Prince William Visits Singapore Prize Winners

The award program is one of Asia’s oldest, and has been a platform for promoting reading and writing across Singapore’s four official languages (Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil). This year, 43 authors in the categories of historical writing, fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry made the shortlist. The winners were announced Tuesday night at a ceremony attended by celebrities such as actor Donnie Yen and actress Lana Condor. It also drew politicians and environmental advocates, including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who presented an Earthshot prize in the category of “Earthscapes,” which recognized projects that connect people to nature.

The winners—accion Andina, GRST, WildAid Marine Program, and S4S Technologies—are working on projects to protect the environment ranging from tyres that make electric cars cleaner to community-based forest conservation. In his address at the ceremony, Prince William said he was visiting the region “because the solutions to these problems are emerging here.” He said he wanted to thank those involved in the competition for showing that hope still exists as climate change continues to accelerate.

During his trip, the heir to the British throne will meet with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana and call on President Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He will also visit Changi Airport, where he will turn on the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the HSBC Rain Vortex, which will be lit green to celebrate his arrival. He is in the country to deliver his third annual Earthshot awards, which he launched in 2020 to inspire optimism around solving the planet’s most urgent challenges.

Each of the five categories of winners will receive a grant to scale their ideas. The winner of the history category will get a $2 million prize, and the runner-ups will each be awarded $1.5 million. The remaining two categories—Earthscapes and Earthshots—have a one-in-eleven chance of winning.

More than 4,000 people voted in this round of the consumer choice Readers’ Favorite award, almost double the number of votes that took place last year. The winners, Ali bin Salim, Daryl Qilin Yam, Pan Zheng Lei (Pan Cheng Lui), and rma cureess (Rama Suresh)—will each receive $1,000 in cash and will have the opportunity to win book-purchase vouchers worth $50.

Besides the main prizes, this year’s award program also featured a Readers’ Choice exercise where readers could vote online for their favorite shortlisted book in each of the four categories. The results were announced Tuesday and are available here. You can also find the complete list of shortlisted works and authors, categorized by language, here. This is Publishing Perspectives’ 131st awards-related report in the 137 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3. You can read more about Singapore’s prize system here, and about its literary scene here. Our full list of past reports is here. We look forward to continuing our reporting on the industry here. —Sarah Walsh, Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives

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