The 2014 Scholastic Asian Book Award Shortlist was announced this morning at the 2014 Asian Festival of Children's Content Press Conference! These five authors have been chosen as having written the five best stories this year, and we congratulate them heartily! You will no doubt be hearing more about them in the coming months, but let us introduce them to you here:
Although Aditi’s professional experience has been entirely in the field of finance and quantitative finance, she has always been passionate about literature. She published her previous novel A Whole Summer Long in India in September 2012. She has a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Madras, and is currently reading Law at the University of London.
Kalban is a young sorcerer apprenticed to Paras, the greatest sorcerer of his age. His foster-sister Meenakshi is set to become the greatest sorceress of her generation. Though they don’t get along very well thanks to her lack of interpersonal skills, they must work together when Kalban’s friend Avi hears strange noises at the Royal Academy of Science, Art and Magic, and a Celestial Dancer comes down from Heaven to deal with it.
Catherine Torres is a diplomat and writer who has been posted to India and Singapore, and is now based in Manila. Her works have appeared in journals and anthologies in the Philippines, Singapore and the United States, such as Flyway, Escape Into Life, Motherhood Statements, and Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction. She also translates Korean works into English with her husband, Sohn Suk Joo, a Korean scholar.
When vagabond child Sula is expelled from high school, she finds safe harbour in James, a music student disowned by his father for his radical ideas. However, Sula flees to Mindoro with her mom when he breaks a promise. But when James meets a serious accident, she must decide if she is ready to go on a perilous voyage to save him and discover her true origins.
THIA SHI MIN
Thia Shi Min graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a B.A. (Hons) in Literature in 2012. She is interested in history, mythology and current events. She has been published in two anthologies of flash fiction, The Ayam Curtain and Twenty-Four Flavours: Sushi, as well as the online Asian literary journal Cha.
DRAGONHEARTED: THE FINE SPELL OF WORDS ALONE
Ten-year-old Xin Long likes wushu, her best friend Shu Ping, and her Ah Ma’s stories. But when these stories suggest that Xin Long has to defeat the all-powerful Nian, she is scared stiff. With the help of her family, friends, and her dragon guardian Xiao Lan, Xin Long realizes that she has to do all she can to prevent the world’s balance from being disrupted.
Sophia Lee is a Creative Writing MA student studying fiction writing at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. She received a fellowship for fiction writing at the 52nd Silliman National Writers Workshop, the longest-running writing workshop in Asia. She is also a member of the group Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting (Storytellers for Children).
WHAT THINGS MEAN
Olive struggles to understand why she’s so different from her family. She closely resembles a father she has never known, and about whom her mother never speaks. Olive believes that if she could only know her father, she would understand who she is and her place in the world. When she learns the truth, she realizes that she gives meaning to the world, not the other way around.
Vivek Bhanot is a chartered accountant by training, and the last twenty years have been a journey of figures and numbers in the corporate world. Writing has given him new wings to soar into a new world of imagination and creativity. He lives in Mumbai with his wife and son, and had a story shortlisted in the 2012 Pomegranate Short Story competition.
ROBIN AND THE CASE OF THE SUMMER CAMP KIDNAPPING
Four children embark on a perilous mission to find a girl kidnapped from their summer camp in Panchgani, India. When they find a link between the kidnapping and a camp instructor, they discover a mansion housing a gang of international spies. A string of unexpected events at the mansion ultimately leads the children to the source of the mystery!
Again, our congratulations to all five shortlisted authors! The winner will be announced during the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 AFCC on 30 May. The winner will receive a cash prize of S$10,000 and will be published by Scholastic Asia. If you would like to know more about the Award, please visit the SABA microsite or contact us at [email protected].