23 SEP 2018 10AM–5PM

Children of Malaysia–engage in Literature! (CoMeL): Unleashing Your Personal Story

Malaysia, United States

*Ticket sales start 13 Aug


RM  50–Children & Teachers Concessions



Successful writers, illustrators and creators of children’s books share their candid experience and provide tips to aspiring amateurs and professionals alike.

CoMel literary events set itself apart from other literary programmes by focusing not just on books as a source of children’s stories, but also extending the spotlight on the multi-dimensional aspects of story-telling, including films and comedy. CoMel is a TED-styled event showcasing creators of children’s content across platforms to speak about what truly moves them to produce the content that they do. It is hoped that the themes will breathe life into content creators’ next monumental children’s books.

This year, CoMel will feature a panel of speaker and presenters including renowned local and award-winning international authors, illustrators and storytellers who will share the inspiration for their stories and the motivation behind their works under this year’s theme of “Unleashing Your Personal Story”.


Barry Cook was born and raised in Nashville, TN, USA. He began making films at the age of ten on the family super 8 camera. He won two prizes in the local PBS-sponsored Young Filmakers Festival with “The Vampire” and “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” at the age of twelve.

During summers, he and his brother would work at Opryland USA, drawing caricatures of the guests. At the age of eighteen, Barry moved to California to pursue his career in motion pictures. He studied at Columbia College, where he spent time helping colleagues with their student films.

He served as an intern at Hanna Barbera. He joined Disney in 1981 to work on “Tron”. He has worked as an animator on many Disney films, including “Oliver & Company” and “Captain EO”. He has worked at Disney for seventeen years, and “Mulan” was his directing debut. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and four children.

Anse Tamar Grey “the soul of Little Drummer Girl“ – Anse is the founder of Rabata, an organization dedicated to promoting positive cultural change through creative educational experiences. She is an Islamic scholar and  is a doctoral student in the Leadership, Policy and Administration program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She holds a master’s degree in Curriculum Theory and Instruction, and worked for twenty-five years in the field of education, before moving into the non-profit world.

Shaykha Tamara works as Executive Director for Rabata, building and sustaining its many and varied educational projects including Daybreak Press publishing, the publisher of the award winning book, “The Drummer Girl”.She is also a public speaker often engaged to speak about issues of gender, leadership, Islam, and spirituality; locally, nationally and globally. Her book, Joy Jots: Exercises for a Happy Heart, is in its third print.

Tamara is on the advisory board of Muslim Women’s Association of Chicago and the Muslim Anti-Racism Committee and on the board of the Collegeville Institute ’s Interreligious Fellows Program, working to develop educational programming for faith leaders around social justice issues.

Joint Workshop – Sabrinah Morad and Wen Dee Tan, author and illustrator

Sabrinah Morad grew up under the shadow of mental illness and knows first hand how the topic is not one usually raised openly in Malaysian society.

“Culturally, we live in a fairly superstitious society, where mental illness can be misdiagnosed as [someone] being charmed by black magic or possessed by evil spirits.

Morad’s Grey Bear Days tries to destigmatize this illness  and looks at depression from a child’s perspective.  The book centers around an eight-year-old boy, Little Bee, who must deal with a grey bear who “steals” his mother.

Malaysian illustrator Wen Dee Tan was awarded the first prize at the Sharjah Exhibition For Children’s Books Illustrations 2015, for her work in the picture book “Lili”.

Wen Dee Tan is a graduate of the MA Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Arts, UK. She is a published children’s picture book author and illustrator. Her debut children’s picture book Lili was published in 2015 and has been longlisted for the Kate Greenaway award 2016 and shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2016.  She is the illustrator of “Grey Bear Days”.


Dzameer Dzulkifli is Managing Director and a Co-Founder of Teach For Malaysia. Armed with his M. Eng. (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London, Dzameer is a passionate educational devotee. He truly believes that Teach For Malaysia will be the nurturing ground for future visionary leaders who will enhance Malaysia’s educational and national landscapes.

Prior to founding Teach For Malaysia, Dzameer channeled his enthusiasm and determination as a management consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in 2007, where he played a key role in the implementation of a human capital blueprint for a prominent economic region in Malaysia. As a weekly volunteer teaching Mathematics at the UNHCR Burmese Refugee Education Centre in Kuala Lumpur, his dedication significantly impacted the learning capabilities of the schoolchildren, accelerating their Math progress from a Primary 4-level to a Secondary 2-level within the short period of 9 months.


Saw Teong Hin is an award-winning Malaysian film director, writer and producer with a career of more than 30 years. “Puteri Gunung Ledang”(2004), Teong Hin’s directorial debut, was the first Malaysian submission for The Academy Awards (2004). It was also the first Malaysian film invited to the Venice International Film Festival (2004).

His production company, Real Films, produced the musical tribute to Malaysian superstar Sudirman, “Hoore! Hoore!” (2012) as well as the Penang Hokkien film, “You Mean The World To Me” (2017), one of the most critically acclaimed and successful films of 2017. Real Films also provides production support for international movies filmed in Malaysia, including Ang Lee’s “Lust: Caution”.

Aside from winning the Boh Cameronian award for co-writing the book for “Puteri Gunung Ledang – The Musical”, Teong Hin has directed for the stage, with great success. His theatre directorial credits include the iconic “Emily of Emerald Hill” for The Georgetown Festival (2010), a dance drama “Silat”(2012), an original Istana Budaya musical “Chow Kit Road! Chow Kit Road!” (2013) as well as the stage version of “You Mean The World To Me” (2014) on which the movie is based.

His career reached a new high when he directed the 2017 South East Asian GamesOpening and Closing Ceremonies, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Harith Iskander is a Malaysian actor and comedian. He is considered to be “the Godfather of Stand-Up Comedy” in Malaysia, having also won the Asia’s Best Stand-Up Comedian Award 2014 by Top 10 of Asia Magazine.

He won the Funniest Person in the World competition in December 2016.

Presented by

KL International Arts Festival

Supported by

MOTAC Tourism Malaysia DBKL Visit KL Sept@KL Sky Blue Media
WHW Design JKKN KEN GC Productions Supernewsroom O'Briens Oreo Thin SoCar

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