Singapore Book Council

The Singapore Book Council (SBC) is an independent charity with IPC status. Established in 1968, as the former National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), SBC aims to Power Our Imagination by developing creativity, imagination, original thought, and empathy. Our programmes focus on creative writing, reading, illustration, translation and storytelling.

The power of words, connecting peoples and cultures.

Our History

Today, the Book Council continues to grow and cultivate Singapore's books and local literary arts scene by organising a variety of festivals, programmes and projects, and managing its own training arm. As a long-time advocate of Asian children’s literature and storytelling, it has also helmed the premier regional Asian Festival of Children’s Content since 2010.

The Book Council is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Major Company Grant from 2022 to 2024.

Our Growth and Development

1968 – 1992

During our founding years to the early nineties, NBDCS set its sights on promoting reading and improving literacy skills with initiatives like the Festival of Books and Book Fair, and the National Reading Month. It was also concerned with the progress and development of good library services in Singapore in its early years.

1992 – 2000

To recognise local literary talent, NBDCS launched Singapore’s top literary award, the Singapore Literature Prize in 1992. The award was initially aimed to promote Singapore literary works in English, but its scope has since expanded to include works in Malay, Chinese and Tamil as well as non-fiction works.

2000 – today

The Singapore Book Council has now expanded its portfolio to be the organiser of six literary awards and the premier Asian Festival of Children’s Content. It continues to cultivate and nurture budding writers, illustrators, publishers and educators by offering them training via the SBC Academy. The Singapore Book Council also promotes Singapore literary talents and their works by sending them to international events such as the London Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, and the New Delhi World Book Fair.

Key Milestones