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Marshall Cavendish Looks to Singapore's Young Writers for Thought-provoking and Creative Published Works

"Last night when my mother kissed me, little did I know, that come daybreak I would be gone, taken away from home..."
From Dayo's Song, by 15 and 13-year old Naomi Goh and Rebecca Goh, Winning Work, 2005 

"The villagers carelessly threw the rubbish into heaps... as high as Mount Everest and wider than forty elephants joined together..." 
From The Rubbish Problem, by 10-year old Lee Wei Jie, Winning Work, 2005

25 April 2006, Singapore - Budding Writers is back this year seeking young writers below the age of 16 to bring their interesting stories to publish. 

Judging from submissions in the past Budding Writers Projects, Singapore youths are showing concerns to social issues through the various social awareness activities taken on by local schools and community development agencies. Selected from more than 400 literary entries by primary and secondary school students, the two winning works from last year's competition focused on the social issues of child slavery and environmental protection. They were among the increasing number of submissions exploring similar global problems in their writings. 

This year, Marshall Cavendish hopes that they will receive more similarly thought-provoking entries in their annual creative writing competition, where submissions of writings must be accompanied by illustrations. The two winning works will then be published into books.

" Singapore's young writers have gone beyond the regular fare of teenage angst, relationship problems and fairy tales to produce inspiring and memorable works, based on the submissions we had received the past few years. We invite young aspiring authors to explore their feelings and ideas of any topic that deeply interests them through the Budding Writers Project, given that it is free of a theme and accepts any genre of writing - be it poetry, prose or a play. Like Naomi, Rebecca, Wei Jie and other past winners, we encourage young authors to produce works that they feel strongly about and not just because of the potential publishing contract ," said Elsa Tan, Group Publisher, Marshall Cavendish International (Singapore). She added, " The emotive element is important as it is transferred to the writing, giving it a distinctive flavour from the other submissions. "

11-year old Lee Wei Jie, one of the winners for 2005, was riled by the mess near his Jurong West home. Wei Jie commented about The Rubbish Problem , which he wrote and illustrated, " At the end of the book, I would like readers to realise the importance of the three R's: Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. And overall that means conserving vital land space and precious resources. That's not just for Singapore, but for the whole world." Wei Jie relied on his text books and health education lessons for the book's research.

"Children in other countries aren't as lucky as us. I feel that other children should know about the lives of unfortunate children around the world and that they should not take their freedom for granted ," said 15 year-old Naomi Goh, who put together the winning poem , Dayo's Song, with her 13 year-old sister. She was inspired by a workshop organised by World Bank Youth Group on human rights where she was horrified to learn about child slavery in Africa.

The Budding Writers Project 2006 is organised by Marshall Cavendish, in collaboration with the National Library Board and National Book Development Council of Singapore. Started in 1999, the international publisher aims to encourage young people here to develop their creative writing and artistic skills. In publishing the works of students, Marshall Cavendish hopes that other aspiring writers and artists will be encouraged to work towards seeing their own works in print.

Submission Criteria 
The Budding Writers Project accepts all forms of writing, where works can be submitted as an individual or a team. As the Project promotes works for children, the reading level of the submitted entries should cater to children no older than 14 years of age. All entries must be made through the school and reach Marshall Cavendish by 9 June 2006, after which a panel of reviewers will select two winners for the Best Works award. Winners will then have the opportunity to publish their entries into books. The reviewers will also select the Best Illustrated Work, 18 Top Finalists and the Best Supporting School, who will receive prizes and certificates. 

Learning By Doing 
Besides receiving royalties for the sale of every copy of their published book, more importantly, winners will undergo a comprehensive learning process at Marshall Cavendish on editing, book design, illustration, printing and marketing. They will also work side by side with book editors, illustrators and the marketing team to add the finishing touches to their book, as well as to understand the entire publishing process. 

Panel of Reviewers 
The panel of reviewers are Mrs Carmee Lim, Vice-President of International Programme, Informatics Holdings Limited; Ms Cheah Yin Mee, Principal Consultant of Learning Ventures; Ms Paramita Bandaras, a retired Principal; and Mr Einstein Kristiansen, Head of Cartoon, Earthtree Pte Ltd. 

To obtain details and entry forms for the Budding Writers Project, please visit www.marshallcavendish.com/education/buddingwriters. Rules and regulations for the competition are attached here as a PDF file. 

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