The National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), which organises the biennial Singapore Literature Prize, has appointed three new judges in the category of English Non-Fiction to replace those who resigned in protest of the National Library Board’s (NLB) actions earlier this year.
The appointment of the three new judges means that all 12 Singapore Literature Prize categories will now be awarded in November. However, the announcement of the shortlist for the English Non-Fiction category will be delayed until October 17, along with the announcement of the Tamil Non-Fiction category, over a month after the announcement of the shortlists for the other 10 prizes, which is scheduled for September 12. The shortlist for the Tamil Non-Fiction category has been delayed due to a mix-up in delivery of the entries to the judges concerned, NBCDS said in a statement on Tuesday.
The names of the three new judges, and those of all the other judges, will only be announced in November. Since the inception of the Singapore Literature Prize, the judges have always remained anonymous until the winners were announced. This is one of the steps taken by the organiser NBDCS to ensure that the judging process is impartial.
The Singapore Literature Prize is unique in the world for awarding literary prizes to works in four different languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil; and three disciplines: Poetry, Fiction, and Non-Fiction. This year, the Singapore Literature Prize received a record-breaking 182 entries across the 12 prize categories.