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Asian Festival of Children’s Content
25–28 May 2023

The submission deadline for SPBA has been extended to 30 November 2023, 5pm (SGT, GMT +8). 

The Scholastic Picture Book Award is the joint initiative of the Singapore Book Council (SBC) and Scholastic Asia.

The objectives of the Scholastic Picture Book Award are as follows:

  • To foster the creation of picture books with Asian content, by Asian writers and illustrators.
  • To promote public awareness of and interest in picture books with Asian content
  • To recognise and award a prize to an excellent picture book with Asian content.

1. Eligibility

a) Entries will be accepted from writers and/or illustrators of Asian descent, living in Asia, who are 18 years of age and above. For the purpose of this award, Asia comprises the following territories:

Afghanistan,Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen

b) The author must not be a salaried employee of, or a family member of a salaried employee of, either the organizer, the Singapore Book Council, or the sponsor, Scholastic Corporation, or any of their subsidiaries.

c) Works created as assignments or coursework for an educational institution or for academic assessment purposes will not be considered eligible.


2. Manuscript Submission 

a) Critieria of the Picture Book: 

  • Should be targeted at children from ages 0 to 6 years.
  • Must be Asian in content.
  • Must be unpublished or uncontracted to a publisher until the prize is announced.
  • All submissions must be in English.
  • Works in languages other than English may be considered if an English translation is submitted with the original text and illustrations.
  • Previously published authors/illustrators can submit unpublished work.
  • The work must be original or the translation of an original work.
  • Maximum word count of 500 words (excluding title, and author and illustrator’s names).


b) All entries must be either:

i) A picture book submission comprising:

  • the full manuscript
  • the book’s first six completed illustrations
  • a storyboard depicting your complete story


ii) A wordless picture book submission comprising:

  • the book’s first six completed illustrations
  • a storyboard depicting your complete story
  • a description of the story you are trying to tell


c) Manuscripts, illustrations, and storyboards are to be submitted via the online submission form.

d) Manuscripts must be in Times Roman font, double-spaced.

e) Illustrations and the storyboard must be in PDF format.


3. Guidelines: 

a) Picture books usually comprise 16 to 48 pages. Each page or double spread should be illustrated.

b) For manuscript-and-illustration entries, the text and pictures should work together to present a coherent and meaningful narrative.

c) Ensure your storyboard tells a coherent story and that your illustrations move the story along and encourage readers to turn the pages.

d) Wordless entries must comprise illustrations that successfully tell a story and convey meaning without the help of text.

e) Moralistic and preachy stories should be avoided.

Materials that are not eligible:

a) Children’s non-fiction, including concept books (letters, numbers, shapes, colours, opposites, time, etc) unless you can introduce these ideas and themes through story.

b) Books targeted at the educational market

c) Colouring books, activity-based books such as trivia and quiz books

d) Instructional, self-help, and personal development books for children


4. Number of Entries

Limited to ONE (1) submission per candidate.


5. The Prize 

a) The best entry will be awarded the Scholastic Picture Book Award and win a prize of SGD$10,000 and a plaque. The winning manuscript will be considered by Scholastic Asia for publication.

b) In the event of the text and illustrations being created by two or more individuals, the prize will be shared.

c) The first and second runners-up will be awarded a plaque and will be offered advice by Scholastic Asia on editing their manuscripts to submit for publication.

d) The judges reserve the right to not award the prize should the entries fail, in the judges’ opinion, to meet the required standards. Judges could also decide not to award the prize to consecutive winners.

e) Scholastic Asia reserves the first right of refusal for publication of the award-winning picture book and the first and second runners-up.

f) The closing date for the 2024 Scholastic Picture Book Award is 30 November 2023, 5:00 pm (Singapore time, GMT +8). The results will be declared in May 2024, at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content.


6. Selection 

SBC will check details concerning the eligibility of the authors and the picture book manuscript submitted. Only manuscripts and illustrations from picture book creators who meet the criteria will be accepted and sent to the judges. An independent panel of three judges, who are experts in the field of children’s books, will select the winner from the manuscripts submitted to SBC. The judges’ decision is final, and no appeals or correspondence will be entertained at any point.

7. Shortlist

The Organising Committee will announce a short list of works considered for the Scholastic Picture Book Award. Shortlisted candidates are encouraged to attend the Award Ceremony at the 2024 Asian Festival of Children’s Content.


8. Award Presentation

The award will be presented at a prize-giving ceremony during the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC), to be held in May 2024. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend the awards ceremony.


9. Rules and Conditions of Entry

Each entry must include the following:

a) A recent photograph for each creator working on the book (1MB, JPG format)

b) A short biography of each creator working on the book, not more than 100 words (in DOC format). In case of a translation, the biography of both the author and the translator must be submitted.

c) The full text manuscript (in DOC format)

d) The book’s first six pages of completed illustrations (in PDF or JPG format)

e) A storyboard depicting your complete story; this can be in sketch or thumbnail format, and not in final art (in PDF or JPG format)

f) A summary of the manuscript, not more than 100 words (in DOC format).

g) Entries can be submitted either by the author or translator. In the case of a translation, the translator must indicate that the author (or his or her estate) is aware of the fact that a translation of the original work is being submitted for the award.

10. Submission

a) All entries must be submitted via the online submission form.

b) If you do not receive confirmation of your submission, please contact [email protected]

c) Entries that fail to comply with any of the above rules and conditions of entry will be disqualified.