Publishers’ Perspectives Interviews the Winners and Finalists of the Singapore Prize

The Singapore Prize, established in 2021 and backed by Prince William, is designed to accelerate environmental solutions at scale. This year’s prize ceremony, held Tuesday evening at the National Trades Union Congress Centre, saw a host of global leaders, businesses and investors join forces with the three winners and finalists to discuss ways to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.

The winners and finalists were awarded GBP 1 million (approximately USD 1.25 million or SGD 1.7 million) in grant funding to accelerate their projects and help them achieve measurable impact on the world. This includes funding to build a new generation of climate scientists, to develop new technologies and to implement policies that will help ensure we can all enjoy a healthy, sustainable future.

This is the third annual edition of the award and it’s been a record-breaking one, with more than 20,000 entries from around the world in categories of nonfiction, fiction and poetry. The winners and finalists have been selected by a panel of 12 judges from a variety of backgrounds, including publishers, literary experts, business people, academics and journalists.

Winners of the main prize were selected across four categories in Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil, with each category carrying a $10,000 cash prize. There was also a Readers’ Choice award, with two works of fiction and two works of creative nonfiction chosen by an audience of book-lovers via online voting.

Publishers’ Perspectives interviewed the winning authors of the Singapore Prize for more insights into their work and how they won their prizes. Click through the slideshow below to read their interviews and find out more about this unique, biennial awards program.

This year, the judges were impressed by the quality of the entries, with the finalists all deserving to win. “The shortlisted books were outstanding, both in terms of writing and in their ability to capture the essence of Singapore,” said NBDCS CEO Phuan Phong Phuan. “It’s a wonderful achievement that these finalists were able to impress the distinguished panel of judges with their creativity, style and quality.”

Among the winners was Ms Hidayah Ibrahim, whose book Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Glam won the NUS History Prize. The citation for the prize described it as an elegantly crafted work that makes an important contribution to our understanding of Singapore’s history. It was written over a period of five years, with two to three years spent interviewing residents and researching archive material. Professor Miksic, a judge for the prize, said Ms Hidayah had an “unfair advantage” as she grew up in one of Singapore’s most interesting areas, and was thus able to contribute primary sources to her work.

We wish all the winners and finalists continued success in their endeavours! The next edition of the Singapore Prize will be announced in 2024. To be eligible for entry, a publication must be either a work of nonfiction or a novel and must address any time period, theme or field of Singapore’s history, or have a substantial element of Singapore history in it.