Astana hosted the first international forum of children’s writers

Astana hosted the first international forum of children’s writers. The forum served as a platform to discuss the methods to encourage reading among children as well as to find the answers on the role of literature in the formation of children’s worldview. The forum was attended by representatives of Central Asian and European countries. The participants highlighted the growing interest to publish children’s books in the publishing industry.

OLEG BONDARENKO, KYRGYZ WRITER:

 - Our children’s literature has a long history and now it is currently being revived due to the high interest in publishing children’s books. There are many young new authors in the industry. Five years ago, our publishers printed no more than 20 books per year. But today, they have published over 100 books annually and the number is growing every year.

The forum participants believe that it is necessary for countries to work together to revive the children’s book industry and establish a union for writers in Central Asian countries and Russia. These measures will help open new markets as well as providing a platform for shared experiences and learn about the culture and customs of other nations.

OLEG BONDARENKO, KYRGYZ WRITER:

- It would be wonderful to establish a union that brings together the Central Asian countries, who are close in terms of culture, history, spirit and literature, because any union established with the purpose of development, creation and creative thinking will benefit everyone. 

IRINA KRAYEVA, MEMBER OF RUSSIAN WRITERS’ UNION:

- I think that the modern Russian literature and modern Kazakh literature cannot exist separately, because it is impossible to imagine the Russian version of modern children’s literature without writers from Almaty, such as Adelya Abrayeva and Tonya Shipulina. That’s why we need to work together.

Another initiative proposed at the forum is the opening of the first green library in the Central Asian region, specifically in Astana. It will be located at the EXPO specialized exhibition area and will likely be opened this year. 

ALIYA KOZHABEKOVA, STAFF, KAZAKHSTAN’S NATIONAL ACADEMIC LIBRARY:

- The green library is a really interesting project. There will be many plants, a specialized library collection on ecology, natural resources management and environmental protection. Many environmental events will be held there. We want to instill in children the caring attitude towards nature.      

According to the organizers, the international forum of children’s writers is expected to be held annually. It will likely become the main literature platform in the region for cooperation and exchange of experience among the authors of children’s books.