Singapore Literature Prize

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The Singapore Literature Prize (abbreviation: SLP) is a biennial award in Singapore to recognise outstanding published works by Singaporean authors in any of the four official languages: Chinese, English, 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 was briefly discontinued in 1999 and 2002 due to economic problems.[1]

2016[edit]

The 2016 edition received the most submissions ever in its 25-year history: 235 entries, compared to 2014's 182 and 2012's 57, with fiction receiving the most submissions.[2]

Fiction[edit]

English
Chinese
  • Commendation: 谢裕民 (Chia Joo Ming) - Exile or Pursuit《放逐与追逐》
  • Commendation: 张挥 (Cheong Weng Yat aka Zhang Hui) - Shuang Kou Ding Yi Cun 《双口鼎一村-那些年那些事》
  • Merit: 英培安 (Yeng Pway Ngon) - Opera Costume 《戲服》
Malay
Tamil

Poetry[edit]

English
Chinese
  • Merit: 吳耀宗 (Gabriel Wu) - Live Where the Imagination Is 《逐想像而居》
  • Merit: 陈维彪 (Tang Jui Piow) - The Sea Diary 《航海纪事》
  • 沈璧浩 (Sim Piak How) - A City's Story《都市录》
Malay
Tamil

Non-fiction[edit]

English
Chinese
  • Winner: 陈加昌 (Chin Kah Chong) - LKY Whom I Knew 《我所知道的李光耀》
  • 尤今 (You Jin) - Father and I《父亲与我》
  • 李慧敏 (Lee Hui Min) - Growing Up in the Era of Lee Kuan Yew 《成长在李光耀时代》
  • 李国樑 (Lee Kok Leong) - Guangdong Majie 《广东妈姐》
  • 柯思仁 (Quah Sy Ren) - Tea Time in Spring With Poetry 《以诗和春光佐茶》
Malay
Tamil

2014[edit]

For the first time, the award offered 12 top prizes of up to $10,000 each for the best works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. In previous years, fiction competed with poetry for one award in each language.

In July 2014, three judges of the English non-fiction category of the prize resigned in protest against the National Library Board's removal and pulping of controversial children's titles. Mr T. Sasitharan, a prominent arts educator; former journalist Romen Bose; and American author and Writer-in-Residence at Yale-NUS College, Robin Hemley were subsequently replaced.[4] The Prize also received flak for perhaps spreading itself too thin, and for naming the non-fiction prizes after a sponsor, the publisher World Scientific.[5]

A day after the winners were announced at an awards ceremony on 4 November 2014, poet-editor Grace Chia, whose poetry collection Cordelia was shortlisted but did not win in the English Poetry section, delivered a speech in absentia at the Singapore Writers Festival which accused the Prize of sexism. Chia wrote, "The fact that the prize has been given to two co-winners who are both male poets is deeply informing of choice, taste and affirmation. A prize so coveted that it has been apportioned to two male narratives of poetic discourse, instead of one outstanding poet - reeks of an engendered privilege that continues to plague this nation's literary community." Chia also posted her speech on Facebook before subsequently removing it. In response, one of the poetry judges, poet and literary critic Gwee Li Sui, said, "All entries have an equal chance of consideration for winning, and we discussed it based on that point alone, and on the strengths of the collections." The other poetry judges were prominent female poet Leong Liew Geok and poet Boey Kim Cheng.[6]

Fiction[edit]

English
  • Winner: Amanda Lee Koe - Ministry of Moral Panic
  • Claire Tham - The Inlet
  • O Thiam Chin - Love, or Something Like Love
  • Audrey Chin - As the Heart Bones Break
Chinese
  • Winner: Mr Lim Hung Chang (Lin Gao) - Weixingxiaoshuo(林高微型小说/林高)
  • Mr Lai Yong Taw - Ding Xiang (丁香/流军)
  • Ms Tham Yew Chin (You Jin) - Jin Se Dai Shu(金色袋鼠/尤今)
  • Mr Lee Xuan Lou - Shuang Cheng Zhi Lian(双城之恋/李选楼)
Malay
  • Winner: Mr Yazid bin Hussein - Kumpulan Cerpen (Armageddon)
  • Mr Abdul Manaf bin Abdul Kadir - Suzan
  • Mr Anuar bin Othman - Tenggelamnya Kapal (Prince of Wales)
  • Mr Hassan Hasaa'ree Ali - Selamat Malam (Caesar)
  • Mr Yazid bin Hussein - Cahaya
  • Mr Mohd Pitchay Gani bin Mohd Abdul Aziz - Seking
Tamil
  • Winner: Mr Mohamed Kassim Shanavas - Moontraavatu Kai
  • Ms Jayanthi Sankar - Muga Puthagamum Sila Agappakkangalum
  • Ms Suriya Rethnna - Naan
  • Ms Noorjehan binte Ahmadsha - Vergal
  • Mr Packinisamy Panneerselvam - Maaya
  • Mrs Krishnamurthi Mathangi - Oru Kodi Dollargal

Poetry[edit]

English
  • Co-winner: Joshua Ip - Sonnets from the Singlish
  • Co-winner: Yong Shu Hoong - The Viewing Party
  • Grace Chia - Cordelia
  • Theophilus Kwek - The Circle Line
  • Tania De Rozario - Tender Delirium
  • Koh Jee Leong - The Pillow Book
Malay
  • Winner: Mr Johar Buang - Pasar Diri
  • Mr Peter Augustine Goh - Genta Cinta
  • Mr Ahmad Md Tahir - Aisberg Kesimpulan
  • Mr Hamed bin Ismail - Suara Dalam
  • Mr Yazid bin Hussein - nota (buat wangsa dan buanaku)
Tamil
  • Commendation: Mrs Krishnamurthi Mathangi – Malaigalin Parathal
  • Mr Samuel Nepolian Devakumar – Kaanaamal Pona Kavithaikal
  • Mr Chinnadurai Arumugam – Thagam
  • Mr Pichinikkadu Elango – Thoorikai Sirpangal
  • Mr Swaminathan Amirthalingam – Urakkach Cholvaen

Non-fiction[edit]

English
  • Co-winner: Lim Siong Guan - The Leader, The Teacher & You
  • Co-winner: Josephine Chia - Kampong Spirit Gotong Royong: Life In Potong Pasir 1955 to 1965
  • M. Ravi - Kampong Boy
  • Hidayah Amin - The Mango Tree
  • Fanny Lai - A Visual Celebration of Giant Pandas
Chinese
  • Merit: Dr Ho Nai Kiong - The Biography of My Father 何乃强《父亲平藩的一生》
  • Merit: Ms Tham Yew Chin (You Jin) - Even The Heart Soars 尤今《心也飞翔》
  • Dr Ho Nai Kiong - The Death of Kings and Emperors 何乃强《医生读史笔记》
  • Ms Tham Yew Chin (You Jin) - Release Your Happiness 尤今《释放快乐》
Malay
  • Merit: Mohamed Latiff Mohamed - Alam Kepenyairan Singapura: Pengamatam dan Penciptaan
Tamil
  • Winner: Kotti Thirumuruganandam - Singapore Tamil Kavithai Varalaaru (History Of Singapore Tamil Poetry)
  • Chitra Ramesh - Oru Nakarathin Kathai (Story Of A City)
  • R Kalamohan - Sattamum Sambavangalum (Law And Incidents)
  • Mohamed Kassim Shanavas - Ayal Pasi (Foreign Hunger)

2012[edit]

English Category
  • Winner: Eddie Tay – The Mental Life of Cities
  • Leonard Ng – This Mortal World
  • Dave Chua – The Beating & Other Stories
  • Teng Qian Xi – They hear salt crystallising
Chinese Category
Malay Category
  • Merit: Ahmad Ja’affar Bin Munasip – Jago Yang Terlupa Dilupakan
  • Commendation: Peter Augustine Goh Mey Teck – Kerana Setitik Madu
  • Commendation: Rohman Munasip – Secangkir Ceritera
  • Commendation: Yazid Hussein – Dongeng Utopia : Kisah Cek Yah
Tamil Category
  • Winner: Ramanathan VairavanKavithai Kuzhanthaikal
  • Masilamani Anbalagan – En Vaanam Naan Megam
  • Yousuf Rowther Rajid Ahmed – Vizhikkullethaan Vellayum Karuppum
  • Marimuthu Arumugam Elango – Antha Naan Illai Naan

2010[edit]

English Category
Chinese Category
  • Co-Winner: Gabriel Wu (吴耀宗) – 半存在 (A Half-Existence)
  • Co-Winner: Chia Joo Ming (谢裕民) – M40
  • Wang Wenxian (王文献) – 《爱城故事》
  • Wong Meng Voon (黄孟文) –《黄孟文微型小说自选集》
  • Ng Wai Choy (吴韦材) – 《爱的礼物》
Malay Category
Tamil Category

2008[edit]

English category
Chinese category
Malay category
Tamil category

2006[edit]

English category
Chinese category
Malay category
Tamil category

2004[edit]

English category
Chinese category
Malay category
Tamil category

2000 (as The Dymocks Singapore Literature Prize)[edit]

1998 Fiction[edit]

Merit
  • Rosemary Lim - Soul Search & Other Stories (published as The Seed from the Tree)
  • Colin Cheong - The Man in the Cupboard
Commendation

1997 Poetry[edit]

Merit
  • Paul Tan - Driving into Rain

1996 Fiction[edit]

Winner
Commendation
  • Dave Chua Hak Lien - Gone Case
  • Pat Wong - Going Home & Other Stories

1995 Poetry[edit]

Winner
  • Roger Vaughan Jenkins - From the Belly of the Carp
Merit
Commendation

1994 Fiction[edit]

Merit
  • Tan Mei Ching - Crossing Distance
  • Stella Kon - Eston
Commendation
  • David Leo - Wives, Lovers and Other Women
  • Denyse Tessensohn - Feel
  • Andrew Koh - Glass Cathedral

1993[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Merit
Commendation
  • Jeffery T.H. Lee - The Sea is Never Full
  • Paul Tan - Curious Road

Drama[edit]

Merit
Commendation
  • Sim Teow Li - Curios

1992 Fiction[edit]

Winner
Commendation
  • Tan Mei Ching - Beyond the Village Gate

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Journal of Commonwealth Literature 2000, (p. 99)
  2. ^ "Record 235 submissions for the Singapore Literature Prize 2016". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "Singapore Literature Prize: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye wins English fiction award". Channel NewsAsia. MediaCorp. Retrieved 14 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Akshita, Nanda (27 August 2014). "NLB saga: New judges for Singapore Literature Prize". The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Nanda, Akshita (7 October 2014). "Singapore Literature Prize not on same page as publishers". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Tan, Corrie (6 November 2014). "Gender bias allegations over Singapore Literature Prize English Poetry results". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 

References[edit]