The Singapore Prize is an annual literary award which recognises the contributions of Singapore writers. Its judges, including a range of authors and film experts, select the winners from shortlisted entries in the 12 categories. The winners are rewarded with cash prizes and special hand-crafted awards, along with 12-month gift codes to audiobook platform StoryTel.
The winners are selected based on criteria such as literary quality, originality and creativity, and a commitment to the development of Singapore’s literature. The award seeks to highlight the role of writers and books in fostering social change, and to encourage more Singaporeans to read and write.
This year’s prize includes the first-ever monetary reward for a novel written in a language other than English. The award is aimed at encouraging more Singaporeans to write in their mother tongues, which are primarily Chinese and Malay, and in other languages.
In addition to the monetary award, the winner will be given a commemorative medal, an autographed copy of the book, and a trophy. The winner will also receive a trip to the UK to meet with the prize’s judge and receive the award from the University of London.
A major focus of this year’s prize is “resonance” as it celebrates the power of literature to spark emotion and memory. It aims to highlight the power of the written word to bring people together and connect them across cultures.
This is the 30th year of the prize, and it is now open in four languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. It also has the biggest prize money in its history – $110,000 for the three winners, and more than $500,000 in total.
These awards have been established by the National Library Board, and are given in recognition of a writer’s contribution to Singapore’s cultural and literary heritage. The awards are divided into twelve categories, each of which consists of a cash prize and an accompanying trophy.
The Readers’ Favourite awards are voted for by members of the public, and this year a total of 4,464 votes were cast in the competition. This was a significant increase in the number of votes than were cast in 2020, and each of the winning authors received $1,000 plus a personalised trophy.
Ali bin Salim, Daryl Qilin Yam, Pan Cheng Lui and Rama Suresh were awarded the Readers’ Favourite in each of their categories. Each of them was praised for their distinctive voice and strong sense of place in the Singaporean context.
During their time in Singapore, the award recipients have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to caring for others. They have been kind to their peers and influenced others to do the same.
They have worked to improve the lives of Singaporeans. They have been committed to promoting social justice and addressing issues such as racism, social inequality, and discrimination.
The awards are open to any Singaporean who was born in Singapore and whose work has had an impact on the local or global community. This can include individuals, families, groups or institutions.