235 total submissions across all categories is 53 more than the 182 submissions in 2014: The Book Council

The National Book Development Council of Singapore (The Book Council) has announced that the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize has received the most submissions ever in its 25-year history. 235 submissions were received across the twelve categories encompassing three genres (Fiction, Poetry, and Non-Fiction) and our four national languages.

“We are very excited to see a record-breaking number of works submitted to the SLP,” said Executive Director of the National Book Development Council of Singapore Mr R Ramachandran. “We are very happy to see so many new and established authors writing new works across all genres and languages. We cannot wait for the judges to shortlist the works so that we can begin promoting them across Singapore and beyond. We are also thankful to the government institutions, corporate sponsors, foundations, and individual donors who are supporting the prize, including the National Arts Council, the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, and the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation. We are very pleased that their continued support of the award has assisted us in promoting the best in Singaporean contemporary writing in all four languages.”

RRamachandranCelebrating 50 years of cordial diplomatic relations in 2015, India invited Singapore, through the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), to be the Guest of Honour for this year’s New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF), from 14 to 22 February 2015. In this exclusive interview with Kitaab’s editor-in-chief Zafar Anjum, Dr. R. Ramachandran, Executive Director of NBCDS, shares his experiences from the NDWBF.

Singapore was the Guest of Honour country at this year’s NewDelhi World Book Fair. Has this strengthened  cooperation between India and Singapore? 

R. Ramachandran: Our links with India has always been good professionally. What has not happened over the years is Indian public awareness of our authors and publishers.  The large number of authors and publishers and the 30 programmes organised at the Fair, schools and bookshops has broken the ice and Singapore, besides being a financial centre,  has  also become known now as a literary and publishing hub  among the Indian readers. This awareness would lead to more publishers being interested in our books as they would be saleable in the Indian market.

Besides, Indian reading public had been hitherto insular. They have been reading Indian tittles in English and in their local languages. As India is opening up, there is  an  interest in other parts of the world, particularly Asia. This became apparent when Indians bought reprinting rights to some of our fiction and non-fiction titles.

The other important factor is that the  Singapore Publishers’ and writers’ perception of the  quality and the range of Indian titles has greatly improved. They now know that Indian publications have reached international standards both in content and packaging and therefore would be of interest to Singaporean and ASEAN readers

Hence, I would think that the literary  and  publishers links would be strengthened as there would now be a business motivation behind the literary and publishing initiatives.

Celebrating 50 years of cordial diplomatic relations in 2015, India has invited Singapore, through the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS), to be the Guest of Honour for the upcoming New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF), from 14 to 22 February 2015.

RRamachandranSingapore has accepted the invitation and the NBDCS would project manage the booth and co-ordinate the programme with the support of National Arts Council (NAC) and the publishers, Dr. R. Ramachandran, Executive Director of NBCDS told Kitaab.

The invitation becomes one of the key highlights of the international book fair, which started in 1972 and has become one of the major calendar events in the publishing world. The NDWBF is India’s oldest book fair.

The National Book Development Council Singapore (NBDCS) has issued a statement on the resignation of three judges from Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) Non-Fiction category. Here is the statement:

“The National Book Development Council Singapore (NBDCS) regrets the decision of three of the 36 judges involved in this year’s Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) to resign in protest of the recent decision of the National Library Board (NLB) to withdraw and pulp three children’s book titles.

However the NBDCS would like to clarify its relationship with the NLB. Neither organisation is involved in the day-to-day decision making of the other.