Singapore Prize 2019

singapore prize

The singapore prize is an annual literary award that honours works of fiction and non-fiction in any of the country’s four official languages – English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The competition is organised by the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) with the support of the National Arts Council and the National Library Board. The award is a part of the country’s effort to foster a thriving literary scene.

The winner of the prize will be awarded a cash prize, a trophy and a gift code to audiobook platform Storytel. The winning work also wins a place in the history of the prize. Previous winners include novelist Suchen Christine Lim, who won the award in 2015 for her work, Sembawang, which focuses on the lives of ordinary people living in the suburban city-state. Other winners include poet Jee Leong Koh for Snow at 5pm: Translations of an Insignificant Japanese Poet, which was published in 2020 and is his first poetry collection in 15 years, and writer Kamaladevi Aravindan for her historical account of the Singapore riots, The Darkened Room.

In addition to a monetary prize, the winner will receive a range of other benefits such as a two-plus season exemption on the Tour and berths at key events. In 2018, the prize was awarded to American golfer Xander Schauffele for his performance at the Masters Tournament and other events on the PGA Tour.

This year, the prize will be awarded to a work of fiction or non-fiction that explores Singapore’s history in a creative way. The organisers are looking for books that “resonate with Singapore, and its readers.” The winning book will be announced in October.

The NUS Singapore History Prize was established in 2014 with an endowment gift by an anonymous donor and is administered by the Department of History of NUS. The Prize is open to books published in English by publishers, and to other creative works with clear historical themes, whether authored or translated into English.

Unlike other major literary awards, the NUS Singapore History Prize is not open to self-published books. The judging panel will be made up of writers, historians and other experts in the field. The shortlisted books will be publicly announced and featured on the program website.

In December 2022, the winner of the Singapore Prize will be honoured at an event in Boston, supported by Prince William’s Earthshot prize. The ceremony will honor five winners, and is intended to help them scale their solutions to global challenges such as creating a waste-free world, fixing the earth’s climate and reviving the oceans.