The prize was established by an anonymous donor to recognise outstanding published works of Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil literature. It is administered by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and supported by the Arts Council of Singapore, among others. The winner receives a monetary award of $50,000 Singapore dollars.
The 2022 edition of the program saw a record number of submissions with 265 entries across its seven categories — more than double the previous year’s total, with fiction and non-fiction dominating the nominations. In the consumer choice category, five of the shortlisted books were fiction and two were creative nonfiction — including Clara Chow, who is the first writer in the history of the program to be shortlisted in three separate categories and two languages.
She is nominated in the English fiction, English creative nonfiction and Chinese poetry categories, and has already won the Asian Literary Prize and was awarded a grant from the National Arts Council. Her shortlisted works include a novel, Sembawang (2019, available here), and her memoir, Home Is Where We Are (2019, also available here). She will be up against NUS History Prize-winner Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Gelam (2019, available here) by historian and archaeologist John Miksic. The citation for Leluhur, which is in the non-fiction category, calls it “an elegantly crafted and well-researched book that shines a light on a place many now only know as a tourist attraction.”
The other contenders for the prize are Jeremy Tiang’s fiction novel State Of Emergency (2017, available here), which follows an extended family living through the leftist political movements and detentions in Singapore and Malaysia, and Darren Shand’s non-fiction work Imperial Creatures (2019, available here) which explores the relationship between humans and animals during colonial times.
In the film category, Makbul Mubarak’s autobiographical movie about his childhood during the Indonesian dictatorship of Suharto won the Best Asian Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and was a top pick at many other international festivals. It has also garnered awards at the Tokyo International Film Festival, QCity and Jogja-NETPAC in addition to making its debut at Venice earlier this year.
The winners for the Design for Good Singapore Awards were announced on Monday, and this year’s recipients exemplify how creatives use their skills to solve real-world problems. The competition did away with the traditional entry categories that separates students, professionals and corporates. The winners, a designer and an organisation, will each receive $16,500 in cash and 16.5 OWGR points, as well as standard event-winning benefits like berths for the program’s key events. Check out the full list of winners here.