37 winning entries of the inaugural Samsung KidsTime Authors’ Award to be turned into digital apps
Jun 12, 2015

10 June 2015, Singapore – Thirty-seven children author and illustrator teams will have their works turned into digital apps after winning the inaugural Samsung KidsTime Authors’ Award (SKTAA), the first print-to-digital book awards in Southeast Asia.

The results were announced during an awards ceremony of the sixth iteration of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) which ran from the 30th of May to 6th of June 2014.

This is the first joint partnership between Samsung and the NBDCS who organised the operations of the awards including setting the criteria for submissions and judging, selecting and appointing the judges as well as awarding the prizes. The NBDCS also collaborated with various book and literary councils in the ASEAN region to attract submissions to the SKTAA.

SKTAA aims to make ASEAN content written in their respective native languages more accessible to a wider audience. Open to published and unpublished works, the SKTAA received 149 submissions from seven ASEAN countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Myanmar.

Five judges from Malaysia, Myannmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam from the regional and international children’s book publishing industry formed the judging panel for this competition. They were: Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal, Chief Judge and founder of GatheringBooks.org from Singapore; Razin Abdul Rahman, General Manager of Kota Buku Malaysia; Dr Thant Thaw Kaung, prominent publisher and library advocate in Myanmar; Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, award-winning writer and noted children’s book critic in the Philippines; and Vũ Thị Quỳnh Liên, a representative of Kim Dong Publishing House in Vietnam..

Of the 37 winners, six are grand prize winners and 31 are second prize winners. All 37 winning entries will receive a grant of USD $2,000 each to convert their books into digital apps for the Samsung KidsTime platform. Additionally, grand prize winning entries are also awarded an additional USD $2,000 cash prize each.

Samsung KidsTime is a content subscription service optimised for Samsung tablets that provides children aged three to seven years old with access to a carefully curated set of edutainment apps and eBooks, and parents with additional features including personalised children usage reports.

Chief Judge Dr Myra Garces-Bacsal says, “We were pleasantly surprised with the number of entries and the quality of a few of the submissions. We hope that in the next few years, there would be more interest from neighbouring ASEAN countries to send in their manuscripts, as we feel that this award reflects the ever-changing format of books and the many transformations and permutations of narrative and storytelling for children. What made this particular award unique, perhaps, is the fact that the story would be digitised or transformed into an app or mobile-ready format - which is something that we as judges needed to be mindful of.”

Jill Arwen, illustrator of grand prize-winning entry Haluhalo Espesyal says, “This is an opportunity for traditional artists like myself who prefer to draw with pen and paper to get their works converted to digital format; it’s not only for illustrators who are users of graphic programmes such as Photoshop.”

Her writing partner Yvette Fernandez, adds, “More children are being entertained and educated by smart phones and tablets at a young age and it’s only fitting that authors and illustrators get on the digital bandwagon sooner rather than later. The interactivity of the digital medium gives authors and illustrators another dimension to engage our readers, something which can be lacking in print.”

Note to the Editor:
About the AFCC
AFCC grew out of the highly popular, but publishing industry-focused, Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference (ACWIC), which ran from 2000 to 2009. Recognising that in the 21st century children’s content is about more than just books, and, leveraging on the success of ACWIC, NBDCS expanded it to create AFCC. The move proved popular with both industry players and the public; so much so that in the five years since 2010, AFCC has rapidly grown into the foremost professional and trade event for children’s content in Asia.

About the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS)
NBDCS is a non-profit, charitable organisation in Singapore that promotes storytelling, reading, writing, and publishing through a variety of programmes and festivals, including the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, the Singapore International Storytelling Festival, and the All In! Young Writers Media Festival. NBDCS also presents many annual and biennial awards, including the Singapore Literature Prize, the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award for published works, the Scholastic Asian Book Award, and the Scholastic Picture Book Award for unpublished works. Their training arm, the Academy of Literary Arts and Publishing (ALAP) runs publishing-related and literary arts-focused courses and workshops throughout the year.

For more information, please contact:

Adan Jimenez
National Book Development Council (NBDCS)
D +65 6848 8294
M +65 9770 4876 E adan@bookcouncil.sg

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