Open Call for Manuscripts


The Beyond Words programme is commissioned by the National Arts Council to promote the development and growth of children’s literature in Chinese, Malay and Tamil through capability development programmes and support for the publication in print, digital and audio formats of selected manuscripts.

The first edition of Beyond Words in 2014 facilitated the publication of five picture books in Malay and three in Tamil in both print and digital formats.

The 2021-2022 edition of Beyond Words targets books for children aged 8 to 12 years (middle grade books) in Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The project will support the publication of up to six (6) print and e-books in the respective languages. Manuscripts with potential will also be considered for audio books.


The Beyond Words Call for Manuscript is open to both new and established writers working in Chinese, Malay and Tamil and who are Singapore citizens or Singapore permanent residents.

Submission Guidelines

Please read the following guidelines before submission.

  1. Submissions should be the applicant’s original work and should not have been previously published in any form.
  2. Submissions that are under contract with or consideration by another publisher are not eligible.
  3. Submissions should be fictional and appeal to readers aged 8 to 12 years.
  4. The length of the manuscript should be between 7,000 and 25,000 words depending on the age (within the range) being targeted. Please state the word count on the last page of the manuscript.
  5. Submit your manuscript in PDF format with the suggested title and page numbers on every page.
  6. The manuscript should not include the name of the author / applicant. 
  7. All manuscripts should have a 1.5 line spacing or the equivalent and in 12-point Arial or the equivalent. Chinese and Tamil manuscripts should use Unicode fonts.


  1. Manuscripts should be in one language only. This could be either Chinese, Malay or Tamil.
  2. The language should be appropriate for Singaporean readers aged 8 to 12 years.

Number of Entries

  1. Applicants may submit more than one (1) work for this call, provided that each submission is different and not variations of the same work. Each work should be submitted separately.

Closing Date

  1. The closing date for submission to the open call is 6 January 2023, 11.59pm (SGT).
  2. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Announcement of Selected Manuscripts

  1. Successful applicants will be informed in February 2023.
  2. Successful applicants will be required to enter into an agreement with the publisher selected for the Beyond Words project.
  3. Successful applicants will be required to accept media engagements as well as publicity programmes related to the Beyond Words project.

Submission Requirements

All applications would need to be submitted online. Before proceeding to submission, ensure that you have the following details ready for your application:

  1. Personal particulars for the application.
  2. A short biographical data (max 100 words; both in English and Chinese, Malay or Tamil where applicable).
  3. A short synopsis of the manuscript (max 100 words; both in English and Chinese, Malay or Tamil where applicable).
  4. The complete manuscript of in PDF format. Include the suggested title in the header and the page number in the footer of each page.
  5. The manuscript should be in 12-point Arial or the equivalent with a 1.5 line spacing. Chinese and Tamil manuscripts should use Unicode fonts.
  6. The word count. 
Submit Here

NAC and / or SBC reserves the right to amend these rules and regulations without prior notification.