The Singapore Prize aims to recognise a range of literary talents and works that have been produced in the country, in different languages. Donations from local philanthropists and the University are used to fund the award, which is supplemented by DBS Foundation. The winner receives a cash prize and a gold medal that will be displayed at the University’s entrance gate.
The prize was established in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence and is supported by the NUS Office of the Vice President (University & Global Relations). It encourages engagement with the nation’s history broadly understood, as opposed to works that focus on a specific time period or theme. The 2023 prize will have 12 top prizes of up to $10,000 each for the best published works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry in Chinese, English and Malay.
For the first time, this year’s shortlist includes a mix of historical and creative works such as Kamaladevi Aravindan’s novel Sembawang, which explores the lives of ordinary Singaporeans over five decades. The other novels on the list are by Alvin Lee, Allan Nairn and Jee Leong Koh.
A citation for the winning book noted that “this is a unique work, in that it is a synthesis of archival research and primary sources, as well as a work of fiction, all brought together with an elegance that befits the subject matter.” The citation also highlighted the way Ms Hidayah’s narrative “encourages us to consider our pasts differently, not just as an accumulation of events but as a continuous thread of human experience.”
Ms Jones said that The Earthshot Prize is an opportunity for Singapore to showcase the country’s commitment to sustainability, and to address global challenges with optimism rather than pessimism. “We want to help young people, in particular, not fall into the trap of climate anxiety, which can lead to defeatism and apathy,” she added.
The other winners are Neo4j, an open source graph data platform that helps companies unlock the value of their big data; and iKnowledge, a digital education and knowledge management system for primary schools. Each will receive a monetary prize and media coverage on Vogue Singapore.
In addition, the shortlisted entries will be featured in the 2023 edition of Vogue Singapore x BMW Innovation Prize. Winners will also benefit from an all-expenses-paid trip to Munich, Germany, and opportunities to network with global industry leaders and investors. The 2023 competition will be launched in mid-August. For more information, visit the website. Featured image by Neo4j, via Linkedin. 2019 Vogue Singapore. All rights reserved.