About the Japanese Association of Writers for Children (JAWC)
◎A summary of the foundation and the organization of JAWC
The Japanese Association of Writers for Children (JAWC) is the association consisting of writers, poets, translators and critics of children’s literature. The JAWC was founded in 1946, the year after the defeat in the Asia-Pacific-War, by people who hoped to create and develop children’s literature for a new age. Now the membership of the JAWC is about 800 and there are 17 branches all over Japan.
We hold the general meeting in every May and we elect board members by voting once every two years. The board manages the JAWC and under the board, there are ten departments: Organization, Bulletins, Editorial, Research, Publishing Planning, Seminars, Copyright, International, Information, Finance, and two committees: Children and Reading, Children and Peace.
◎Activities of the JAWC
We work at researching and protecting copyright for writers, and more, we do various activities for the experts of children’s literature, people who take part in publishing and people who aim to be a writer. Here are our main activities.
【Issuing of the journal “Nihon Jido Bungaku” (Japanese Children’s literature)】
We started to publish the monthly journal “Nihon Jido Bungaku” in 1946, the year of the foundation of JAWC. From 1997, we have been publishing the journal bimonthly. The total number of volumes is over 650. As a central journal covering creation, criticism and research of children’s literature, “Nihon Jido Bungaku” has lead Japanese children’s literature.
【Holding study groups and seminars】
We hold studying groups for our members at the annual general meeting every May, researching meetings of joint review in summer and open seminars in which people in general can participate in autumn. We choose the themes for the seminars from a broad perspective about children and children’s literature and hold them in Tokyo and local areas alternately.
Also we hold lecture style courses, like Jido Bungaku Gakko (Japan Literary School), createive writing seminars and correspondence courses for people who live in distant places. Bungaku Gakko has been held since 1971, and creative writing seminars and correspondence courses have been held since 1985. Many new writers have been born from them.
【Selection of Literature Award and invitation of works】
We select the excellent works and award “Nihon Jido Bungaku Kyokai Sho” from creation, poems and critiques published in the previous year. And we also award the works by new writers (“Nihon Jido Bungakusha Kyokai Sinjin Sho”). Regarding poetry, we present awards for the collections of poems by mainly young new poets (“Mitsukoshi Sachio Shonenshi Sho”).
Besides, for the people who aim to publish their works, we invite long novels, nonfiction works, texts for picture books with publishing companies and send off new talents to society.
◎International exchange activities
We donate the journal “Nihon Jido Bungaku” to the International Youth Library in Munich, the associations and the societies of writers in foreign countries. And we have offered thorough assistance to the biennial convention “Asian Juvenile Literary People’s Convention”, by mainly East Asian literary people of children’s literature from the start.
We publish anthologies for children with cooperation of writers within and outside the JAWC every year. We presented anthologies and books signed by authors for elementary schools and junior high schools all over Japan that applied for them in 2021, at the 75th anniversary of the JAWC.
Also we have issued public statements for the crisis of children’s rights and peace as the association of children’s literature.