A dream come true for budding author

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 November, 2008, 12:00am

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn Kwan has already accomplished what many adults only dream of: publishing a book.

Her short story, Figure Skating for Gold, is about a young, kind-hearted girl who unexpectedly wins an ice-skating competition. Jocelyn (pictured) admitted the girl's story reflected her own life.

The main character in her story is also named Jocelyn. And like her, the young author said she likes to ice skate and 'has always wanted to win an ice-skating competition'.

Jocelyn's story was published by Haven Books after winning a top prize in a city-wide writing competition held in April. The contest was sponsored by non-profit organisation, Room to Read (R2R).

Figure Skating for Gold will be part of a set of five children's books in R2R's annual children's series, Kids4Kids. Most of the books, written by adults, revolve around children's fund-raising ideas to help the charity organisation. Badminton for Books, for instance, is a true story about a group of students at Sha Tin College who kept a shuttlecock in the air for 24 hours to raise money.

Jocelyn's story, however, was chosen for its inspirational message, said Haven Books publisher Dania Shawwa.

'Jocelyn's book is an example of the kind we'd like to continue publishing in the Kids4Kids series,' she said. 'Age doesn't matter; if a child is a good writer with a good story idea, they can turn it into a book.'

The Kids4Kids series is sold at bookstores, including Dymocks and Bookazine, and some Christmas fairs and R2R events. For every 20 copies of the series sold, Room to Read will be able to fund a child's education for one year, said volunteer Michele Lai, who launched the Kids4Kids series.

She hopes to sell at least 2,500 books by the end of the year. The money raised would help to send 200 girls to school for one year or build a school in one of the R2R countries.

Established in Nepal in 2000, Room to Read aims to boost literacy among children by providing books and education materials and setting up schools in poor areas.

We have one set of Kids4Kids books to give away! E-mail your address to sara.yin@ scmp.com before the end of the day. The set of five books will be awarded to the first person who responds