Founded in 1985 by Professor Wilfred Peh Chin Guan, the Singapore Prize for Literature is a biennial award to celebrate published works by Singaporean writers. It is awarded in four languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. It is supported by the National Arts Council and National Book Development Council of Singapore. In its first year, the award offered twelve top prizes of $10,000 each.
Winners will be announced at an award ceremony held in mid-year. In addition to a cash prize of S$300,000, the winner will receive a certificate and award certificate. In the event of a tie, the award will be divided equally. The judges’ decision is final. The judges include Professor Eddie Kuo, a founding dean of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information of NTU and Academic Advisor of the SUSS Centre for Chinese Studies.
The SCCC Award process starts with public nomination and continues with the shortlisting of nominees by a panel of judges. The panel comprises a distinguished group of local cultural leaders. They will judge each nominee based on criteria that will be decided upon in a final decision. This will be approved by the SCCC Board of Directors.
The awards are divided into 12 categories. The categories include fiction, poetry, non-fiction, plays, essays, short stories, poetry and children’s books. The odds of winning a prize are one in eight for the first prize, one in twenty-five for the second prize, and one in twenty-four for the third prize. The odds of winning the fourth prize are one in fifty-seven and one in thirty-four for the fifth prize.
Winners of the Youth Critic Award receive SGD800 in cash. They will also be awarded a commemorative momento. In-Docs (Indonesia) won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Southeast Asian Cinema.
The Singapore Prize is supported by the National Arts Council, the National Library Board and the National Book Development Council of Singapore. A total of 43 writers submitted their works for the 2022 competition. The list of shortlisted authors is available online. The shortlisted works are also available for purchase.
Besides being shortlisted, four readers will receive a cash prize of SGD1,000. The readers are chosen from the 4,000 voters that participated in the consumer choice category. A $50 book voucher will also be awarded to each reader. Alternatively, readers can purchase a copy of one of the shortlisted works and receive a $719 book voucher. This promotion is also known as a sweepstakes. However, it is exempt from gambling regulations.
The prize is also co-organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore and the Centre for Liveable Cities. The prize promotes thought leadership among cities and encourages an exchange of ideas. It also seeks to encourage a healthy living environment. It also provides tips on healthy living and promotes mental well-being.
The prize secretariat is based within the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore. In addition, the Prize also supports organisations and individuals who contribute to Singapore’s cultural development.