Founded by philanthropists, the singapore prize is one of the largest literary awards in Asia. Its goal is to propel winners forward to develop their innovations and ideas, and bring them to scale. This year, it added a new category called Greenest City in Asia Pacific to celebrate organisations that lead the way in green growth.
Besides the main prize, there are five other categories that recognise different aspects of Singaporean life. This includes the Readers’ Favourite, which is voted by the public on the awards website. The winners of each category will receive a cash prize, a hand-crafted trophy, and a 12-month gift code for audiobook platform StoryTel.
This is the first year the award has been given out and it is meant to encourage people to read about the nation’s history in a more diverse way than just focusing on the big figures that changed its past. The prize is also an opportunity to show that anyone can write a book about their country, regardless of their academic background or writing experience.
The inaugural winner of the NUS Singapore History Prize was archaeologist Professor John Miksic, who received the award for his book, Singapore And The Silk Road Of The Sea, 1300 – 1800. Ms Hidayah’s citation said that her work “is both synthesis and primary source”. Prof Miksic described it as elegantly crafted and well-researched.
Other finalists in the NUS Singapore History Prize included Kamaladevi Aravindan’s novel Sembawang and Jeremy Tiang’s State Of Emergency, which looks at the impact of Singapore’s civil war on civilians. This year’s shortlist was also bolstered by submissions from non-traditional authors, including a memoir from disability activist Yip Pin Xiu and an unpublished novel by Sharlene Wen-Ning Teo.
In addition to the main prizes, the ceremony will feature performances from globally renowned artists and musicians. The winners will also receive a plaque and a special gift box, while a 12-month subscription to StoryTel is being offered for all finalists.
The 2023 awards will be accompanied by a series of events during Earthshot Week, which will see global leaders, businesses and investors convene in Singapore to explore opportunities for accelerating the winners’ solutions and bringing them to scale. The event is supported by strategic partners Temasek Trust, GenZero and Conservation International.
The prizes will be presented by celebrities and philanthropists, including US comedian and actor Steve Martin. The ceremony will also include a special performance by Singaporean singer-songwriter Anita Raj. It will be streamed online live and is expected to attract a global audience. The winner of the main prize will receive a plaque and a gift box worth $17,000. The other three finalists will each receive $10,000. The prize money is donated by a consortium of sponsors that include YTL Foundation and DBS Bank. It will be awarded by a panel of judges comprising of philanthropists, business leaders and academics.