Friday, May 22, 2015Friday, May 22, 2015

Scholastic Asian Book Award winners draw on memories

Scholastic Asian Book Award winners draw on their memories while writing their stories

Published on Aug 17, 2014 11:39 PM

Newly arrived in Hong Kong in the 1960s, Chinese-American writer Ching Yeung Russell was bullied for her "communist" ties and rural accent. But this led her to find solace in writing and scoop the Singapore-administered Scholastic Asian Book Award in 2012 with the near-autobiographical Bungee Cord Hair, which has just reached stores here.

The biennial award sponsored by the Asian arm of publishing giant Scholastic is among the richest regional prizes for unpublished works of children's fiction, offering a $10,000 first prize as well as giving the runners- up a chance to be published.

The winning manuscripts from two years ago, including two written by Singaporeans Su-Lin Ang and Pauline Loh, were launched in Singapore in June, even as another $10,000 top prize was awarded to Filipina Sophia Lee for a book due out in 2016.

The books by Russell, Ang and Loh came out a few months to a year earlier in India. Their titles have so far sold between 400 and 600 copies each.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!