During this period of intense climate change and global warming, the winner of the 2024 Singapore Prize will be given GBP 1 million to “accelerate their solutions and bring about tangible action that repairs our planet”. The prize money is expected to act as a catalyst for achieving this. This will be in addition to the already existing support by Singapore’s Government, business and investors for the winners and finalists. The awards ceremony will also be a part of the new Earthshot Week, ‘which will see global leaders, businesses and investors convene in Singapore to explore exciting opportunities with the winners and finalists, aimed at accelerating their efforts and bringing about visible effects on the world around them.’ There will also be local activations that members of the public can take part in.
The shortlist is headed by Jeremy Tiang’s State Of Emergency (2019), which recounts the 1950s when the future of Singapore seemed up for grabs. The book’s slant is that of a layperson who looks at history from what it meant to ordinary people at the time. Also on the shortlist is Sembawang by Kamaladevi Aravindan, which tells of her mother’s experiences during leftist political movements and detentions in Singapore and Malaysia.
Other entrants include Seven Hundred Years: A History Of Singapore (2019) by Kwa Chong Guan, Tan Tai Yong and Peter Borschberg; Leluhur: A Story About Singapore’s Kampong Glam (2020) by Hidayah Amin; and Imperial Creatures (2019) by Wang Gungwu and Margaret Wang. The book that wins the prize will be announced at a ceremony in November.
The inaugural Dr Alan HJ Chan Spirit of Singapore Book Prize was launched in April by the Singapore University of Social Sciences, funded by a $1 million donation from Confucian scholar and businessman Alan Chan. It aims to recognise writing that champions mindsets and values important to Singapore, which include equality, diversity, religious harmony, meritocracy and pragmatism.
In addition to the main prize, two other finalists each win SGD $40,000, a year-long fellowship with the Southeast Asian Film Lab, a script mentorship by Gabriela Serrano and a residency at the Sukhumvit Studio in Bangkok. The best non-fiction book will win SGD$30,000, while the best documentary will get SGD$20,000.
This year, a total of ten shortlisted works have been selected by the jury for the main award. The winner of the SGD$30,000 main prize will receive a trophy, a cash prize of SGD$10,000 and a one-year SingSaver Shares Account with a minimum opening balance of SGD $10,000. The other finalists each receive SGD $8,000 in cash and SGD $10,000 worth of shares. The winning work is chosen through a blind assessment process and will be selected by a panel of experts in the field of economics, law and public policy. In addition, each of the ten shortlisted works will be awarded SGD $2,000 for printing costs. SingSaver has partnered Webull to offer its clients an exclusive promotion for this event. Receive $80 in cash via PayNow when you open a Webull account and fund at least S$100 within the campaign period. Terms and conditions apply.