A competition for authors of children's books written in the Khmer language has been
announced by local NGO Reyum, whose director hopes it will promote literacy and a
love of reading among the nation's youth.
"We will especially welcome submissions which draw on ordinary people in ordinary
life situations," said Reyum's Ly Daravuth. "We will consider only new
and entirely original manuscripts, and writers will have to show a good understanding
of the psychology of children."
He said the competition would invite submissions which offered positive role models
for children, showing examples of characters who teach children to be honest, kind
and try their best in life's many situations.
Daravuth said a lack of children's books stifled their interest in reading when growing
up, which resulted in general illiteracy. That, he said, gave rise to poor knowledge
The secretary of state at the Ministry of Education and Sport, Pok Than, endorsed
the project, saying that children have access to too few books. This competition
"This competition will assist in providing a better education to Cambodian children,"
said Than. "Such things do help our education efforts."
Reyum will print the winning entries and give some free to schools. Others will be
sold, with profits either donated to related programs or used to finance new books.
"The books we will run in this catalog are the first titles in what we hope
will be a continuing series of original books for Cambodian children," he said.
Authors are invited to submit books that appeal to children in three different age
categories between five and 12 years. First prize is $300, decreasing to $50 for
the fourth and fifth best submissions, sponsored by Japan's Kasumisou Foundation.
The deadline is September 30, 2002.