Singapore Prize to Recognise Comic Book Authors, Translators and Comic Book Artists

The prestigious home-grown prize that recognises books in the country’s four official languages will now include translators, comic book authors and debut writers. Award organiser Singapore Book Council (SBC) launched three new categories for the biennial SLP on Jan 11. The prize’s theme this time is “resonance”, which organizers say will highlight the role of literature in society by acknowledging people who put the common good before their own at pivotal times.

The SBC is introducing the new categories in order to recognise and promote increasingly diverse published works by Singaporeans and permanent residents. They will complement existing categories for fiction, non-fiction and poetry in Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil.

These additions also come as the SBC faces pressure to be more inclusive in terms of the authors it chooses to champion, especially with a growing number of home-grown readers who are more diverse than the traditional book audience. “It is important that the SBC champions and recognizes a wider range of literary genres, as it will contribute to a more healthy civil society,” SBC chief executive Loh Wee Phong said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the NUS Singapore History Prize, which was created in 2014 after an endowed gift from a donor, has broadened definitions of what constitutes a history book on the island nation. The prize, administered by the Department of History at NUS, invites books on a broad spectrum of perspectives and themes that explore Singapore’s past.

Prof Mahbubani was part of the jury panel that picked this year’s winning work, Leluhur: Singapore Kampong Gelam by archaeologist Miksic. “What I found fascinating about this book is that it was both a synthesis of history and a primary source because the author had brought in her own personal inputs,” he said. “I hope that this will send the message to the general public that you don’t have to be a professional historian to write history.”

This year, a total of 12 winners were announced during the ceremony at the National Museum of Singapore. The event marked a return to normality for the awards, which were suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Britain’s Prince William will arrive in Singapore this month to name the winners of his Earthshot prize, which he created three years ago to encourage inventors to develop solutions that tackle climate change.

During his stay in the city-state, the royal will try his hand at dragon boating and meet local groups that are working to combat illegal wildlife trading. He will also attend the United for Wildlife global summit, featuring representatives of law enforcement agencies, conservation groups and corporations. The summit will be held on Oct 22 and 23 at the Marina Bay Convention Centre. For more information on the event, click here. To register for the summit, click here. You can also visit the website of Singapore Pools here to learn about the prizes and how to participate. You can win up to $3,000 in cash and a trophy by playing the TOTO game.

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