Call for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

The Asia Foundation’s Let’s Read Initiative is looking for creative and enthusiastic writers and illustrators of mid experience levels, who will be giving life to unique Sri Lankan Children’s stories for the Let’s Read Book Lab and participate in a series of virtual workshop.

During the event, each illustrator will be teamed up with a writer, a designer, and an editor to create a beautiful, engaging children’s book. In addition, selected applicants will have the opportunity to sharpen their children’s book writing skills through a hands-on story workshop and close collaboration with a professional editor and an art director.

The goal of the Let’s Read project is to contribute books to the public that inspire a love of reading. The finished books will be made freely available to the public in e-book and print-ready formats. For more information on the initiative, visit

How to apply?

Writers: please submit a writing sample of 1-2 pages in Sinhala, Tamil or English by June 30th, 2021

Illustrators: please submit an illustration work by June 30th, 2021.

Guidelines for submission of samples: Creative Writers

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please submit 1-2 pages of writing samples (double-spaced).

Submissions do not need to be published works nor do they need to be specifically written for children.

Submissions, which may include completed stories, sample chapters, or essays, will be evaluated according to the following rubric:

  • Imagination: Does the writer demonstrate creativity and the capacity for imaginative thinking?
  • Characters: Does the writer demonstrate the ability to create interesting, memorable, and dynamic main characters?
  • Description: Does the writer demonstrate the ability to describe characters and settings in a natural, vivid and memorable way, such that the elements of the writing are brought to life for the reader?
  • Focus: Does the writer demonstrate the ability to choose a central theme or idea, and remain focused on that central theme throughout the writing?
  • Structure: Does the writer demonstrate an understanding of basic narrative structure?
  • Spelling and Grammar: Does the writer demonstrate mastery of the language through spelling, punctuation, and grammar choices?

Submissions that demonstrate the above traits while writing for children will be evaluated more favorably.

Guidelines for submission of sample illustration: Illustrators

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please submit sample illustrations that will exhibit the following characteristics:

  • An artistic style that is appropriate and appealing for young children.
  • Strong ability to illustrate a variety of characters and settings.

Role of Illustrators:

  • Collaborate with the writers and designer to attractively bring the book to life through illustrations
  • Submit a draft storyboard and finished covers by the end of the two-day event
  • Submit color illustrations for your team’s children’s book several weeks after the event

Benefits of participating include:

  • The opportunity to use your skills to create beautiful, engaging books that will inspire children to read
  • Consultations with professional children’s book publishers, editors and art directors
  • Prominent acknowledgement in the book, project website, and marketing material
  • Learn best practices around digital book publishing
  • Learn about other components of children’s book publishing from your fellow team members
  • Personal digital portfolio on

Please submit your work samples to on or before June 30th, 2021

Successful applicants will be informed on July 31st, 2021.

Let’s Read

Let’s Read is an initiative of The Asia Foundation that seeks to foster a love of books and reading among people of Asia by providing access to a library of free children’s books. The library is accessible via website ( ) and Android app. For more information, visit

Copyright and Creative Commons Licensing

The copyright for books created through this workshop will be held by the publisher, The Asia Foundation. They will be uploaded to Let’s Read! digital library under a Creative Commons license, which will allow them to be freely downloaded, translated, printed, and distributed. The authors and illustrators will be credited as such, in accordance with the Creative Commons license. For more information on Creative Commons licensing, go to