Singapore Prize 2019 Winners Announced

singapore prize

The Singapore Prize, a biennial award established in 1992, recognises the best works of fiction, poetry and non-fiction published in the four official languages of Singapore (Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil). It is organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore with support from the National Arts Council.

The winners are announced at a ceremony at the Victoria Theatre on August 25. This year’s winners include a number of first-time writers.

* The SLP is a literary award to honour the best works of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction in Chinese, English, Malay or Tamil, written by Singaporean authors. Its aim is to stimulate public interest in literary creativity and to support the development of Singapore’s creative writing community.

WINNERS: The SLP awards a total of 12 top prizes for the best works in each of the four categories: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Each winner receives a cash prize of $10,000 and a commissioned trophy.

In the Readers’ Favourite category, more than 4,000 readers voted in the competition, which was launched online this year. In addition to the cash prizes, four winners will each receive 1,000 Singapore dollars and readers stand a chance to win book vouchers worth 50 Singapore dollars.

There were 192 submissions this year, down from 224 in 2020. This reflects the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted a decline in the number of authors and publishers submitting their work to the contest, the book council said.

Some of the shortlisted titles include Leluhur: Singapore’s Kampong Gelam by Hidayah Amin, which shines a light on a part of the city that many know only as a tourist attraction. It also offers a look at the way Singaporean society is evolving.

Other nominees are The Night of the Condor by Yu Fan, a novel about a family living in the city’s slums; Snow at 5 PM: Translations of an Insignificant Japanese Poet by Jee Leong Koh, which follows a young man who moves into his father’s house and finds himself torn between loyalty and justice.

The winner of the SLP’s best director award went to Laha Mebow for his drama “Gaga.” It was filmed in Singapore and screened at this year’s Venice Film Festival. The jury said the film is a drama of great warmth and sensitivity that beautifully captures the lives of an ensemble cast.

A housing complex for senior citizens has beat out flashier competition to be named World Building of the Year at this year’s World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam. The project, called Kampung Admiralty, integrates public facilities, community space and over 100 apartments for the elderly.

Several of the winners were previously shortlisted in other years, including alllkunilaa (Azhagunila) and innnpaa (Inbha), who both won first prizes for their debut novels. Other winners are Suratman Markasan (Honing the Pen, Volume 2), Wang Gungwu (Home Is Where We Are Going) and rmaa cureess (Rama Suresh), who won two awards in both the Tamil fiction and readers’ favourite Tamil categories.

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