In a rare case where the public have been given the chance to vote for a literary prize, a local author has won an award that will help him get his next book into print. The NUS Singapore History Prize will award the winner with a grant of $50,000 to make his next book available for wider distribution. The competition is open to books with a Singapore element, and the judging panel will consider a wide range of works. The prize is designed to encourage more people to engage with Singapore’s history, as well as to recognise authors who have written about the city-state in an exemplary way.
A housing complex for senior citizens has beaten flashier projects to be named the world’s best building at an annual design awards ceremony. The Kampung Admiralty complex in the northern part of Singapore has won the World Building of the Year prize at the World Architecture Festival (WAF). The winning project beat hundreds of shortlisted buildings from around the globe to be given the prestigious award. The complex features over 100 apartments for elderly residents, a community space and a green roof. The judges said the building is not only a high-quality example of sustainable urban planning, but also demonstrates how a small project can make a difference to the lives of the people who live there.
The prize is backed by the National Book Development Council of Singapore, and is organised by the International Federation of Arts and Literature. It aims to promote a greater appreciation of the writing of Singaporean authors in each of the country’s four official languages. This is the sixth time the prize has been awarded, and this year it attracted 235 submissions from a diverse group of writers. The winners were announced on Thursday at a gala event in Victoria Theatre. The theme this year was resonance, which organizers said reflected how literature can spark emotions and memories. Five of the winners were shortlisted in two categories and three writers were first-time winners. Clara Chow, the youngest writer to win, clinched wins in both the English and Chinese fiction categories. She became the first woman in the programme’s 30-year history to have a novel shortlisted for both categories.
At the same event, Prince William was praised by one of this year’s Earthshot winners for his commitment to repairing the planet. Gunnlaugur Erlendsson, founder and chief executive of UK-based ENSO, told the audience that William is following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather by committing to action on climate change.
During his visit to the city-state, the prince will also meet with local organisations to learn more about how they are tackling climate change and meeting the needs of people in Southeast Asia. He will also take part in a United for Wildlife global summit to hear from representatives of law enforcement agencies and conservation groups working together to combat the illegal trade in wild animals.