National Library Board and Reader's Digest Asia Announce Winners of Youth Writers Awards 2010

Release Date : 01 Feb 2010

Held in celebration of Singapore 2010, the short story writing competition aimed to impart the spirit of sportsmanship and cultivate a love for writing and reading among Asian youths

SINGAPORE, 1 February 2010 - The National Library Board (NLB) and Reader's Digest Asia jointly announced the winners of the Youth Writers Awards Asia 2010 today. Held in celebration of Singapore 2010, the short story writing competition aimed to instil a spirit of sportsmanship and cultivate a love for writing and reading among youths in Asia, as well as create a common topic for their discussion and exchange of ideas. The Asia-wide competition, targeting at youths aged between 13 and 17 years, was organised as part of READ! Singapore, a nation-wide reading initiative by the NLB to promote the culture of reading fiction among the community.


Over 1,200 entries received from all over Asia

Participants had to submit an original short story, either fictional or non-fictional, between 500 and 800 words in English on the theme of 'Dare to Dream: Stories of Imagination, Passion and Sporting Excellence'. Participants had to write about the nature of one's dreams, passion and joy relating to sports, as well as explore values relating to sportsmanship, such as friendship, the will to go the extra mile, honesty, fair play, hard work and respect for everyone regardless of their differences, in their writing. Over 1,200 entries were received from countries all over Asia including China (and Hong Kong), India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam

The submitted entries were assessed by a panel of judges comprising representatives from Reader's Digest and the READ! Singapore Steering Committee. The participants were judged on their ability to depict the nature of one's love and passion for sports, the use of specific details to demonstrate sportsmanship, clarity in the expression of their feelings and thoughts, their writing skills and style, and whether the plot of their story was engaging and coherent.

Associate Professor Kirpal Singh, one of the judges and a member of READ! Singapore Steering Committee, commented, “Overall, I am impressed with the quality of the submitted entries. This competition has helped to uncover many aspiring writers in Asia and I see a lot of potential from the works received. I hope that this competition has motivated all the young writers out there to continue to write and hone their literary skills.”


Two of the top five winners are from Singapore

 The top five winners aged between 14 to 16 years hail from Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Thailand, with two of them from Singapore. The judges have also selected 25 merit winners who will each receive a Reader's Digest book. All 30 winning entries will be compiled and published into a special anthology.

Ms Dora Cheok, another judge of the Youth Writers Awards and Editor of Reader's Digest Asia, said, “The top five entries are very diverse in content and writing style. We've got stories about pole vaulting, judo and basketball amongst others, one even written in verse! But all five have one thing in common – a passion and love for the sport they're writing about. And that's what makes these essays stand out from the rest”.

“Like sports, participants should not just see this writing competition as just about competing and winning, but also about learning from the rest of the youths in Asia and applying the values of sportsmanship in their lives. We believe that the publication of the winning short stories would inspire youths in general to continue to reach for greater heights in all aspects of their lives, be it sports or otherwise,” said Dr N Varaprasad, Chief Executive, NLB.