Filipino writers win top honors in the 2014 Scholastic Asian Book Award


The results of the 2014 Scholastic Asian Book Award were announced during the Awards Presentation Ceremony on 30 May 2014, in conjunction with the launch of the 2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Content at the Singapore National Library Building.

The award was presented by Mr. Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Minister of Culture, Community and Youth.

Winners of the 2014 Scholastic Asian Book Award are:

  • Grand Prize Winner: SOPHIA MARIE LEE from the Philippines for her story entitled WHAT THINGS MEAN
  • 1st Runner-up: CATHERINE TORRES from the Philippines for her story entitled SULA’S VOYAGE
  • 2nd Runner-up: VIVEK BHANOT from India for his story entitled ROBIN AND THE CASE OF THE SUMMER CAMP KIDNAPPING

The Scholastic Asian Book Award is a biennial search for new Asian children stories that is written in English. Sponsored by Scholastic and organized by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) since 2011, the objectives of the award are as follows:

  • To recognise excellence in fiction in Asian stories for children
  • To showcase the diversity of literary talent within Asia
  • To encourage and inspire more books and stories with Asian content

Entries received were judged by an international panel of literary experts and renowned authors which was led by Sayoni Basu (India) as head judge, and comprised of Ken Spillman (Australia), Marjorie Coughlan (Canada), Sarah Odedina (United Kingdom), Wanitcha Sumanat (Thailand).

“We [the judges] were pleasantly surprised with the high quality in the manuscripts submitted this year, which demonstrated greater depth and diversity in their stories, and more sophistication in writing craft as compared to previous years. The universality of the themes will enable all children in Asia and across the world to identify with the stories”, said Sayoni Basu.

The award carries a cash prize of SGD 10,000 and is awarded to an unpublished manuscript or translation of an original work in English targeted at children aged 6 to 18 years. The winning entry will be published by Scholastic. Selected shortlisted entries will also be considered for publication. Scholastic has published six stories that were discovered via SABA of past years. They are:

  • Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami
  • The Girl Mechanic from Wanzhou by Marjorie Sayer
  • The Mudskipper by Ovidia Yu
  • Bungee Cord Hair by Ching Yeung Russell
  • Not In The Stars by Pauline Loh
  • Hidden In Plain Sight by Ang Su-Lin

“Asia is so rich and diverse in its history and culture; there are so many experiences and stories to tell. However, most of these stories are passed on by word-of-mouth, very little is published and distributed globally. I grew up surrounded by books, but there were mainly stories of western children, of their family and friends, and of their adventures in their neck of the woods. Asian children deserves to have a rich legacy of stories that celebrates their Asian heritage and their coming-of-age experiences. The Scholastic Asian Book Award is one of our long-term projects to support development of Asia children literary landscape and we are so pleased to find a partner in NBDCS who also champions the same cause,” said Selina Lee, Director of Scholastic in Asia.

The 2016 Scholastic Asian Book Award is now open and entries must be sent in by September 1st, 2015. Details and the Entry Form are available at

About Scholastic
Scholastic Inc. is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. For over 90 years, Scholastic has been providing quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, classroom and parenting magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys.

About the NBDCS
The National Book Development Council of Singapore is a non-profit charitable institution founded in 1969. The Book Council’s objective is to establish and develop Singapore as the Asian centre for publishing and literary arts.

PR courtesy of Scholastic Philippines

Congratulations, everyone! 🙂

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