Founded in 1967, the Singapore Prize is a biennial award that recognises excellence in literary works published by Singaporean authors. It is sponsored by the National Library Board, National Arts Council and National Book Development Council of Singapore. In its inaugural year, the Prize awarded twelve top prizes of S$10,000 each. Organizers claim the prize’s biggest draw is the commissioned trophy. Each winner receives a 12-month gift code to StoryTel.
A panel of eight judges was selected to select the winners, which included representatives from business, media, sporting sectors and the government. In the first year of the prize, only 43 writers submitted their works. More than half of the writers were newcomers. The award was also a nod to Singapore’s newly independent status.
Besides winning the prize, the authors were honoured for their works. Aside from the S$10,000 award, two were given Meritorious Awards. These were awarded to Tamil writer rma cureeess and Cheong Wai Hing (athletics). The Meritorious Award also comes with a cash reward of S$4,000.
The prize was named after Singapore’s first prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The award promotes thought leadership and encourages the exchange of ideas among cities. Besides the prize money, the prize laureate will also receive a gold medallion and award certificate.
Earlier this year, the Singapore Prize announced a new award: the Singapore Academic Award. The award is one-off, with a total cash prize of S$20,000. Only full-time students studying civil engineering are eligible to receive the prize. Moreover, the prize will be awarded to the student with the best average grade in all modules in the academic year. In addition, the winner will be offered mentoring from alumni of the College.
There were also other new categories added to the Singapore Prize. These include the Articulation Prize for Singapore, which will be organised by National Gallery Singapore. The award will provide a platform for young people to express their opinions.
The Singapore Prize is also the first to include a consumer choice category. A total of 4,000 readers were asked to vote for their favorite book of the year. Besides the cash prize, each winner received a $50 book voucher. Several “readers’ favorite” choices were shortlisted, including a novel, an autobiography and a work of creative nonfiction.
The Singapore Prize has introduced a new award in 2016. The Singapore Academic Award will be presented to a first-year undergraduate student. The award will be funded by alumni of the College. In addition to the cash prize, each winner will be offered mentoring by College alumni.
The Singapore Prize also announced the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, which is a biennial international award for a city that promotes thought leadership and innovation in addressing urban challenges. The award highlights the key organisations, technologies and solutions that have helped to address urban challenges and create a sustainable city.
The Singapore Prize also announced a Global FinTech Hackcelator, which aims to help to accelerate the pace of digitalisation. The prize will also be awarded to the best musim of the year.