Winning stories from Marshall Cavendish’s creative writing contest emphasise the importance of having good self-esteem
Singapore, November 12, 2010 – Marshall Cavendish, a member of Times Publishing Limited, today held the Budding Writers Project 2010 prize presentation ceremony and book launch at Chamber at The Arts House. Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Minister of State, Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports, graced the event as its Guest of Honour to celebrate the winners of the creative writing competition for youths. The winning entries this year share a common theme – everyone is unique, and that can be a good thing.
In its eleventh year running, the Budding Writers Project aims to develop the creative talents of students and provide them with the opportunity to get their work published and sold in bookstores, in the hope of inspiring other young writers and artists to do likewise. Through this, the Budding Writers Project also helps to inculcate the love of the English language to the young in Singapore.
2010 Winning Entries Embody the Essence of Budding Writers Project
Both of the Budding Writers Project 2010 winning entries address the topic of recognising self-worth, which is especially pertinent to children who are growing up. The stories generate an awareness of issues such as peer pressure and low self-esteem among children, and encourage them not to be brought down by such problems. In this sense, the winning entries truly demonstrate the spirit of Budding Writers Project – stories by children for children.
Ng Min Qian, Charlene, 10, from Rosyth School, wrote and illustrated “Digit”, which topped the Primary School category. “Digit” tells the story of a little mouse who is constantly taunted for being small and dreams of becoming a hero someday. Eventually, he realises that his weakness can also be his strength. Charlene explains, “I was inspired to write the story when I heard a woman commenting on the height of a fellow schoolmate, who looked very upset upon hearing what was said. With this story, I hope to encourage children to love themselves for who they are and to use their distinctive qualities to their advantage.”
In the Secondary School category, Liew Zhi Xin and Kara Quek Tze-Min authored the winning entry, “Timmy Tiger”, while Quek Tze-Min, Kara, Lim Wan Yan, Dionnis and Sng Aik Woo, Joni drew the accompanying pictures. All of the members in the winning team are from Methodist Girls' School (Secondary) and aged 15. Timmy, a tiger, thinks that he is inferior to others, but what he does not realise is that he has his own unique characteristics. The story follows Timmy’s journey as he learns that everyone is special in their own way.
Kara revealed, “What got me started on this project was the realisation that self-esteem is an issue amongst teenagers today, including my classmates. I found that many of them were getting very self-conscious and had, in the midst of it, adopt a self-defeating attitude. I believe that we do not need to put ourselves down in life. And I want to use this opportunity to remind teenagers to appreciate themselves.”
Lee Fei Chen, Deputy Head of Publishing at Marshall Cavendish Publishing Group, said, “Every year, we see more depth and heart in the entries submitted. This year, the writers have written about pertinent issues that are close to home and are very real in their lives. This competition is not only about discovering writing talents, it is also about recognising young passionate writers who can express their thoughts and experiences impeccably using the English language. The winners have demonstrated creativity and maturity, and with each word and picture, they have represented the feelings, opinions and issues of their generation. Over the years, Marshall Cavendish has proudly published and distributed books by the winners of the Budding Writers Project competition. We are happy to be part of the authorship journey of past winners who have gone on to shine on the international stage.”
10 percent of the proceeds from the sales of the winning books will be donated to I Love Children, a voluntary welfare organisation that aims to promote a society where children are loved and mainstreamed. The prefaces of both books have been endorsed by Joni Ong, President of I Love Children.
Christopher Yaw, Associate Publisher at Marshall Cavendish, and local authors Emily Lim and Judy Ling were the judges for this year’s competition. Christopher has over 15 years of experience in the publishing and editorial industry; Emily was the first in Asia to win three medals at the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards, the world's largest book awards; and Judy writes books and academic texts for children.
Judy, familiar with the panel, remarked, “Children tend to seek acceptance while growing up, and the winning stories stood out because of how easily relatable they were. They were honest, believable and moving.”
From Budding Writers to Published Authors
The winners attended a four-day editorial attachment in late October to better comprehend the full authorship process. The attachment involved a session on pre-publication – editing, illustration and design; a field trip to Times Printers to get a first glimpse of the winning books in print; a lesson by Marshall Cavendish Online on digitising books into e-books and iPhone apps; a session in the recording studio to record voiceovers for the books; training on how to sell and market a book; and a storytelling workshop.
Following the awards ceremony, the winners of Budding Writers Project 2010 will be holding a book signing at Paragon Shopping Centre’s Times bookstore on November 24 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Fei Chen added, “Marshall Cavendish is constantly looking for ways to reinvent the way young people receive educational, enriching reading material. This year, to tie in with the recent popularity of digital and mobile technologies, we are making the e-books available to teachers to encourage them to use the books for frontal teaching. We will also continue to publish the winning entries as iPhone apps to engage readers and learners on the various platforms.”
The winning entries of Budding Writers Project 2010 are now available in print at all leading bookstores, at $8.90 before GST. The iPhone apps will be available in the Books category on the Apple App Store early 2011, while the e-books can be accessed with a password obtained from the Teacher’s Notes via the Marshall Cavendish Teacher’s Portal from 10 December 2010 onwards. The Teacher’s Portal is currently accessible to schools using textbooks published by Marshall Cavendish.
To complete the authorship experience, the winners will also receive royalties from the sales of their books.
To learn more about Budding Writers Project, please visit www.marshallcavendish.com/education/buddingwriters