Category Archives: Awards

Singapore Book Awards scheduled for May 11

The Singapore Book Publishers Association (SBPA) has announced that the Singapore Book Awards ceremony will be held on the evening of Wednesday 11 May. There are 8 award categories for the 2016 Awards:

  • Book of the Year
  • Best Children’s Title
  • Best Young Adults’ Title
  • Best Fiction Title
  • Best Non-Fiction Title
  • Best Education Title
  • Best Digital Work
  • Best Book Cover Design

The finalists for seven out of the eight award categories have also been announced. There is no shortlist for the Book of the Year category, which will be judged after the other prizes are decided.

The shortlisted titles will be sent to the judges in their respective categories for their final decision. The judges represent the different sectors of the book publishing value chain, and include authors, educators, celebrities who promote reading and bookstore directors. The winning titles for all eight award categories will be announced on the evening of Wednesday 11 May.

“Compared to a few years ago, Singapore-published book are better packaged, designed and marketed.,” said Peter Schoppert, SBPA President. “Literary quality has gone up. The Singapore Book Awards offer an opportunity for the industry to take a step back and celebrate the achievements made. We hope that the Awards will also encourage Singaporeans to buy and read Singapore-made books.”

The Singapore Book Awards are organised by the SBPA to recognise the best in Singapore book publishing. The awards are given to publishers for their best books, and are open to all book publishing companies with operations in Singapore.



(In no particular order)

Best Fiction Title

  • The Ministry of Moral Panic, Epigram Books; Author: Amanda Lee Koe
  • Bamboo Heart, Monsoon Books, Author: Ann Bennett
  • Big Mole, Epigram Books; Author: Ming Cher
  • The Dictator’s Eyebrow, Pagesetters Services; Author: Cyril Wong
  • As the Heart Bones Break, Marshall Cavendis; Author: Audrey Chin

Best Non-Fiction Title

  • Larger than Life: Celebrating the Human Spirit, Marshall Cavendish; Authors: Belinda Lee and Juleen Shaw
  • Growing up in the era of Lee Kuan Yew(成长在李光耀时代) Lingzi Media; Author: Lee Hui Min
  • Secrets of Singapore, Epigram Books; Authors: Lesley-Anne Tan and Monica Lim
  • Keep Calm and Mother On: 21 Stories from Mothers with Children Aged 1 to 21, Armour Publishing; Editor: Pauline Loh
  • Through the Lens of Lee Kip Lin: Photographs of Singapore 1965-1995,  National Library Board and Editions Didier Millet; Author: Lai Chee Kien

Fellows of Nature South Asia Short Story Award: An initiative of Kumaon Literary Festival (India)

Sumant Batra, Founder of KLF launches four important social projects initiated by KLF at the curtain raiser event including Fellows Of Nature (FON)

Sumant Batra, Founder of KLF launches four important social projects initiated by KLF at the curtain raiser event including Fellows Of Nature (FON)

“Nature writing was once considered to be the rock and roll of literature. In the last few decades it has shown a steady decline. There is a pressing need to restore this literary art. The best way to do it is through stories.”

— Sumant Batra, Founder, Fellows Of Nature

Fon_logoLike all extinctions, nature writing’s gradual disappearance represents a profound loss. Writing in this category is born out of love, respect, and awe of nature. It finds its subject during days of close observation of the beauty of the natural world. Writing about the close relationship between humankind and nature plays an important role in creating interest and building respect for it amongst book lovers and others.

The FON SOUTH ASIA SHORT STORY AWARD an initiative of Kumaon Literary Festival (under the umbrella body of NHP centre) was launched on February 15, 2016 amidst enthusiastic readers and writers at the Oxford Bookstore (Delhi) with the objective of promoting nature writing and building a community of nature writers. 

Submission of short stories based on the theme of nature is invited from South Asia region in accordance with the contest guidelines set by the FON steering committee which comprises of the lead project partners: The French Institute in India; Wild Life Trust of India; Wisdom Tree publishers, Kumon Literary Festival and the Taj Colloquium. The committee is chaired by the founder of FON, Mr. Sumant Batra and also includes Indian author and poet Sujata Parashar who is spearheading the project.

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7 Asians shortlisted for 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist has been announced – including seven Asian writers.

The prize – which aims to “brings stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure, to the attention of an international audience” – received nearly 4,000 entries from 47 countries this year.

26 stories by writers from 11 countries make up the shortlist.

The prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English, translations also eligible. Five winners from the five different Commonwealth regions are selected, winning £2,500 (about R53,000) each, with the overall winner receiving £5,000 (about R106,000).

The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist (Asian writers in bold):  Read more

Romeo and Juliet contest for Kitaab readers

Dear Kitaab readers,

Here is your chance to win a pair of tickets to Singapore Repertory Theatre’s play, Romeo & Juliet.

Please answer the following questions:

  1. This year we are celebrating the 300th death anniversary of William Shakespeare: (a) Correct (b) Incorrect
  2. Who is the director of Singapore Repertory Theatre’s play, Romeo & Juliet: ……

Please send you reply to: (subject line: Romeo and Juliet contest for Kitaab readers)

The first three winners will be gifted with a pair of play tickets each.

Contest closes: March 31, 2016 (Contest is only open to those living in Singapore)

Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan Receives Inaugural World Readers’ Award

Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan was awarded the inaugural World Readers’ Award for his critically acclaimed novel, “Cantik Itu Luka” (“Beauty Is a Wound”), which was translated into English last year.

The award was initiated by Asia Pacific Writers’ and Translators’ Association — whose members consist of writers, translators, publishers, literary scholars and creative writing teachers across the region — with a mission to expand the diversity of books normally awarded in other international book prizes.

“We organized a price which involved a much wider range of people, including book readers in general — we also had a voting section in which anyone could nominate a book,” the organizers said in a statement.

Presented on Tuesday (22/03) in Hong Kong, the award recognizes Eka’s novel as “an extraordinary work that grips you from its electrifying first line: ‘One afternoon on a weekend in March, Dewi Ayu rose from her grave after being dead for 21 years.'”

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Author Jerry Pinto wins Windham-Campbell prize

The Windham-Campbell Prizes on Tuesday announced its annual list of nine winners. Each of the recipients receives $1,50,000 for accomplishments in the worlds of literature and theatre.

This year’s winners in fiction were Tessa Hadley, C.E. Morgan and Jerry Pinto. Ms. Hadley, a British writer whose stories regularly appear in The New Yorker, is the author of several novels and story collections. Her most recent novel is The Past.

C.E. Morgan’s debut novel, All the Living, was published in 2009. Her second, The Sport of Kings, will be published in May. Mr. Pinto is the author of six books, including a biography of the Bollywood actor Helen and a novel, Em and the Big Hoom.

This year’s prizes in non-fiction went to Hilton Als, Stanley Crouch and Helen Garner. Als is a staff writer and theatre critic at The New Yorker, and the author of White Girls (2013) and The Women (1996).

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Singapore Author Desmond Kon’s Four-Region Sweep at the 2016 USA Regional Excellence Book Awards

Kitaab USA REBA Desmond Kon Author PixIt’s unprecedented. Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has walked away with the gold in four out of the five formal regional categories at this year’s USA Regional Excellence Book Awards.

The winning titles include: Phat Planet Cometh (Glass Lyre Press), The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love (Glass Lyre Press), Singular Acts of Endearment (Grey Sparrow Press), Babel Via Negativa (Ethos Books), I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist (Math Paper Press), Sanctus Sanctus Dirgha Sanctus (Red Wheelbarrow Books), and Eye/Feel/Write: Experiments in Ekphrasis (Squircle Line Press). In fact, had the anthology Ars Moriendi won under the category of Anthology (Southeast Region) instead of its placing as a finalist – Clay Stafford’s Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded bagged first place – Desmond would have placed wins in all five territories.

In total, this veritable coup for the author looks at a sweep of seven wins under Adult Fiction, Anthology, Poetry, and Spirituality in four territories (Northeast, West, Midwest, Southwest) at the Awards. Read more

Taiwan: Immigrant Voices in Literature

A Southeast Asian-language literary award helps promote diversity and cultural understanding.

On Aug. 30 last year, the halls of the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei were flooded by a sea of color and the sound of many languages speaking at once. The mood was light and the crowd diverse, with a variety of clothing on display, from the elegant, ankle-length ao dai of Vietnam to the Muslim hijab, which can take many forms but is often a headscarf or veil. The visitors to the museum had gathered to attend the second annual Taiwan Literature Award for Migrants. “Anyone who could utter a word of welcome in a Southeast Asian language—whether the Thai sawadee ka or the Indonesian apa kabar—was welcome to take part,” says Chang Cheng (張正), organizer of the award and co-founder of Brilliant Time, a bookstore in New Taipei City that focuses on Southeast Asian-language publications.  Read more

Singapore Literature Prize partners with MPH Bookstores

The first ever Official SLP Bookstore, MPH Bookstores will carry every 2016 shortlisted title from the announcement in mid-May to late 2017

The National Book Development Council of Singapore (The Book Council) has announced its partnership with MPH Bookstores for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize as the Official SLP 2016 Bookstore.

The three MPH Bookstore locations (Raffles City, Robinson Road, and Parkway Parade) will carry all 2016 shortlisted titles in every language from the announcement of the shortlists in mid-May 2016 until the SLP 2016 period ends in late 2017.

“As the oldest bookstore and publishing house in Singapore, MPH admires and appreciates the Book Council’s relentless efforts in promoting local literature through our four official languages,” said Chief Operating Officer of MPH Bookstores Mr A. Rahim Awang. “Literature reflects the pulse and aspiration of our society. MPH Bookstores is truly honoured to be part of the Singapore Literature Prize by providing the general reading public easy access to all the shortlisted books in our bookshops. Bookshops must support our writers and illustrators for local literature to thrive. It’s our heritage.”

As part of the partnership, MPH Bookstores will be showcasing the shortlisted titles in the prime front-of-store display areas of their stores from mid-May, when the shortlists are selected, to mid-August, a month after the awards ceremony. The titles will continue to be available in stores until at least late 2017. MPH Bookstores will also provide online and in-store event support for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize.


Sahitya Akademi Awards Presented To 24 Indian Authors

Twenty four eminent authors writing in as many Indian languages were felicitated today by the Sahitya Akademi at its annual Festival of Letters.

The recipients were awarded a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh each for their “outstanding books of literary merit”.

Urging authors from across the country to write extensively in various regional languages, Akademi President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari said that Indian writing faces a threat from the effect of colonial thinking.

“Indian literature is under threat. Colonial thinking has belittled our literature and languages and we have come to believe in that,” Mr Tiwari said at the award ceremony.

The awarded literary works have been written in 24 Indian languages, including English, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Sanskrit, Bodo, Kashmiri, Manipuri, Nepali among others.

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