The prestigious Singapore Literature Award ceremony is being thrown to the public for the first time. Better still, you can attend it for free. All you have to do is register at https://slp2018ceremony.peatix.com. The ceremony will be held at the Stephen Riady Auditorium at the NTUC Centre on Marina Boulevard on August 6, three days before National Day.
Fifty authors are on the shortlist announced by the Singapore Book Council on June 19. Each winner will receive a cash prize of S$10,000. There will be 12 winners in all, with three different awards — for fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry — in each of these four languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
The poets shortlisted for the English poetry award are:
Amanda Chang, for Professions (Math Paper Press, 2016) and Eugenia Tan, for Phaedra (Ethos Books, 2016), Loh Guan Liang, for Bitter Punch (Ethos Books, 2016), Samuel Lee, for A Field Guide to Supermarkets in Singapore (Math Paper Press, 2016) and Theophilus Kwek, for Giving Ground (Ethos Books, 2016).
The writers shortlisted for the English creative non-fiction award are:
Charmaine Chan, for The Magic Circle (Ethos Books, 2017), Charmaine Leung Foong Har, for 17A Keong Saik Road (Ethos Books, 2017), Melissa De Silva, for “Others” Is Not a Race (Math Paper Press, 2017), for Uniquiet Kingdom: Thailand in Transition (Straits Times Press Pte Ltd, 2017), Shubigi Rao, for Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book (Rock Paper Fire, 2016) and Tjio Kayloe, for The Unifinished Revolution: Sun Yat Sen and the Struggle for Modern China (Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2017)
The storytellers shortlisted for the English fiction award are:
Balli Kaur Jaswal, for Sugarbread (Epigram Books, 2017), Jennani Durai, for Regrettable Things that Happened Yesterday (Epigram Books, 2017), Jeremy Tiang, for State of Emergency (Epigram Books, 2017), Noraliah Norasid, for The Gatekeeper (Epigram Books, 2017) and Wong Souk Yee, for Death of a Perm Sec (Epigram Books, 2016).
The Singapore Book Council will pay tribute to the previous award-winners during the ceremony, going all the way back to 1992 when the first award was given out.
Explaining the decision to throw open the ceremony to the public, the Singapore Book Council Executive Director William Phuan said: “In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Singapore Book Council this year, we decided to open up the ceremony to the public. We thought what better way to mark our milestone and kick off Singapore’s birthday celebrations than to come together and honour our best writers.”
All the award-winners will also be showcased at a special exhibition running from July 16 till September 8 at the Lee Kong Chian Reference section on level 9 of the National Library.
Writers shortlisted this year will also be featured in public talks at local bookstores as well as at the National Library as part of the Read! Fest in July.
For more information, visit https://bookcouncil.sg/awards/singapore-literature-prize