Singapore, 4 November 2015 – Marshall Cavendish Education’s annual Budding Writers Project (BWP) was concluded in style on Tuesday evening, with an awards ceremony celebrating the 14th edition of the project as well as the on-going emergence of young literary talent in Singapore.
Launched in 1999 to provide school children aged between 7 and 16 with the opportunity to hone their creative and artistic skills. This year’s edition saw aspiring young writers from 51 primary and secondary schools submit their stories and illustrations to a panel of judges comprising renowned local authors and publishing professionals.
In a very special appearance at the climax of this year’s project, former President of Singapore, Mr S R Nathan presented the Overall Primary School award to Sandy Lim and Daphne Hoh from North Vista Primary School for their book Invasion of the Little Red Dot: Cancelled!; while Calista Chong and Sheryl Gwee of Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary), took home the award for Overall Secondary School for their book 2065?. Both books focus on environmental issues and were judged on imagination, creativity, originality, artistic and textual content as well as commercial appeal.
In conjunction with Singapore’s Jubilee year, entries with a strong local flavour were awarded SG50 bonus points. Additionally a new category in collaboration with the National Environment Agency was included this year, called the Clean & Green Award.
One of the objectives of the Budding Writers Project is to enable winners to blossom into fully fledged authors as their creations are published, enabling them to experience the entire authorship process from start to finish, with a number of former winners going on to achieve literary success.
2001 winner Amanda Chong has gone on to publish other books and 2003 winner Tan Xue Yang subsequently won the Prime Minister’s Book Prize in 2006. 2009 winners, Yuli Steffina and Anya Lee went on to collaborate with renowned children’s author Adeline Foo. Other former laureates have also gone on to win literary awards such as the Commonwealth Essay Competition, Foyle Young Poets Competition, and the Angus Ross Prize.
The Budding Writers Project has also inspired numerous young writers to follow their passion and pursue careers in related fields. One such example is 2002 winner, Ms. Laura Or, who has since taken on editorial and mentoring roles at the NUS Scholars Programme Writing Centre, while maintaining her current position as a secondary school English teacher.
The impact of the Budding Writers Project has also gone beyond the arts and literary scene, as is the case with 2004 winner, Ms. Sharyl Thung. Despite ultimately finding her calling in the field of Science, Ms. Thung benefitted greatly from the exposure gained through the project:
“Budding Writers Project not only gave me a platform to express myself, it gave me the invaluable experience, as a child, of being exposed to the working world and working with professionals. After winning the 2004 Budding Writers Competition, my family members and friends encouraged me to keep writing and drawing, thus I've had very little difficulty in those areas. It provided me with a major boost in confidence and inspired me to delve into different mediums of writing and drawing - digital, canvas, sculpting, poetry, prose, plays and so on. This includes learning new languages - French, Japanese and Chinese - to being able to experience more Art and Science,”
Joy Tan, General Manager of Marshall Cavendish Education, said, “The Budding Writers Project has been a labour of love for us at Marshall Cavendish Education but is also one of the most rewarding projects that we are involved with. In line with our efforts of creating a more interactive and holistic learning environment for our students, we appreciate the importance of giving young writers the means with which to gain valuable learning experiences outside the classroom. In recent years, a number of Singapore writers have gained international recognition, and we hope that, through platforms like the BWP, we continue to grow this pool of future literary talent.”
Mr Tan Wee Hock, Director of 3P Network Division, NEA added: “We all share a collective responsibility for our environment. Young people, who have the biggest stake in a sustainable future, have a crucial role in setting social norms and launching community action. This project empowers more young Singaporeans to shape the narrative for the future in their own words.”
The Budding Writers Project 2015 was launched in April 2015 with the closing date for all entries on 16 July 2015. Details on the Budding Writer’s Project 2015 can be found on Marshall Cavendish Education’s website: http://www.mceducation.com/buddingwriters/