Singapore Prize – Celebrating the Best Works of Literature in English, Malay and Tamil

singapore prize

The singapore prize celebrates the best works of fiction and non-fiction written in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil, with the aim of promoting literary culture. The shortlist includes works that explore a wide range of themes, from the history of a Singapore estate to the politics of detention.

The winner of the prize will be awarded a PS1 million grant to support their project. The money will be used to accelerate their work, as well as help bring about “tangible action to repair the planet”.

Launched in 2020, the prize has been supported by philanthropic foundation Temasek Trust and decarbonisation investment platform GenZero. They will collectively provide strategic guidance, as well as leverage their extensive corporate, sustainability and investment networks to convene a strong, relevant audience from Singapore and the region.

For the first time, this year’s awards ceremony will be accompanied by a series of events, dubbed Earthshot Week. Beginning November 6, the week will see global leaders, businesses and investors convene in Singapore with winners and finalists to explore ventures that can be brought to scale. Members of the public will also be invited to experience local activations centered on the 2023 cohort of Earthshot solutions.

This year, the competition was won by Dmytro Udovychenko for his violin project called “Honing The Pen”. He will receive USD $110,000 in prizes and multiple concert engagements. The other finalists are Anna Agafia Egholm for her violin project “Mirroring Nature”, and Angela Sin Ying Chan for her project “Light In The Dark”.

Each of the 12 winners will receive a cash prize of up to 3,000 Singapore dollars (US$2,158) and a hand-crafted trophy. They will also be given a 12-month gift code for the audiobook platform StoryTel. This year, two older writers — Suratman Markesan for his Malay work “Honing The Pen” and Wang Gungwu for her Chinese novel Home Is Where We Are Going — made history by becoming the oldest Singapore prize winners at 91 years old.

The organisers hope the award can help “drive innovation and collaboration to build a more sustainable future for generations to come.” It was established in honour of Christopher Bathurst, KCMG, Viscount Bledisloe, a leading member of Fountain Court Chambers who had developed a substantial practice in Asia. He was a champion of the arts and an advocate of cultural understanding, having written widely on legal issues involving Singapore. Known for his dynamism and generosity, he was a popular and energetic cross-bench peer in the House of Lords.