WINNING NOTES

Published on 27 May 2017

The Golden Point Award (GPA) is open for submissions again to shine its light on a new pool of literary talents.

By MELANIE LEE

“Over the years, many past winners have gone on to forge a name for themselves locally and internationally,” says Ms May Tan, Director, Sector Development (Literary Arts) of National Arts Council.

What does it mean to take home a prize from this premier creative writing competition?  Let three illustrious GPA past winners fill you in.

Mohammad Farihan Bin Bahron, 38

Graphic Designer
Golden Point Award 2015, 1st Prize in Malay Poetry
Golden Point Award 2015, 1st Prize in Malay Short Story
Golden Point Award 2003, 2nd Prize in Malay Poetry

Being a GPA winner has opened up doors for me. As a first prize winner, I was given an enrichment grant which I used to publish two books – one a collection of ten short stories (“Kesumat Sang Avatar”) and the other a collection of 40 poems (“Tukang Tunjuk Telunjuk”). Both books are written in Malay and can be ordered online via UnggunCreative.com. I have also been invited to participate in collaborative projects with other writers.

My advice for those who want to take part in GPA this year? Always assume that your first draft is the worst. After you finish writing, stop. Sleep or have a meal. After that, continue to edit. Show it to a few trusted beta readers. Don’t fish for praises. Ask for flaws. Rewrite some more. The Golden Point Award has always attracted the best local talent and one must be willing to go the extra mile to ace this competition.

TANIA DE ROZARIO, 36

Visual Artist & Writer
Golden Point Award 2011, 1st Prize in English Poetry

Her debut poetry collection “Tender Delirium” was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2014.

I was close to completing my first full poetry manuscript, so I thought taking part in GPA would be a good way of trying to get my writing out there. I was super happy when I won, because I had rent and overdue phone bills to pay! Soon after, my manuscript was accepted for publishing. At around the same time, my solo art show “A Language of Longing” was launched at the Substation Gallery. Because of my GPA win, I was able to get some cross-publicity for my exhibition.

For anyone undecided about joining GPA, I say go for it! Submitting your work, not just to GPA, but also to literary journals and other writing contests, is a good habit to cultivate if you want to get your work out there.

JOSHUA IP, 35

Office Worker
Golden Point Award 2015, Honourable Mention in Chinese Poetry
Golden Point Award 2013, 1st Prize in English Short Story
Golden Point Award, 2011, 2nd Prize in English Poetry

To me, GPA is about giving me external deadlines to get writing done. Deadlines are awesome. If not, I have difficulty writing. I feel enriched to have won repeatedly, but it’s not about the winning. There are fewer GPA categories I am eligible to apply for now. My Chinese is rusty, my Malay infantile, and Tamil non-existent, so we’ll see how that goes.

The Golden Point Award (GPA) is open for submissions till 14 July 2017. It accepts short stories and poetry in the nation’s four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Click here for more information.

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