Neilson Hays Young Writers Awards 2017




In December 2016, Neilson Hays Library launched its inaugural Neilson Hays Young Writers Awards by inviting students ages 10-18 to submit illustrated children’s picture books or short stories in English in a children’s writing competition.

For the first year, the theme of the contest was “Hope” and out of the 178 entries received, 17 entries were shortlisted and their creators were invited to attend a Finalist Workshop in March 2017, where professional writers and illustrators critiqued the students’ works. 

And now, the Library has announced the winners at the Final Awards ceremony on 10 June at the British Club Bangkok, on Silom Rd., where winners’ certificates were presented by Khun Ngarmpun Vejjajiva and Asst. Prof. Onchuma Yuthavong, who were among the 10 judges of the competition, as well as Ms. Ayesha Rekhi, Political Counsellor at Embassy of Canada and representative of the Canadian Ambassador, H.E. Donica Pottie. At the ceremony, excerpts of the winning entries were also read by Khun Cindy Sirinya Bishop and Khun Noi Krissada Clapp.

Khun Nalin Vanasin, President of the Neilson Hays Library, said, “This contest exceeded our expectations, not only in terms of the number of entries we received, but also in the levels of enthusiasm extended to us– from all the contestants who worked so hard to submit such quality works, and from the volunteers, judges and sponsors whose support and encouragement overwhelmed us. To all involved, we express our sincere thanks.”


The winners of the 5 categories, plus a special Ambassador’s Selection Award from the Embassy of Canada, are as follows. At the ceremony, they received certificates and 10,000 baht prize per category:

A. Original picture books 12 years and under (12 pages, 300 words),  Thai/Bilingual Schools

First Place: ‘The Story of Hope’ by Pattaranan Ritwichai from Plearnpattana School

B. Original picture books 12 years and under (12 pages, 300 words), International Schools

First Place: ‘Hope’ by Anchalina Sachdev and Seo-Yeon Lee from Bangkok International Preparatory and Secondary School (Bangkok Prep International School)

C. Original picture books 16 years and under (16 pages, 500 words), Thai/Bilingual Schools

First Place: ‘Pookan Painted’ by Titaya Punyaratabandhu from Satit Kaset International Program

D. Original picture books 16 years and under (16 pages, 500 words), International Schools

First Place: ‘When the Big Men Came’ by Emmy Mills from International Community School and Bethan McClean St. Andrews International School (Sukumvit 107)

E. Original short story 18 years and under (800-1,000 words) – All schools

First Place: ‘The Saxophone Man’ by Aanya Oswal-Monteiro from NIST International School

F. Special Prize: Ambassador’s Selection Award from the Embassy of Canada for excellent story with an environmental theme

‘Lamplighter’ by Ganpicha Sahasakul from NIST International School


The judges for the competition were as follows:

  1. M.R. Narisa Chakrabongse, author, publisher, and environmentalist
  2. Khunying Chamnongsri Hanchanlash, writer and translator
  3. Asst. Prof. Onchuma Yuthavong, writer, director, producer and associate professor of drama
  4. Khun Ngarmpun Vejjajiva, S.E.A. Write Award-winning author of The Happiness of Kati
  5. Asst. Prof. Chaiporn Panichrutiwong, director and animator, Yak: The Giant King
  6. Emma Larkin, journalist and author of Finding George Orwell in Burma
  7. Janice Santikarn, author of The Little Blue Tuk-Tuk, Koko the Monkey; Lost in Bangkok, and more
  8. Pieretta Dawn, author, Thailand’s Writer’s Hall of Famer
  9. Kathy MacLeod, cartoonist, graphic novelist
  10. Thanan Lilaonitkul, Consultant and founder of Creative District


With support from Muang Thai Life Assurance PCL, River Books, Chakrabongse Villas, Kids Academy International School, DHA Siamwalla, The British Club Bangkok, and Little Pea.



Young Writers Awards


Dear Young Writers, 

The jury has read through all your stories and there were many excellent entries, while others showed great potential. Unfortunately, we could only select a handful for the final round, so if you were not selected, please do not be disappointed—your greatest work is still ahead of you. The Neilson Hays Young Writers Awards 2017 would like to thank everybody for participating and hope to read more of your stories in the future!

Here are the entries that have been selected for the final round. Congratulations to all finalists!

Category A. Picture books by 12 years and under Thai/Bilingual schools
Laam Pijitbandan and Sasathorn Sathitpharanchai, “Wave”
Pinmookda Tongsiri, “I hope My Face Will…”
Pattaranan Ritwichai, “The Story of Hope”

Category B. Picture books by 12 years and under International schools
Amanda Ljungberg, “Hope (Dog)”
A. Sachdev and S.Y. Lee, “Hope (Syria)”
Purichaya Sosakul, “Adventure to Hope”

Category C. Picture books by 16 years and under Thai/Bilingual schools
Titaya Punyaratabandhu, “Pookan Painted”
Arisa Sittichokkananch, Tanatat Apiwessa, and Pornnapas Rittiwut, “Chao Guay and His Master”
Prichawarin Mikael Wright, “The Metal Mercenary”

Category D. Picture books by 16 years and under International schools
Thararak Raktabutr, “Oh Kind Lord”
B. McClean and E. Mills, “When the Big Men Came”
O. Skuntanaga, “The Project”

Category E. Short Story by 18 years and under  
Aanya Oswal-Monteiro, “The Saxophone Man”
Mint Nathijaphan Sathitthirakul, “1000 Clouded Yellows”
G. Sashasakul, “Lamplighter”
Sirin Jitklongsub, “The Darkest of Times”
S. Spence, “Black Silence”




‘Neilson Hays Young Writers Awards’ invites students ages 10-18 to submit illustrated children’s picture books or short stories in English to our inaugural children’s writing competition.

In this competition, aspiring young writers and illustrators in the final round will be invited to participate in a workshop at Chakrabongse Villa, where published writers and illustrators will critique and coach the students on their works. Judges and workshop coaches include:

  • M.R. Narisa Chakrabongse, author, publisher, and environmentalist
  • Dr. Onchuma Yuthavong, writer, director, producer and associate professor of drama
  • Asst. Prof. Chaiporn Panichrutiwong, director and animator, Yak: The Giant King
  • Emma Larkin, journalist and author of Finding George Orwell in Burma
  • Janice Santikarn, author of The Little Blue Tuk-Tuk, Koko the Monkey; Lost in Bangkok, and more
  • Pieretta Dawn, author, Thailand’s Writer’s Hall of Famer
  • Kathy MacLeod, cartoonist, graphic novelist
  • Khun Ngarmphan Vejjajiva, S.E.A. Write Award-winning author of The Happiness of Kati
  • Khunying Chamnongsri Hanchanlash, writer and translator
  • Alisa Tang, award-winning journalist at Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Khun Nitta Chinalai, illustrator and publisher

Winners will be presented certificates and a cash prize of 10,000 baht per category.



Theme: “Hope”

Contest categories:
A. Original picture books by 12 years and under (12 pages, 300 words), Thai/Bilingual schools
B. Original picture books by 12 years and under (12 pages, 300 words), International schools
C. Original picture books by 16 years and under (16 pages, 500 words), Thai/Bilingual schools
D. Original picture books by 16 years and under (16 pages, 500 words), International schools
E. Original short story by 18 years and under (800-1,000 words), all schools

Key Dates:

Submission deadline; No later than February 28, 2017
Finalists’ Workshop; 3 finalist teams for each category will be invited for a workshop with published authors and illustrators in March 2017.
Awards ceremony; The final awards ceremony will take place in June 2017.

Submission mechanics:

1. ONE hard copy should be sent via registered mail or by hand to:

Neilson Hays Young Writers Awards
Neilson Hays Library
195 Surawongse Road,
Si Phraya, Bangrak,
Bangkok 10500
Telephone: 02-233-1731

Categories A-D: Picture book mock-up no larger than A4 size
Category E: Typed, double-space, font size 13 on A4 size paper

2. ONE electronic copy of the work in PDF file should also be sent to For categories A-D, please send a single PDF file per entry, otherwise your work may be disqualified.

3. An entry form + 500 baht fee is required per entry upon submission. Receipt or payment record must be included in the submission packet. (see instructions on the entry form)

4. Deadline: 28 February, 2017


  • All works must be original and will be checked for plagiarism.
  • Entries should not have been previously published (online postings should be removed prior to submission).
  • For categories A-D, individuals or teams of up to 3 students may submit one entry to each category. Category E is individual work.
  • Peer editing is allowed (in the same grade or younger).
  • No adult assistance with the following exception: parents/teachers/older siblings are welcome to type out the work of younger writers, but should not make corrections other than spelling mistakes for the sake of comprehension, The texts for picture books can be hand written. Minor grammatical mistakes shall not be penalized.
  • Please retain a copy of all works submitted as we are not able to return anything.
  • Entries will be judged on creativity, story-telling flair, and use of effective illustration (for picture books).


  • 1st prize – 10,000 baht cash prize per category, regardless of the number of team members. Winners will also receive certificates from the library.
  • 2nd and 3rd runners-up will receive certificates from the library.

With support from Muang Thai Life Assurance, River Books, Chakrabongse Villas, Kids Academy International School, DHA Siamwalla, The British Club Bangkok, and Little Pea.


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          Click here to download an entry form

Young Writers Awards 2017 Entry Fee