Rules & Regulations

1. Organisers

The SABA is the joint initiative of The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) and Scholastic Asia. The NBDCS, founded in 1969, promotes reading and literature, and champions literary works of Asians.

Scholastic, founded in 1920, is the largest children's books publisher and distributor in the world. Scholastic continues this successful history by remaining focused on encouraging children to learn to read and love to learn.

2. Eligibility

a) The Author

i. The Scholastic Asian Book Award is awarded every two years to an unpublished manuscript (original or translation) targeted at children aged 6 to 18 years, written by writers of Asian descent, living in Asia, who are 18 years of age and above. For the purpose of this award, Asia comprises the following countries:

1. Afghanistan

18. Jordan

35. Qatar

2. Armenia

19. Kazakhstan

36. Russia

3. Azerbaijan

20. Korea

37. Saudi Arabia

4. Bahrain

21. Kuwait

38. Singapore

5. Bangladesh

22. Kyrgyzstan

39. Sri Lanka

6. Brunei

23. Laos

40. Syria

7. Bhutan

24. Lebanon

41. Taiwan

8. Cambodia

25. Malaysia

42. Tajikistan

9. China

26. Maldives

43. Timor-Leste

10. Cyprus

27. Mongolia

44. Thailand

11. Georgia

28. Myanmar

45. Turkey

12. India

29. Nepal

46. Turkmenistan

13. Indonesia

30. Oman

47. UAE

14. Iran

31. Pakistan

48. Uzbekistan

15. Iraq

32. Palestine

49. Vietnam

16. Israel

33. Papua New Guinea

50. Yemen

17. Japan

34. Philippines


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

b) The Manuscript

  • The manuscript must be unpublished or uncontracted to a publisher until the prize is announced.
  • All submissions must be in English.
  • A chapter book or novel with 6,000 words or more.
  • A short story collection comprising a minimum of six stories, with a total minimum of 6,000 words.
  • Previously published authors can submit unpublished manuscripts.
  • The story must be set in Asia.
  • The work must be original or the translation of an original work.
  • Entries should not be accompanied by illustrations.

c) The Format

  • On the top right-hand corner of the cover page, please specify the word count of the entire manuscript.
  • The title of the entry should be in the middle of the cover page. The beginning of the manuscript should start on a new page.
  • Use Times New Roman font, size 12, double spaced.
  • Margins should be one-inch all around. Identifying information is not necessary.

3. The Prize

  • The judges reserve the right to not award a prize should the entries fail, in the judges’ opinion, to meet the required standard. Judges could also decide not to award the prize to consecutive winners.
  • In the case of translations the prize money will be shared equally by the author and the translator.
  • Scholastic reserves the first right of refusal for publication for the award-winning manuscript and the first and second runners-up.

4. Number of Entries

Limited to ONE (1) submission per writer.

5. Selection

The Book Council will check details concerning the eligibility of the authors and the manuscripts submitted. Only manuscripts of authors 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 winners from amongst the manuscripts submitted by the Council. The judges' decision is final, and no appeals or correspondence will be entertained at any point.

6. Shortlist

The Organizing Committee will announce a shortlist of works considered for the Scholastic Asian Book Award in April 2018. Shortlisted candidates are encouraged to attend the Award Ceremony in May 2018.

7. 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 Singapore in May 2018. Prize winners will be invited for the awards ceremony. Travel and accommodation costs of the Grand Prize winner will be met by Scholastic Asia.

8. The Award

The Scholastic Asian Book Award will be awarded in May 2018, at the AFCC, in Singapore.

9. Media Promotion

The award details will be separately and officially announced in newspapers and other media in all countries, particularly countries in Asia. The details of the award will also be disseminated to interested people and organizations.

10. Conditions of Entry

  • Each entry must include the following:
    • An official entry form, duly filled in.
    • A recent photograph
    • A short biography of the author, and a summary of the manuscript, each not more than 100 words. In case of a translation, the biography of both the author and the translator must be submitted.
  • Entries can be submitted either by the author or translator. In 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.

11. Submission

An acknowledgement column is to be included, as example shown below:


I acknowledge receipt of your manuscript submitted for the Scholastic Asian Book Award 2018. Thank you.

Title of Manuscript: _________________________________  

No of Pages:______



National Book Development Council of Singapore


All entries must be submitted in soft copy and emailed to:

If you do not hear from the National Book Development Council of Singapore within 1 week of submission, kindly contact

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