Epigram Books

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Epigram Books
Industry Publishing (and Design)
Founded 1991
Headquarters Singapore
Products Literary Fiction and Non-fiction
Website Epigram Books

Epigram Books is an independent publishing company in Singapore. It is known for publishing works of Singapore-based writers, poets and playwrights.

History[edit]

Epigram was first set up in 1991 by Edmund Wee as a design agency.[1][2] Epigram first started with the publishing and designing of annual reports, before expanding its portfolio into other design directions such as wayfinding, corporate logo branding and graphic design. The stable of clients under the company includes OCBC Bank, Singapore Airlines, Media Development Authority and CapitaLand.[3][4] Epigram has won numerous international awards for their designs of annual reports including the Hong Kong Design Awards and the Graphis Gold Award for Annual Reports.[5][6] They are also the first company in the world to win the Grand Prix award at the Red Dot consecutively.[7] The success of the company in designing annual reports led to commissions for commemorative books for agencies such as National Trades Union Congress and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[2] Epigram continues to provide services such as art direction, publication design, branding, signage and way-finding, and editorial development. The company Epigram Books, the publishing arm of Epigram set up in 1999, published its first book with mountaineer David Lim’s Mountain to Climb: The Quest for Everest and Beyond. Epigram Books bore the design and printing costs of the book and sold 5000 copies. Epigram Books was incorporated as a separate entity from the parent company in July 2011.[8]

In 2015, Epigram Books launched a fiction prize with an award of $20,000, the richest literary award in Singapore.[9] The first edition was won by O Thiam Chin.[10]

Notable publications and reception[edit]

Epigram Books have published a series of cookbooks, under the Heritage Cookbook series.[11] In 2010, they published There’s No Carrot in Carrot Cake, a guide book to Singapore’s street food (or hawker food in colloquial terms). The book sparked off a debate in the media about the need for a culinary school to preserve Singapore’s food heritage.[12][13]

A short story, “Moving Forward” included in the compilation of Andrew Tan’s Monsters, Miracles & Mayonnaise was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Short Story in 2013. Monsters, Miracles & Mayonnaise is one the three graphic novels that was published by the company in 2012. Epigram Books is also the first Singapore publishing house to have a comic book nominated for this prize.[14][15] Another graphic novel, Ten Sticks and One Rice by Oh Yong Hwee and Koh Hong Teng won an International MANGA Award (Bronze) in 2014.[16]

Other than publishing books by debut authors, Epigram Books has also taken to republish books that are out-of-print Singapore classics like, Jean Tay’s Boom and Everything but the Brain, and the late Goh Poh Seng’s book The Immolation.[17][18] The company has also launched the Cultural Medallion series, where non-English works of Literature award recipients are translated into English.[18] Some of the works include Singai M. Elangkannan’s Flowers at Dawn, Suratman Markasan’s Penghulu and Wong Meng Voon’s Under the Bed, Confusion.[19]

In 2016, Epigram Books was shortlisted for the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year at the 53rd Bologna Children’s Book Fair. The award rewards creative, innovative publishers based on “the editorial projects, professional skills and intellectual qualities of work produced by publishing houses all over the world”.[20][21] In the same year, Epigram Books won four out of eight prizes at the Singapore Book Awards, including Book Of The Year for Sonny Liew's The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye and Best Fiction Title for Amanda Lee Koe's Ministry of Moral Panic.[22]

Epigram Books Fiction Prize[edit]

Launched in 2015, the Epigram Books Fiction Prize has been awarded annually since its inception for the best original and unpublished novel in the English language written by a Singaporean citizen, Singapore permanent resident or Singapore-born writer.[10] The prize remains Singapore's richest literary prize with the top prize being that of $25,000 SGD since its inception in 2015.[23]. The inaugural 2015 Prize was won by O Thiam Chin for his novel Now That It's Over,[10] while the 2016 Prize was won by Nuraliah Norasid for her novel The Gatekeeper[24] and the 2017 Prize to Sebastian Sim for "The Riot Act".

List of Publications from the Epigram Books Fiction Prize[edit]

2015[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Longlist

2016[edit]

Winner

Finalists

2017[edit]

Winner

Finalists

References[edit]

  1. ^ (2013, 12 Sep) Award-winning designer receives University of Waikato award. Fuseworks Media.
  2. ^ a b Yap, S. "Immaculate conceptions". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2015-02-10. Retrieved 28 Jan 2007.
  3. ^ (2008, 2 Dec). Winning Designers. The Straits Times. Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes20081202-1.2.33.15.aspx Archived 2015-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Matrin, Mayo. (2008, 2 Dec) The art of annual report. Today. Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/today20081202-2.2.31.2.aspx Archived 2015-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Phan, M. (2008, 3 Mar) Designed to send the message across. The Business Times. Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/biztimes20080303-1.2.18.1.aspx Archived 2015-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Chang, R. (2007, 4 Sep) SLA’s annual report snags global graphic design accolade. The Straits Times. Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes20070904-1.2.57.18.2.aspx Archived 2015-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Phan, M. (2008, 3 Mar) Designed to send the message across. The Business Times. Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/biztimes20080303-1.2.18.1.aspx Archived 2015-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Nanda, A. (2011, 11 Jul). The Monday interview with Edmund Wee: Novel way of life. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva database
  9. ^ migration (24 March 2015). "New prize for fiction raises $20,000 question". Archived from the original on 2018-09-21. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  10. ^ a b c Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh (5 November 2015). "O Thiam Chin wins inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize". Archived from the original on 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  11. ^ Huang, L.J. (2008, 10 Feb) Preserving Mum’s recipes. The Straits Times. Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/straitstimes20080210-1.2.45.7.7.aspx Archived 2015-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Tan, R.L. (2011, 22 Jan) Hawker Masters. The Straits Times.
  13. ^ Seetoh, K F. (2010, 25 Aug) Can our makan go global? The New Paper.
  14. ^ Martin, M. (2013. 18 Apr). Graphic success: S’pore comics artist Drewscape nominated for Eisner Award. Today.
  15. ^ Yong, N. (2013, 18 Apr). Local comic artist up for Eisner Award. The Straits Times.
  16. ^ "Announcement of Winners for the Seventh International MANGA Award". Archived from the original on 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2015-01-26.
  17. ^ Nanda, A. (2011, 11 Jul). The Monday interview with Edmund Wee: Novel way of life. The Straits Times.
  18. ^ a b Oon, C. (2013, 26 Feb). Local book’s next chapter. The Straits Times.
  19. ^ (2012, 20 Dec). 18 Princes of print. The Straits Times.
  20. ^ Martin, Mayo (2 March 2016). "Epigram Books shortlisted for children's publisher award". MediaCorp. TODAY. Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  21. ^ Said, Nabilah (7 March 2016). "Epigram Books in the running for Bologna Prize for Best Children's Publisher of the Year". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  22. ^ Lee, Jian Xuan (10 May 2016). "Epigram Books scores big with 4 wins at Singapore Book Awards". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2016-06-01. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  23. ^ hermes (26 September 2017). "Sponsorship secured for Epigram Books Fiction Prize, 10 on longlist". Archived from the original on 2018-06-27. Retrieved 2018-10-09.
  24. ^ Said, Nabilah (24 November 2016). "First-time author Nuraliah Norasid wins $25,000 Epigram book prize". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2017-03-15. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "EBFP 2015". Archived from the original on 2017-03-15. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d "EBFP 2016". Archived from the original on 2017-03-15. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  27. ^ "Epigram Books Fiction Prize". Archived from the original on 2017-03-15. Retrieved 15 March 2017.