The Singapore Prize is a biennial literary award that recognises outstanding works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry published in Singapore. The winner of the award receives up to $10,000 in cash and prizes.
The winner of the Singapore prize is awarded to an author who has a unique and distinctive voice that is of significant literary merit, and who also demonstrates the highest standard of craftsmanship in their work. It is open to Singaporeans who write in any of the four official languages of Singapore – Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil.
This year’s Singapore prize, which is worth $50,000, has a wide variety of authors and works on the shortlist. It includes historical tomes such as Seven Hundred Years: A History of Singapore (2019), by Kwa Chong Guan, Tan Tai Yong, Peter Borschberg and Derek Heng; novels such as Sembawang by Kamaladevi Aravindan; and non-fiction with a personal slant such as An Unfinished Life: A Journey through the Heart of Singapore by Alfian Sa’at.
According to the award’s nominating committee, the selection of the winners will be made by a jury headed by Distinguished Fellow Kishore Mahbubani, senior advisor (university and global relations) at the NUS Asia Research Institute. The committee members are Associate Professor Ian Gordon, former head of the Department of History; Assistant Professor Seng Guo Quan; educator Beatrice Chong; curator Suhaili Osman; and playwright Alfian Sa’at.
Using the example of 12 Years a Slave, Mr Mahbubani argued that an imagination, whether in history or elsewhere, can hold societies together, and this is something he believes the prize should encourage. He said the jury may consider expanding the type of works that can qualify for the prize in future.
Another important factor that will influence the final decision is the number of submissions and the quality of those submitted. The committee will also consider whether the book meets the criteria for the award, which are listed in its website.
The winner will be announced on October 30 at the NUS campus in Singapore. The prize is organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore with the support of the National Arts Council and the Singapore Library Board.
In addition to the prize, the winner will also receive a trip to Stockholm to attend the next International tournament. The trip costs $28,000, with $340k paid to the winner and $200k to the runner-up.
One of the biggest draws of the International is the prize money, which can make a big difference to the golfer’s career. Last year, the prize pool at The International 2022 was $18 million. The prize money at the next event, which will take place in 2023, is expected to be smaller than the previous Internationals, because of COVID-19 restrictions.
A UK-based esports team has won PS7.4 million for winning a video game tournament in Singapore. The team, called Tundra Esports, won the prize after they won the Defense of Ancients 2 competition in front of some 10,000 spectators.