The Singapore prize is an annual award for authors and works of literary merit in Singapore. It honors writers who publish in any of the country’s four official languages, namely English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil, and is presented by the National Book Development Council of Singapore. Previous winners have included the novelist Kamaladevi Aravindan and poet Yeo Seow Wah.
The prize also honors books of high literary value that contribute to understanding of the spirit of Singapore and Singapore’s place in the world. The prize money consists of a cash award and a gold medal. In addition, the winner will receive a public reading at which he or she will be interviewed by the jury and given an opportunity to discuss the work. The prize money for the 2019 edition is $20,000 and will be awarded to the winner in June 2020.
Founded by philanthropists, the Singapore prize is one of the largest in the region. It is also a major platform for the promotion of Singapore culture. During the award ceremony, performances by internationally renowned musicians and artists are held. In the past, performances by Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and Billie Eilish have been hosted at the event.
In addition to the main award, the prize also includes a series of awards for other categories such as the public choice and the reader’s favorite. The readers’ favorite prize is worth 1,000 Singapore dollars ($719). The public choice category is a bit more generous, giving voters a chance to win book-purchase vouchers worth up to 50 Singapore dollars ($35).
This year’s Singapore Prize has seen a number of shortlisted works in the nonfiction and historical categories. Among them is Imperial Creatures, which examines the relationship between humans and animals in colonial Singapore. Another title, Home is Where We Are, explores the lives of ordinary Singaporeans over generations. The NUS Singapore History Prize is also a finalist, and it was won in 2018 by archaeologist John Miksic for his book Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, 1300-1800.
The winner of the main prize will be announced in late 2022, along with a special award for the city that makes a positive impact on the environment. Singapore’s current mayor, Lee Hsien Loong, will present the prize to the winning city during a special ceremony in November 2022.
The event will be held at the Singapore Expo and is open to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and network with leading global companies, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and problem solvers who are committed to restoring our planet. In addition to the main prizes, the festival will feature an exhibition of innovative products and sustainable lifestyle solutions from around the world. The organisers of the event expect to attract over 7,000 visitors. The five winning projects will each receive GBP 1 million (approximately USD 1.25 million or SGD 1.7 million). These funds will be used to further develop their ideas and implement them at a larger scale.