Time to pick UP the PEN and start writing!

Pen children’s bilingual stories in English and Malay for Singaporean kids. Winners will win gifts and #BuySingLit vouchers. Who knows, your story could be published too!

We are looking for the following:

  1. Children’s Picture Books (bilingual Malay-English)
  2. Early Chapter Books  (Malay Language only)

Open to:

  • Students : 13-24 years old (your teacher, head of  department or principal must approve your submission)
  • Individuals : No age limit
  • Singaporean or PR


  1. It is an original story.
  2. It has not been published elsewhere including social media or blogs.
  3. It should portray some elements of Singapore or Malay culture or multiculturalism.
  4. Each submission should have one or maximum two authors.

Children’s Picture Books (bilingual Malay-English)

  1. Each story should be about 300-500 words in one language. In total, there will be 600-1000 words in both languages.
  2. A good story has interesting character or character(s) with simple and yet creative plot.
  3. It can be rhyming and rhythmic. Even if it may not rhyme, it should be rhythmic.
  4. It is fun and engaging for young children aged up to 7 years when it is being read to.
  5. Some sketches of the illustration will help us to understand the story better. It will be good if you can work with art/graphic students or up and coming illustrators to submit sketches of 2-3 pages of your story. Alternatively, show us samples of published books so that we can envision your story.
  6. Edit your story for grammar and structure before submitting.
  7. Email your manuscript (word document only, NOT pdf) and sketches (jpeg) to info@ungupen.com before 9 February 2018

Early Chapter Books (Malay Language only)

  1. As the name implies, it should have several short chapters with interesting character(s) and plot development. We are looking at 5-8 short chapters.
  2. It should be between 1000-2000 words.
  3. Suitable for independent readers from 7-12 years of age.
  4. Wit and humour will engage these readers. Make your story interesting – fun or funny or out of this world and yet able to capture some elements of Singapore and/or multiculturalism.
  5. Where possible, include a dash of juicy words (perkataan enak), collective nouns (penjodoh bilangan), idioms (simpulan bahasa), and proverbs (peribahasa) etc.
  6. Edit your story for grammar and style before submitting.

Submission of Manuscript: 

  1. Your manuscript must include the title and your full names and BC or IC numbers.
  2. It should be written in 12 pt Arial and double spaced.
  3. It should be submitted in MS word doc only (NOT PDF) and sketches (jpeg only) ON OR BEFORE 9 FEBRUARY 2018, by 5pm
  4. For students, your IC (teacher, HOD or principal) should be cc-ed in the emails
  5. Submit to info@ungupen.com
  6. All manuscripts will not be returned.
  7. Winners of Pen UP! will be announced between 9-11 March 2018 on social media or at a suitable event/venue.
  8. All decisions made by our judges and Ungu Pen will be final, and enquiries regarding outcomes will not be entertained.
  9. Winning stories or stories that are selected for publishing in the future will be edited in mutual consultation with authors.


Download the Application Form now: 

Pen UP Application Form

Fill up the Application Form and submit together with your story to info@ungupen.com

All the best!

For any other enquiries on taking part, email info@ungupen.com

We reserve the right to amend the terms and conditions as we deem fit. Please check back regularly. Last Updated 26 Jan 2018 at 11:06pm.