Young Author Scheme

The Young Author’s Scheme: My First Book

The Young Author’s Scheme is Singapore’s first-ever scheme to train young authors, from as young as eight years old. The benefits that these children have seen personally from this scheme has been amazing – the ability to express themselves when verbal words just don’t suffice, being able to put down personal feelings – love, fears, elation, fantasies and even magic. They learn how to open up and this can not only be therapeutic but also offer a sense of fulfillment.


Young Author Scheme (Junior)

Veteran author Catherine Khoo and her team of published authors will guide and mentor your child to craft his very own story of 3,000 words (intermediate). Since its successful launch in 2003, the Young Author Scheme (YAS) has mentored hundreds of children. Many of its students have seen their own books published as paperbacks or e-books, which are available in all NLB branches. The YAS preludes the annual Young Author Award, supported by MDA, NLB, NBDCS and the Singapore Book Publishers Association.

Young Author Scheme (Advanced)

This programme is NAC endorsed and is entitled to a 50% subsidy. Young Authors will craft a story of 10,000 words or more! They explore in-depth characterization, story structure as well as tools to grip readers right to the last page of their story. The YAS preludes the annual Young Author Award, supported by MDA, NLB, NBDCS and the Singapore Book Publishers Association.

Aspiring Writers & Illustrators Scheme

This interactive programme will get children to discover the creative writers in them. It is also an intensive introduction to composition writing. Aspiring writers will also learn the art of illustrating from a professional artist. The result: a compilation of their stories in a specially-designed volume.



The first of its kind in Singapore, the Young Authors Scheme began in 2003 with a class of 50 students from four primary schools, all wanting to express their ideas in words but are limited to compositions and letter writing. It took an innovative-thinking English Head of Department from Anderson Primary to hit upon a novel approach to spur them on: write a book! But it was to be no ordinary book; it had to be good enough to be published. The cluster called upon the expertise of Catherine Khoo. Could she help these students develop their potential? Never one to refuse a challenge, she dived into the project and stolidly hand-held them into penning their very own creation: a well-crafted story of at least 3,000 words.

Mentor and student will liaise very closely through emails as the story idea takes shape and is developed from first to final draft.The duration of the project: two months for writing English, a boost to their vocabulary, a sense of satisfaction and awe in seeing their name in print.

Most important: each student learns that good writing comes from practice and the ability to persevere.

Objectives & Methodology


Children have a wealth of emotions. How do you draw them out? At the same time, how can they learn as they are sharing?

Storytelling is at once therapeutic and fulfilling. The chance to create opens a whole new world to them. Putting them into words allows them to draw on their imagination, learn new words and enjoy the process of writing.


All students will undergo a five-session writing course where the structure of good writing is taught. A 500-word first draft will be submitted at the last session. All students will be attached to mentors. They will attend coaching and discussion sessions until their story is of publishable standards.


Singapore’s first-ever programme that stimulates and challenges your child to author his/her very own story. Veteran author Catherine Khoo will guide and mentor your child to craft his/her own story of 3,000 words and more. Learn story modelling, characterization and plot development. The result: your child’s very own storybook. See his/her eyes brim with delight and confidence as he/she is presented with his/her own masterpiece!


Young Author’s Workshop

Specialized training in the craft of storywriting


Writing, Coaching, Editing

Young Authors would be writing and improving their drafts. He/She would be working upon suggestions given by his mentor, shaping his/her draft to a final draft.

Pri 3 to Pri 6: minimum required: 3,000 words

Sec 1 to Sec 4: minimum required: 5,000 words


Putting Together the Prelims

Young Authors would complete their book with drawing their own illustrations, writing a blurb, about the author and a dedication. All would be handed over to a professional editor and designer who would put together a book for the Young Author.

Course Schedules

Age Groups
Day Schedule
Time Schedule
Aspiring Writers & Illustrators Scheme (AWIS)
Pri 1 & Pri 2

1st Schedule:
Nov 21 to Nov 25 2016

2nd Schedule:
Nov 28 to Dec 2 2016

3rd Schedule:
Dec 5 to Dec 9 2016

4th Schedule:
Dec 12 to Dec 16 2016

Morning: 09.30am to 12.30 pm

Afternoon: 2pm to 5pm

Young Author Scheme (YAS)
Pri 4 to Pri 6

Former Young Author Scheme graduates: pay 50%

1st Schedule:
Nov 21 to Nov 25 2016

2nd Schedule:
Nov 28 to Dec 2 2016

3rd Schedule:
Dec 5 to Dec 9 2016

4th Schedule:
Dec 12 to Dec 16 2016

Morning: 09.30am to 12.30 pm

Afternoon: 2pm to 5pm

Advanced Young Author Scheme (AYAS)
For P6 to Sec 2 + YAS Graduates

Young Author Scheme Graduates: pay only $500

1st Schedule:
Nov 21 to Nov 25 2016

2nd Schedule:
Nov 28 to Dec 2 2016

3rd Schedule:
Dec 5 to Dec 9 2016

4th Schedule:
Dec 12 to Dec 16 2016

Morning: 09.30am to 12.30 pm

Afternoon: 2pm to 5pm

*Fee cost includes $80 registration fee and textbook

View Larger Map

Office Address: 261 Waterloo Street, Waterloo Centre, #03-08, Singapore 180261 Tel:6336-8985

Workshop Address: Han iP Education Centre, 170 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre #B2-16, S588179 Tel: 6465 6052


What students learn from The Young Author Scheme

It is not easy to write a story of 3,000 to 4,000 words, as initially my story was very short. I had to write more plots, more creative words and phrases. It took a lot of time and in two months, I had finished writing my story. I drew the cover, with the help of my mother, who is skillful in art. I am very proud of my story as I went through a lot to write it. The pain, frustration, satisfaction and fun I went through are written all over it. I feel that I have made an achievement in this challenge. I never dream that I would be an author at this age.

I have learn the techniques of writing different types of genres and how to plan my story. The guidebook has many pages of useful vocabulary, interesting stories and games that are related to writing. The course is interesting and fun and it will be worthwhile for those who love writing to attend it.

Jocelyn Ng, Author of Romeo, Juliet & Fido,
published in Tales of Magic & Fantasy

I just couldn’t believe that I have published my first book! I feel so excited and yet very nervous and worried but proud of what Ive accomplished!

Asmidah Ong, Author of Eeew! Disgusting,
published in Tales of Aliens and Angels

The Young Authors Scheme has taught me how to express myself and my style of writing. However, on the first day, I could not form my story on my theme… I was at my wits end. Somehow, I tried this one idea, Perills Grange, which was one of my most interesting ideas.

The YAS has also trained me up for any kind of rejection. I rejected my own story four times during the first two days!!! I almost went into depression due to frustration. After that, though, I can say I have managed my story quite well. Besides that, I got my inspiration from my craving for ghost stories.

Amol Desai, Author of Perills Grange,
published in Tales of Ghosts & Ghouls

I’ve always loved writing short stories but Ive never written one more than three thousand words, mainly because I cant be bothered to finish them. Now that Ive completed a story of more than 6,000 words, I realize that writing is extremely fun. After I had completed this story, I have written another one and am currently working on the third. It is really fun because you make things up, not someone else, so everything goes exactly the way you want to.This story has taught me that we should accept people for who they are, and not stay away from them because of our differences. Everyone is unique and special, and we should always be friends with one another instead of teasing those different from us. We should try to make friends with everyone around us. You will never know, you and these people might have a lot in common.

Jennifer Yip, Author of Secret Diary,
published in Tales to Warm Your Heart

I think that the Young Authors Scheme was a very brilliant idea. I have benefited in many ways after the project. In addition to that, it has been a great help in my current studies. It has been especially beneficial in my Secondary school subjects like Literature and English. I have been trying to improve on my style of writing, my range of vocabulary words and my uses of phrases and similes since I finished the project. I have also made it a habit to write short stories regularly so as to improve my writing skills. I would have found it impossible to complete a story, ready for publishing, without the proper guidance I had received through the scheme. The Young Authors Scheme also built confidence in me that I could write a book.

Madhumita P., Author of Cravens Murder Mystery,
published in Tales of Aliens & Angels

Aditi V.D., Author of The Chain of Tears,
published in Tales of Magic and Fantasy

Since a very young age, I have been a lover of reading fantasy novels. Soon, it became a passion. From Enid Blyton until Harry Potter, Ive read them all. When I was in Primary 1, I started to think like an author and wrote little stories about baby dragons being lost in the jungle while on the way to school and little pixies and lost treasure. I didn’t write them to be published into a book or anything. I just wrote them because I liked to do so. Just as I loved to read, I started to love to write. To escape, into an imaginary world where anything is possible. Escapism from the daily school-to-home routine, escapism from running life.

Then came a real change. I was selected from school to attend the Young Authors Scheme. It responded to all my aspirations. It taught me to be more expressive and more focused on the plot of the story. It showed me how wide a range of genres there were to choose from.

And most of all, it taught me never – never – to stifle ideas. My vague storylines and plots were brought into sharper relief. I spent many a day wondering what I could write…and then the answer came to me. It was so obvious. I would write what I liked.

After all, enjoying writing the story is the whole point of it. So the evolving process started. I drew out idea after idea. Some of my ideas failed miserably, some seemed ridiculous and some are best not talked about.

But, undaunted, I drew out even more outlandish ideas until I came up with one I hadn’t read anywhere before – one that was mine alone. Sometimes sitting late into the night, I typed out chapters, at times deleting the whole thing because it just wasn’t right. Finally, it was finished. I then sent it to Ms. Khoo and waited for the results. It took one year, but it was so worth it.