and giving volunteers both at the events and behind the scenes who made these events possible and to those who helped publicize and write up posts for the SCBWI Japan Blog. And thank you for the continued support of in helping to fund our events. 


We are so proud of the recent accomplishments and honors of our members—APALA awards (YA and YA honor category in 2014!), contracts with top agents and major publishers, and new books launching and new drafts being completed. We look forward to another year of exciting events in our creative SCBWI Japan community. Do check out the upcoming events on the events calendar. 2015 will be a busy year for SCBWI Japan!


SCBWI Japan has a Facebook page (, Twitter account (@SCBWIJapan), plus this SCBWI Japan website and blog–please visit them all!