In Singapore, there are a number of yearly awards and prizes. Some are focused on the arts, while others are aimed at education.
The singapore prize for literature (SLP) is the most well-known among them. The competition has been running since 1992, and is open to writers from around the world. It aims to promote creativity, originality and excellence, and to recognise the best works of English-language fiction and poetry published in Singapore.
It also seeks to inspire aspiring young authors. A prize of $3,000 is given to each author, and their readers stand a chance to win book vouchers.
There are three main categories: poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Writers can submit their work in both English and Chinese, while Malay and Tamil are a bonus.
A panel of judges, including literary critics, selects the winners based on submissions. This year, 192 submissions were made.
Five writers were shortlisted for the first time this year. They include Clara Chow, who is the first writer in the program to be shortlisted for two or more categories. She has been nominated for her travelogue New Orleans in the English creative non-fiction category; Not Great, But At Least Something in the English fiction category; and Lousy Love Poems in Chinese poetry.
She is up against a range of other writers, such as Cyril Wong’s This Side Of Heaven; Daryl Qilin Yam’s Shantih Shantih Shantih; Mallika Naguran’s She Never Looks Quite Back; and Jee Leong Koh’s Snow At 5pm: Translations Of An Insignificant Japanese Poet.
The award is named after Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister and the man responsible for Singapore’s development into a green garden city. The winner receives a gold medal and 300,000 Singapore dollars.
It is administered by the National Library Board. It is open to all aspiring poets and literary critics, and offers writers a chance to be heard and to gain exposure and recognition.
Moreover, the prize has a strong local flavour. It focuses on Singapore-inspired works, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
Other than that, it awards an amount of SGD8,000 to a project that reflects the theme of “resonance” in a variety of ways, such as through music, dance, or drama. The finalists have the opportunity to take part in an enriching programme at a cultural institution, with a focus on interdisciplinary arts.
The winner of this prestigious prize is also eligible for a range of special Tour events, such as a two-plus season exemption on the Tour and berths in key tournaments.
As an international centre of the arts, Singapore is a home to many renowned artists. It is home to the prestigious Singapore Writers Festival, and it is an important center of cultural activity for Southeast Asia.
There are also many prestigious national and international prizes and awards in the country, such as the Singapore Literature Prize, Readers’ Favourite Awards and the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize.