The Singapore Prize and Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize

singapore prize

The Singapore Prize is an award given biennially to recognise outstanding published works of literature in the four languages of Singapore: Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. It is organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore with the support of the National Arts Council and the National Library Board.

The competition is open to all writers in Singapore who have published their work between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019. Nominations are made by members of the public. The winners are announced at a ceremony and the awards are presented to authors.

There are 192 submissions this year, down from 224 in 2020.

With the humbling theme #WhyWeWrite, the Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) 2020 encourages readers to return to the roots of their craft and ponder why we write. With forty-seven nominees across the four categories, this year’s selection includes a mix of seasoned and emerging writers from different genres and language backgrounds.

It also marks the first time in the history of the SLP that fiction will compete with poetry for each category, alongside the Readers’ Favourite title. The winners were announced in a virtual ceremony on 27 August.

Besides the award, winners will receive a S$3,000 cash prize and a gift code to audiobook platform Storytel. A special award for a literary pioneer will be presented to veteran poet Edwin Thumboo, while the Readers’ Favourite category will be judged by a panel of 35 people.

As part of its aim to foster exemplary thought-leadership, the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize honours key leaders and organisations for displaying foresight, good governance and innovation in tackling the challenges faced by urban communities worldwide to bring about social, economic and environmental benefits for their citizens. It aims to spur further innovation and exchange of ideas among cities.

Since its inception, the LKYWP has recognised laureates with ground-breaking solutions in membrane technology and used water treatment, as well as holistic water policies that have benefitted millions of people. The Laureates have become the premier water laureates in the world, bringing about real-world change that has impacted humanity.

In the context of its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, Singapore has the unique opportunity to promote a sustainable and inclusive society. It is committed to building a society where there is a thriving business and leisure environment, where citizens can live in peace and security and where the economy is resilient and competitive.

It is also the first country in Asia to host a major table tennis tournament and has been chosen to stage the inaugural WTT Grand Smash, set to take place from May 22 to 28. The men’s singles champion will be rewarded with a winner’s cheque of US$100,000 while the women’s doubles champion will receive S$40,000.

Aside from being a great place to be born, Singapore is known for its high standard of education and a strong research environment. This has been the bedrock of its success in attracting world-class scientists to set up home bases and work here.