Singapore Prize Winners Announced

singapore prize

The singapore prize is a biennial award that celebrates the best published works of fiction and non-fiction written by Singaporeans. It recognises works in the English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil languages. Its goal is to promote literary culture in the country. This year’s prize was awarded for work that explores a range of themes – from the history of an estate in Singapore to the politics of detention.

It is also an affirmation that ordinary Singaporeans have important and compelling stories to tell about their past, he said. “We hope that this will encourage people to take up the pen and write, and not be afraid that their writing might not be good enough,” he added. Prof Miksic, who was on the jury for the short film category, said that the winner of the award demonstrated a “high level of craft” in his work, which showed great warmth and sensitivity towards his cast of non-professional actors.

He added that the winning film, which centres on a single family’s journey through the coronavirus pandemic, “demonstrates a remarkable empathy for his characters.” The winner received a cash prize of $20,000 and a book voucher worth $10,500 from the National Library Board, which was presented by the NLB’s chief executive officer.

A total of 12 top prizes were awarded, including a top prize in each language, and a top prize for young adults. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges, comprising academics from SUSS and other Autonomous Universities, distinguished writers and critics and publishers.

The inaugural Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of Singapore Book Prize was established by a gift from the late Dr Chan. It aims to recognise a work that best epitomises, inspires and promotes the Spirit of Singapore.

It is not yet clear whether this will be an annual prize, but the committee will consider extending its scope to include works that may not have been published in Singapore in the last two years, but which have had significant impact on the public’s understanding of the country. It is possible that the prize could be expanded to include films, comic books and other formats.

The prize will be announced at a ceremony in August, but finalists have already been selected. One of them, Sembawang by Kamaladevi Aravindan, is a novel that explores the history of an estate in Singapore and the politics of detention. Another, by the author of The Merdeka Song, focuses on the lives of ordinary Singaporeans during the country’s political upheavals in the 1960s. The organisers of the prize say that this year’s theme, resonance, reflects how literature can connect with readers’ emotions and memories. The other five are non-fiction, and cover topics ranging from the history of a Singaporean estate to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on families. The full shortlist can be found here.