About Beyond Words

Beyond Words (BW) is a capability development programme commissioned by the National Arts Council (NAC) to promote the development and growth of children’s literature in Singapore’s mother tongue languages: Chinese, Malay and Tamil (CMT).

The first round of BW was first commissioned by NAC in 2014, and facilitated the publication of five picture books in Malay and three in Tamil, including digital editions of these books.

BW2021 will take place from 2021 to 2024, with a focus on developing middle grade (MG) books and young adult (YA) books in CMT. BW2021 is targeted at emerging writers in MG and YA genres, and consists of talks, workshops and a mentorship programme, where the manuscripts for their books will be developed. Suitable manuscripts from each language will be selected for publication. The published manuscripts will also be considered for publication in digital and audio formats.

BW2021 will be rolled out in different stages starting with:

1) Public talks by renowned publishers about the international middle grade scene;

2) Panel discussions in Chinese, Malay and Tamil with professional children book writers from Singapore and the region to provide a better understanding of current book publishing trends and issues in the respective languages;

3) Workshops to develop writing skills of aspiring and new authors for middle grade books in Chinese, Malay and Tamil;

4) Mentorships to help writers further refine their manuscripts for potential publication and

5) Publication support of selected manuscripts in print, digital and audio format.