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Epigram Books Fiction Prize 2018 – we have a winner!

Epigram is pleased to announce Yeoh Jo-Ann as the winner of the 2018 Epigram Books Fiction Prize (EBFP).

The results were announced at the award ceremony and gala dinner held earlier this evening at the Conrad Centennial Singapore.

Jo-Ann takes home a $25,000 cash prize and her winning manuscript, Impractical Uses of Cake, will be published in 2019. 

Three other finalists – Lu Huiyi, May Seah and Anittha Thanabalan – will receive S$5,000 each. Their manuscripts will also be published in 2019.

“These novels redefine our sense of reality by presenting us with situations that are outwardly unusual,” said Professor Rajeev Patke, director of the Division of Humanities at Yale-NUS College; and one of the judges for this year’s Prize.

He added: “Their narrative innovativeness and energy underlines how fragile our sense of ordinary reality can be, and how significant the basic impulses, values and considerations that keep us fundamentally human, in a Singapore whose future already waits impatiently on the doorstep of the contemporary.”

The other judges were award-winning author Suchen Christine Lim; Linda Locke, author and CEO of Godmother Consulting; and Edmund Wee, publisher and CEO of Epigram.

At the ceremony, Edmund Wee also announced that the 2019 edition of the Prize would see the call for submissions extended to include writers from the ASEAN countries.


“(A) way to reach out to more people is to open this competition to writers from Southeast Asia. As long as the submission is in the English language—whether it is written originally in English or translated into English. If a translated novel wins, the prize money will be shared between the author and the translator.”
The rules for this competition have been revised to reflect this regional expansion and are available on our website. 

2018 marks the fourth year that Epigram is holding the Epigram Books Fiction Prize. It is an annual prize that aims to champion excellence in creative writing. It was initiated in 2015 to give writers a leg-up in the industry.

Several authors who participated in the Prize have since gone on to bigger things, including bestselling author Balli Kaur Jaswal, Singapore Literature Prize winner Jeremy Tiang and Singapore Book Award recipient Nuraliah Norasid.

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