The sensation caused by Mo Yan winning the Nobel Prize in literature is one thing, what it means for Chinese literature and the writer himself is another.

Mo’s win seems to have stimulated Chinese people’s appetite for serious literature. But the enthusiasm is superficial, mostly out of curiosity and some organisations’ pursuit of economic interests, and it will definitely fade.

Compared with the readership for popular magazines and the huge number of people who surf the Internet, the readership for serious literature has been declining over the past few decades, and sales of literature magazines and novels have continued to drop. Little wonder that many Chinese people did not know who Mo Yan was when it was announced he had won the Nobel Prize.

The Singapore Literature Prize will be open to non-fiction literary works from 2014, announced Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at the 2012 Singapore Literature Prize Awards Ceremony on Friday.

Mr Wong, who is also the Senior Minister of State for Communication and Information, said the initiative will highlight and recognise outstanding non-fiction works produced by Singaporeans and would encourage more writers to step forward with their contributions.

He added that it was timely move, and that it would recognise a greater pool of talent and their works.

Banker and New York based- author Ruchir Sharma was awarded the Tata Literature Live! First Book Award for his Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles at the Mumbai Litfest on Sunday.

Mr. Sharma, who was unable to attend, was presented the prestigious honour along with a cash prize of 1 lakh on day four of the festival by R. Gopalakrishnan, Director, Tata Sons.

“It’s a distinct privilege to be recognised at such an illustrious platform and I thank Tata Literature Live! and the kind jurors for bestowing me with this award,” said Mr. Sharma, in a message read out on his behalf.