On October 27, 2018, writers, illustrators, educators, students and children’s literature enthusiasts gathered to attend the first Pista! (Pambansang Komperensiya sa Panitikang Pambata).
Sponsored by Lampara Publishing House, Inc., the conference was directed by writer-teacher China Patria de Vera and award-winning author Dr. Eugene Y. Evasco.
Plenary speakers were Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu who talked about regional children’s literature, Mr. Segundo Matias, Jr. who discussed his young adult novel Mga Batang Poz and award-winning author Wilfredo Pascual who discussed the children’s literature in Asia and Africa.
There were four parallel sessions attended by 17 speakers who talked about regional children’s literature, gender-based stories, sexuality and importance of reading to children.
Five masterclasses were also opened to the participants. Masterclass on illustrating children’s books by Prof. Ruben de Jesus, Writing Children’s Book by award-winning writer Becky Bravo and Creating Comics with Black Ink artists Jake Vicente and Herbs Navasca. A masterclass on Writing Young Adult stories was also opened and graced by Rebel Fiction writer Luna King and the very first winner of Lampara Prize Young Adult Story Writing Contest, Steno Padilla. The masterclass was completed by LGBT-Themed story writers Leonna and Nina Satomi from Pride Lit.
True to its name, Pista! (Pambansang Komperensiya sa Panitikang Pambata) was a feast. The day was filled with new learning, knowledge, and awareness concerning children’s literature and reading.