Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award

The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award (HABA) is presented biennially to an outstanding children’s book written by a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident.

Submissions for HABA 2020 are now closed. Creators of shortlisted works will be informed in April.  

Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award

The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award (HABA) is presented biennially to an outstanding children’s book written by a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident.


The closing date is 16 December 2019, 5.00pm (SG time).




The prize carries a cash award of S$10,000, which is to be shared by the creators of the winning work, i.e. author and illustrator. Should the book be in English translation, the award will be shared equally between the author, illustrator, and translator.

Singapore Book Council (SBC) will announce the shortlist of works considered for the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award in April 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend the award ceremony which will take place during the 2020 Asian Festival of Children’s Content (3 - 4 October).

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  1. The award is open to all Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents who are at least 18 years of age. For books with multiple creators (i.e. author, illustrator and translator), at least both the author and illustrator must be Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents.
  2. Books published for general commercial release from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019 are eligible for this award. For translated books, the translation must be published within the above-mentioned time frame.
  3. The award will be given for published fiction works intended for children up to 12 years old. Books belonging to the below categories are eligible for the award:

A book containing illustrations and/or words that present a coherent narrative structure. The book should contain less than 700 words and be no more than 40 pages long. The book is intended for children aged 7 years old and below.

A fiction book for middle-grade readers that present an expanded narrative structure that may or may not contain illustrations. The book should have at least 6,000 words, and is intended for children aged 8 to 12 years old.

  1. Entries submitted can either be published in Singapore or abroad, but must fall between the specified period of publication, i.e. from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019.
  2. Reprints and reissues from previous years are not eligible.

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  1. The closing date for submissions is 16 December 2019, 5.00pm (SG time). Hard copies of the books must reach Singapore Book Council by this date and time. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  2. All entries should be submitted via the online form below.
  3. Entries can be submitted either by any of the creators or publisher.
  4. Applicants may submit more than one entry for the competition provided that the works are different and not variations of the same work.
  5. You will receive a confirmation email upon submission of the online entry form. Please print out the confirmation email and include it with your hard copy submissions.
  6. Four (4) hard copies of each title should accompany each online entry form. One (1) copy of each title will be sent to each judge and will be retained by them. The remaining copy will be retained by SBC for display and promotional purposes. SBC will not be held responsible for any books that are lost or damaged in transit.
  7. Entries not accompanied by hard copy submissions will be considered incomplete and disqualified from judging.
  8. The hard copies of the books should be sent to the following address:

Singapore Book Council
Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Road,
Blk E #03-32,
Singapore 439053

ATTN: Organiser/HABA

Please read the rules and regulations before submitting your entry. 

Rules and Regulations

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All entries must be submitted via the online form:


The following information is required to complete the online form:

  1. Book details (title, no. of pages, year published, ISBN)
  2. Book cover (.jpeg format, 300dpi, at least 1MB)
  3. Publisher’s particulars (mailing address and contact info)
  4. Creators’ particulars (mailing address, contact info and last three digits and letter of NRIC)
  5. Creators’ biographies (in .doc, .docx or .pdf format, 80-100 words per creator)
  6. Creators’ publicity photos (.jpeg format, 300dpi, at least 1 photo per creator, in ZIP file)

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Dr Donna Lim is a lecturer with the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She specialises in primary English Language methodology. Her interest area is in developing literacy with a focus on teaching writing. She has considerable teaching experience with young learners and finds it fulfilling to work with fellow educators to enhance EL teaching and learning. Dr Lim serves as the Chief Judge for HABA 2020. 

Charles Santoso loves drawing little things in his little journal and dreaming about funny, wondrous stories. He gathers inspiration from his childhood memories and curiosities he discovers in his everyday travels. He has illustrated books for publishers in the USA such as Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, Disney Hyperion, Abrams, Bloomsbury, Little Brown and MacMillan. One of the picture book, Ida, Always – written by Caron Levis has received several awards and was mentioned in the New York Times as “an example of children’s books at their best”. He has also illustrated the New York Times bestseller Wishtree book by Katherine Applegate.

Lee Kow Fong (Ah Guo) holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation and Interpretation from Nanyang Technological University and received his MA in Children’s Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University in 2011. Besides teaching part-time at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, he is also actively involved in the promotion and creation of children’s picture books in Singapore. So far, he has published near to 20 books and is now a full-time illustrator.

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HABA submissions open - 25 October 2019
HABA submissions close - 16 December 2019, 5.00pm (SG time).
Announcement of shortlist - April 2020
Announcement of HABA winner at Asian Festival of Children’s Content - 3 - 4 October 2020*

*Details of the award ceremony will be announced closer to AFCC. 

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For more information, please contact [email protected] with the subject "AFCC 2020 HABA Enquiry". 


Mrs Hedwig Anuar was the first Singaporean Director of the National Library of Singapore, a position she held from 1960 until her retirement in 1988. She put in place the foundations of the modern library system in Singapore and made contributions to all aspects of library work. This award recognises her outstanding contribution to children's librarianship and the promotion of books and reading for children.

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Shortlists below are not listed in order of merit:
2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2011

2018 Winners and Shortlist

2015 Winners and Shortlist
The Mango Tree


The Mango Tree
Author: Hidayah Amin
Illustrator: Idris Ali

The Rock and the Bird


The Rock and the Bird
Author: Chew Chia Shao Wei
Illustrator: Anngee Neo

Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight
Author: Su-Lin Ang

Letters to Aly Letters to Aly
Author: Lee-Ann
Not in the Stars Not in the Stars
Author: Pauline Loh
The Travel Diary of Amos Lee: Monkeying in Malaysia! The Travel Diary of Amos Lee: Monkeying in Malaysia!
Author: Adeline Foo
Illustrator: Stephanie Wong
2013 Winners & Shortlist
Where's Grandma


Where’s Grandma?
Author: Edmund Lim 
Illustrator: Tan Zi Xi 

Extraordinary Losers – Operation Pants on Fire Extraordinary Losers – Operation Pants on Fire
Author: Jessica Alejandro
Illustrator: Cherryn Yap
Farrer Park Farrer Park
Author: Ann Peters 
Illustrator: Lydia Yang 
The Mudskipper The Mudskipper
Author: Ovidia Yu
2011 Winners & Shortlists

Judging Committee:
Chairman: Dr. Ken Spillman, Australia 
Dr. Noel Chia Kok Hwee, Singapore 
Ms. Sayoni Basu, India 
Mr. Yusof Gajah, Malaysia 
Ms. Zubaidah Mohsen, Singapore

The awards were presented on 27 May 2011 by H.E. Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Author of The Lost World of Timor-Leste, President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. 

The Book That Was Handed Down


The Book That Was Handed Down
Author: Yixian Quek
Illustrator: Grace Duan Ying 


Bunny Finds The Right Stuff Bunny Finds The Right Stuff
Emily Lim
Monkey Magic –The Curse of Mukada Monkey Magic –The Curse of Mukada
Grant S. Clark  
The Singapore Kid

The Singapore Kid
Jessica Alejandro 


Ten Ten 
Shamini Flint
There’s Soup on My Fly! There’s Soup on My Fly!
David Seow 
I Don’t Want Mei Mei Anymore

I Don’t Want Mei Mei Anymore
Lynn Lee

Rochee The Friendliest Cockroach Rochee The Friendliest Cockroach
Gavin Goo Thiam Chuan 


2015 Shortlist Press Release (208KB pdf)
2013 Detailed Shortlist (Synopsis & Bios) (598KB pdf)
2018 HABA Rules and Regulations (454KB pdf)
2018 HABA ENTRY FORM (61KB pdf)