The shortlist for English fiction includes The Inlet by Claire Tham and Ministry Of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe. Yong Shu Hoong's The Viewing Party and Joshua Ip's Sonnets From The Singlish are among those in the running for English poetry.
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Here is the press release:
Announcement of Singapore Literature Prize 2014 Shortlists
The judging panels for the Singapore Literature Prize 2014 today announced the shortlisted titles for nine of the competition's 12 categories. The Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) awards prizes in three categories, Poetry, Fiction and Non-Fiction, in all four of Singapore's official languages. The shortlists announced today are for:
1. Fiction: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil
2. Poetry: English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil.
3. Non-Fiction: Chinese
The judges for the Non-Fiction Malay panel have decided that there would be no Malay Non-Fiction shortlist, but the winner will be announced at the SLP award ceremony. Due to the replacement of judges for the English Non-Fiction category and a delivery hiccup with Tamil Non-Fiction submissions, the English and Tamil Non-Fiction shortlists will be announced in October.
A Year of Expansion and Improvement for SLP
Executive Director of the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) Mr R Ramachandran says, "This year has been one of expansion for the Singapore Literature Prize. We have increased the categories to three and the number of awards to 12. The total potential prize money is now $120,000. We are also working to expand the reach and impact of the Singapore Literature Prize both at home and abroad."
He adds, "Here in Singapore we are working with every level of the publishing industry from authors and publishers to distributors and retailers to raise the public's awareness of the awards and to make the shortlisted titles widely available for people to read. In previous years; winning an SLP award has often been the initial recognition of their talents for writers who have gone on to be recognised by the rest of the world. Between them, the four official languages of Singapore and the SLP awards are spoken and, more importantly, read by almost half of the world's population as either a first or second language. That offers Singapore and the SLP a unique opportunity to become a powerhouse in the literary world."
Promotional Activities for SLP shortlisted authors
The SLP organisers are hoping to give the shortlisted writers and their books greater exposure than before with a variety of promotional activities such as book signing events, readings and literary workshops at various venues. For the first time this year, special "SLP Shortlist" stickers have been supplied to publishers and retailers to enable the public to easily identify SLP shortlisted books in stores. Retailers will also be receiving SLP posters to display. Another SLP first for 2014 is the new Facebook page (facebook.com/singaporeliteratureprize) which will feature the latest SLP updates. This year, SLP welcomes on board title sponsors invested in publishing and literature. World Scientific Publishing are sponsoring the English and Chinese Non-Fiction prizes. The printers SC (Sang Choy) International Pte Ltd are sponsoring the Chinese Fiction prize and Montegrappa Pens, a luxury pen brand, are sponsoring the English Fiction award.
Managing Director of World Scientific Publishing Mdm Doreen Liu comments, "World Scientific believes strongly in the advancement of scholarly research, education and high-quality content, and is proud and honoured to be awarding the Singapore Literature Prize 2014 - World Scientific English and Chinese Non-Fiction prizes." SC (Sang Choy) International Pte Ltd spokesperson Almond Ko says, "Over the years Sang Choy have worked closely with many of Singapore's publishing houses helping to bring the ephemeral creations of Singaporean writers' imaginations in to the physical world as books people can read and cherish. So we are delighted to have the opportunity to encourage and support Singaporean authors by being a sponsor of the SLP."
Candi Kum of Montegrappa Pens who will be awarding the Singapore Literature Prize - Montegrappa English Fiction prize, says, "When we were offered the opportunity to sponsor the Singapore Literature Prize it seemed to us a perfect match that we, who craft beautiful and imaginative writing instruments, should sponsor an award for the writers who craft beautiful and imaginative words."
Singaporeans have almost two months to look up and read the shortlisted books before the 12 category winners are announced in November. The SLP awards ceremony is also being expanded this year into a formal awards dinner that will be held at the Regent Hotel in front of an invited audience of local and international publishing industry professionals.