The News: Issue 48

Published on 2 August 2016

TEXT BY Pamela Ho

Novel Approach

Epigram Books doubles its pot for fiction prize.

Singapore publisher Epigram Books announced on 13 July that the prize money for their Epigram Books Fiction Prize — Singapore’s richest literary prize and the only prize for unpublished English language manuscripts — will be doubled from S$20,000 to S$40,000. Into its second year, the 2016 prize will not only see the winner walk away with S$25,000, three finalists will also receive S$5,000 each.
This nationwide search for the Great Singaporean Novel reeled in 69 submissions last year, with O Thiam Chin bagging the top prize. Seven shortlisted manuscripts will be published by Epigram Books in the course of this year. Closing date for this year’s manuscript submission is 1 September. The shortlist will be announced two months later, and the winner named in a gala dinner on 24 November.

For more information, visit


Chocs marry heritage with contemporary design.

An exclusive range of chocolates, with packaging inspired by the architectural elements of the National Gallery Singapore, was recently launched at the museum store, Gallery & Co. Created in collaboration with Rice Creative and Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat from Vietnam, the chocolate bars are individually packaged in wrappers crafted using the traditional Vietnamese technique of Dong Ho printing, and made with organic paints being applied on engraved woodblocks before being hand-pressed on paper.

“These artisanal chocolates — from its bespoke ingredients to its locally sourced design packaging — is a reflection of what we embody and represent in our collection: Southeast Asia,” says Kola Luu, the Gallery’s director of partnership development. The three-pack collection is currently sold exclusively at Gallery & Co for S$29.90.

Bragging Writes

Graphic novel clinches English Fiction prize. 

The biennial Singapore Literature Prize (SLP) held its 2016 award ceremony on 14 July, giving out 24 awards to 22 authors across 12 categories — covering fiction, non-fiction and poetry, in Singapore’s four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. For the first time, a graphic novel, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew, clinched the prestigious English Fiction prize; while the English Poetry prize saw joint winners: poets Cyril Wong for The Lover’s Inventory and Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde for I Didn’t Know Mani Was a Conceptualist. All shortlisted books (in four languages) will be on sale at the SLP’s official bookstore, MPH.

For the full list of winners, visit

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