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Meet the 2021 Epigram Books Fiction Prize shortlist

Meet the 2021 Epigram Books Fiction Prize shortlist

We're happy to announce the six finalists for the 2021 Epigram Books Fiction Prize (EBFP). This time, the shortlist includes a lawyer, a lecturer, a retiree, and three authors.

They are (in alphabetical order)...

Wesley Leon Aroozoo, 36 (Singapore). Wesley is a lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts and a multi-disciplinary artist with 13 Little Pictures. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing from New York University Tisch Asia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honours from Nanyang Technological University. His works span across the literary arts, film, television, and theatre. He is the author of the 2012 novella Bedok Reservoir, which was also translated to the stage and performed at the Goodman Arts Centre. A feature documentary, the companion to his non-fiction novella I Want to Go Home, had its World Premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and was nominated for the Mecenat Award. On television, Wesley was the screenwriter behind Cats and Dogs: The Chronicles of a Pest Detective, which starred Pierre Png.

Boey Meihan, 43 (Singapore). A professional bookseller for eight years, Meihan is the author of the sci-fi romp The Messiah Virus, a space opera set in an all-Asian, mostly female, universe. She also published short comedy-horror fiction and contributed short stories. She is the Vice President of the Association of Comic Artists of Singapore and has been involved in many comic book projects, most recently The Once & Marvellous DKD, about Singaporean musicians in the Vietnam War. She is also involved in other local projects in support of the local comic book community. She is a mediocre but enthusiastic endurance athlete, and a rabid geek who’s been training to go Super Saiyan for 20 years. She is currently working on RPG games development with Bruce’s Blacksmith, a local Dungeons & Dragons campaign builder.

 Pallavi Gopinath Aney, 40 (Singapore). Pallavi is a lawyer by day—and, quite frequently, into the wee hours of the morning. Originally from Delhi and Kerala in India, she has called Singapore home since 2006. She has enjoyed writing for as long as she can remember and is also fascinated by the rich history of Singapore in the 20th Century. A partner at an international law firm, her work is cross-border in nature and her clients are from a number of jurisdictions in South Asia and South East Asia. She also enjoys mentoring young lawyers—and waiting hand and foot on her overlarge golden retriever.

Sebastian Sim, 54 (Singapore). Sebastian has published three wuxia novels in Chinese, and two contemporary novels in English: Let's Give It Up for Gimme Lao! and The Riot Act, with the latter winning the 2017 Epigram Books Fiction Prize. He previously worked a variety of jobs—bartender, fast food outlet manager, prison officer in a maximum security prison, croupier in a casino—all of which he said served to enrich the soil of his imagination and writing. In his younger days, Sebastian enjoyed trekking and backpacking, crossing trails around the world, from South America to Africa; as well as scuba diving.

Daryl Qilin Yam, 29 (Singapore). Daryl is a writer of prose and poetry, editor and arts organiser born and based in Singapore. He is a director at the literary charity Sing Lit Station and is presently pursuing graduate studies at Nanyang Technological University. His first novel, Kappa Quartet, was longlisted for the inaugural Epigram Books Fiction Prize and has been published in Singapore and the UK. The novel was selected by The Business Times as one of the best novels of 2016 and was described by QLRS as “(breaking) new ground in Singaporean writing".

H.Y. Yeang, 70 (Malaysia). H.Y. Yeang grew up in Penang and, after graduating from the University of Malaya, joined the Rubber Research Institute (RRIM) where he rose to head the Biotechnology and Strategic Research Unit, a post he held until his retirement. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 research papers, including more than 90 publications in peer-reviewed international scientific journals. Despite his background in science—he was elected a Fellow of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences in 2002—he has a strong interest in history and writing. He currently provides online editorial services and previously published a short story.


The 2021 Epigram Books Fiction Prize will be awarded in January 2021. The winner will receive S$25,000, while the other finalists get S$5,000 each. The winning and shortlisted manuscripts will be published. 

The winner will be decided by our panel of judges, which comprises Wahyuni Hadi, film producer and curator; Monica Lim, author and founder of writing agency Hedgehog Communications; Gareth Richards, founder of Gerakbudaya Bookshop in Penang; Sim Wai Chew, associate professor of English at the School of Humanities in Nanyang Technological Institute, and Edmund Wee, publisher and founder of Epigram Books.

Check out the previous Epigram Books Fiction Prize book collection here
Find out more about the Epigram Books Fiction Prize here

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