The Singapore prize is a biennial award that recognises outstanding published works by writers from the country in any of its four official languages — English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. The winner receives a cash prize and is honoured at an awards ceremony. The organisers also aim to encourage and support a strong literary culture in Singapore. The prize is open to authors of all age groups from the nation-state, in all genres, with both fiction and nonfiction categories.
The judging panel for the award is made up of philanthropists, academicians, social entrepreneurs, and policymakers. This year’s panel crowned Team Empowered Families Initiative the grand winner for their developmental initiative that invests in the aspirations and plans of low-income families to lift them out of poverty.
A housing complex for senior citizens has beaten off flashier competition to be named World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival (WAF). Kampung Admiralty in Singapore joins a growing list of community or public projects — including post-earthquake reconstruction efforts in China and Qatar and the stacked apartment blocks of The Interlace in Singapore — to claim the top honours.
This year’s award ceremony is set to take place in November, with Singapore chosen as the third place to host the event after London (2021) and Boston (2022). The prize organisers have confirmed that celebrities will walk the green carpet, and they will hold a week of activities to mark Earthshot 2023. This is a new addition to the awards show, and will see ‘global leaders, businesses and investors convene in Singapore to explore exciting opportunities with The Earthshot Prize Winners and Finalists aimed at accelerating their solutions and bringing about tangible action to repair our planet’.
The first-time winners of SLP’s English categories include alllkunila, innnpaa, Jee Leong Koh and rmaa cureess (Rama Suresh). Suratman Markasan and Wang Gungwu are the oldest winners this year, with eight of the 12 winners being first-timers.
The Singapore History Prize is a new category this year, with DBS sponsoring the prize to encourage more people to learn about the nation’s past. The winning work delves into the history of Kampong Glam, a neighbourhood that once served as a bustling cosmopolitan urban centre for merchants from across the Malay archipelago. The judges for the prize said that they were looking for works that “resonate with Singapore, and its readers”.