Singapore’s literary arts scene has grown from strength to strength over the years. Diverse in its offerings, penned in the nation’s four official languages and crossing multiple genres, Singapore literature is undoubtedly an integral part of the nation’s cultural capital.
Today, Singapore literature is increasingly studied in schools, adapted into various artistic platforms and embraced by the general reading public here in Singapore and beyond. In more recent years, successful children’s and young adult fiction writers, graphic novelists, online literary journals, independent presses and bookstores have added to the lively literary scene here.
Prominent figures in the literary landscape include poet Edwin Thumboo, novelist Suchen Christine Lim, Chinese writer Wong Meng Voon, Malay writer Abdul Ghani Abdul Hamid and Tamil poet K T M Iqbal. Many of these veteran writers as well as newer voices in Singapore literature have been invited to international literary festivals from Hong Kong and Paris to New Delhi and Berlin.
Also, many of Singapore’s best writers have been published regionally and internationally, while others have been translated into Chinese, Italian, German, French, Korean and Bahasa Indonesia.
Important events on the literary calendar include the Singapore Writers Festival and its school programme Words Go Round. Significant awards in the literary landscape include The Singapore Literature Prize managed by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and the biennial Golden Point Awards, the premier writing competition for fiction and poetry in Singapore’s four official languages.
Various schemes are available to deepen Singapore’s literary canon and help our writers get a leg up in the world of publishing. These are open to both aspiring and established writers, as well as publishers who publish Singapore creative writing.