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Budding Writers Project 2012 Shines Spotlight On Young Local Talents

Singapore, 1 June 2012 – Talented young local writers were conferred due recognition at the 2012 Budding Writers Project Award Ceremony, with Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts & Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, as the Guest of Honour. Now in its twelfth edition, the Marshall Cavendish Budding Writers Project continues to be the leading platform in Singapore for children to express their creativity through writing and drawing, as well as an unique opportunity to get their work published.

10-year old Kho Chen Kai emerged as the proud winner of the Budding Writers Project 2012. The Primary 5 student from Kranji Primary School was triumphant over 20 other finalists with his timely and environmentally themed submission, The Three Sad Mice. 
The Three Sad Mice tells the tale of the titular characters who embark on an adventure to seek a safe haven after their countryside of lush meadows and hills was destroyed in the name of development. The story seemingly simple on surface had surprisingly mature undertones. In addition to deforestation and urban pollution, the environmental allegory touched on the whole spectrum of local environmental issues like SARS, bird flu, mosquito-related diseases. The judges were won over by the wisdom and wit of the author beyond his years.

The young winner secured an attachment stint with Times Publishing Limited that offered the invaluable exposure to the end-to-end publishing process of his book - from designing and illustrating to printing. The attachment stint culminates with his very first book launch at the Award Ceremony where he fielded questions from the media and autographed his book for some fans including the Guest of Honour Ms Grace Fu, as well as to some lucky buyers. Underpinning the environmental theme this year, the winning book was printed on environmentally-friendly paper and published as an e-book as well.

Other notable awards include the Most Creative and Original Work for the book Danger in Dreamland by Ho Cheng En Billy, Teo Ning Xuan Licia, Ning Jia Jia, Liou Siyun Jaslyn from Jiemin Primary School. The Most Supporting School Award went to New Town Primary School. Rising to its prestige, a group of young students from the school enlivened the Award Ceremony with a charming and endearing performance.

Judging the competition this year were Ms Tan See Keen, former subject head of English Literature and curriculum developer at the Ministry of Education; Mr Desmond Kon, who is trained in Stanford and Harvard Universities and has been published in over 100 literary journals; and Ms Joy Tan, the General Manager of Marshall Cavendish, with over 18 years of experience in the educational publishing industry.

Said Ms Joy Tan: “It is crucial to cultivate talent from young. It is in the formative years that sparks of imagination can most effectively be stoked into a fiery genius. This is one of the main reasons we hold the competition year after year. We want to encourage young talented writers to express their creativity, feelings and opinions through prose and picture and nurture them to be their best.”

Some of the past winners of the Budding Writers Project have gone on to achieve greater literary successes both locally and internationally: Amanda Chong and Tan Xue Yang, winners of Budding Writers 2003 went on to win the 2006 Prime Minister’s Book Prize. Recently, Stefina and Anya Lee have also worked with Miss Adeline Foo, author of children’s books.

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