“Best Cover Illustration” in Young Author Award 2020

Megan Thien Wen Lee (F2 Gamma) is one of 30 finalists in the Young Author Award (YAA). It is a regional competition open to all students in Asia aged between 8 – 18 years old. It aims to discover, inspire, and nurture aspiring young literary talent, and to promote love for reading and writing among kids, and in doing so, build the next generation of thinkers and writers.

   In July 2020, the Young Author Award launched the 1st Malaysia Young Author Award and the 1st Philippines Young Author Award, with the top three winners in both countries competing in the finale held in Singapore. In the finale, Megan won “Best Cover Illustration” category.

Here’s what Megan has to say:

   I am really honored to have my story published and to get the best book cover design award. I’ve worked hard for it and was absolutely excited when I got shortlisted. The reason why I chose the colour palette for the book cover, a mix of grayed purples and blues, is because this colour gives off an other-worldly vibe, that of fantasy, hence my choice of genre. I drew a rundown castle in the distance as a reference to the castle of the torn royal family, the near-abandonment showing the utter destruction of what the family had undergone during the story.

   I had chosen fantasy as that was what I grew up with. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Septimus Sage and those likes were what sparked my interest in writing.

   Not only that, the detailed and intricate book covers also inspired me to draw my own cover. The way a cover itself can strike anxiety and eagerness to read was what I aimed for.

   Situated in modern times, I implemented a bit of plot from RPGs (role-playing games) that I know and play. I tried to not go for something cliche yet stuck with some well known bits here and there such as the rescuing of a kingdom from a dark power. Hence what my story revolves around.    For those who wonder, my story starts off during a storm. There was a boy named Basileus like you and me who was studying when the power went out. Little did he know, the storm that passed overhead contained magic, that magic transported him to a whole new world, a whole new realm just as he flicked the light switch. Stumbling upon a trap set by a skeleton called Syren, he meets a new ally on his quest that he had only heard of in games, a quest to restore the realm back to its rightful owner. He meets an elf that helps him with the hopes of restoring his own family’s honour. Plunging through secrets, Basileus finds out about the devil that took control of Syren’s brother. Together with his newfound friends, he has to free the king from the devil’s grip or stay stuck in the realm of Prodigium. •