The Singapore prize is an annual award for outstanding work in the arts. It recognises publications that make a profound impact on Singapore’s history and is open to all works of literary merit published in the Chinese, English, and Malay languages.
In the 2022 edition, 12 winners were selected from a longlist of 43 books in Chinese, English and Tamil. This year’s winners include a book about a young woman’s search for identity, a memoir of a man’s battle with PTSD and a novel that tells the story of a family through its members’ lives in different cities.
One of the controversial decisions this year was the awarding of the Singapore Literature Prize to two male poets in a joint victory, despite the fact that there are more women in the shortlist. This prompted a speech by a poet-editor, Grace Chia, which was posted on Facebook but later removed. She called the decision “reeks of engendered privilege” and said that she was disappointed by the selections.
This year’s finalists were picked by a panel of judges led by former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The judges were looking for a work that explores issues related to race and identity, as well as one that has the potential to spark a conversation. They also took into account the quality of writing and whether it was well-researched.
The winners were announced at a ceremony in December. They received a trophy and a grant of S$100,000 for their work.
Other highlights of the evening included a performance by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, which has won numerous accolades and awards. There were also presentations from the organisers and sponsors, as well as the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Awards judging panel.
As part of the celebrations, there was a discussion about how to nurture future generations of Singaporeans who will continue to champion and innovate for a sustainable Asia Pacific. In addition, a new award was launched at the event this year to honour organisations that lead in green growth.
In the 2023 Singapore Prize, the winning organisation will receive a grant of S$1 million for their project to help address environmental challenges facing the world. The winner will also be able to leverage Conservation International’s (CI) global expertise and vast network of partners committed to delivering scalable, innovative solutions that benefit people and nature.
The jury for the 2024 Singapore Prize will consist of Prof Miksic, Mr Mahbubani and a Nominating Committee that includes academics from NUS Department of History; art and literary figures; museum curators; and history teachers and curriculum developers. This year, there are five nominations from various fields. The shortlist will be announced in May. The winner will be honoured in November. You can learn more about the prize and its previous winners on the official website. To be eligible, a project must have been initiated and completed within the last four years. In order to apply, you must submit a completed application form by the deadline of 31 August 2019. To find out more about the application process and to download the guidelines, visit the official website.