Singapore Literature Prize 2020
The Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) is a biennial award that recognises the most brilliant literary works produced by Singaporean citizens and Permanent Residents. From its inauguration in 1992, SLP has honoured over 80 literary talents whose texts have been published either locally or overseas. The award aims to recognise Singapore’s writers while drawing the public’s attention towards Singaporean literary texts. Outstanding works that have been published in Chinese, English, Malay or Tamil since the previous award ceremony, in the forms of creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry, are nominated in the 12 categories. The winner of each category is presented with S$3,000 and a specially commissioned plaque.
Last November, SRN hosted the book launch of 1 of the 3 nominees in the Creative Nonfiction Shortlist, Hard at Work: Life in Singapore (2019) by Ng Shi Wei (founder of Photo Rikki) and Associate Professor Gerard Sasges (NUS Department of Southeast Asian Studies). The book narrates the lives of working individuals in Singapore, through the first person-perspective, giving the readers a look into the lives of over 50 people who work in the most common to the least traditional jobs. Through striking photographs and intimate narratives, the book reveals the realities of these individuals and unveils the class and income disparities that shroud Singapore’s globalised society. Though Ng Shi Wei did not get shortlisted as one of the 12 award-winners, she was distinguished as one of the nominees for the award this year.
The theme of this year’s awards, #WhyWeWrite, explores the motivation behind creating written works and hopes to elucidate the growing importance of the SLP in today’s troubling times. To join SLP’s first online awards ceremony, you may visit Singapore Book Council’s Facebook and YouTube pages on 27 August 2020 at 8pm.