The 2017 Winner

Sebastian Sim

Sebastian Sim is not one to shy from the road less taken – he spent his twenties backpacking around the world to soak up different experiences and cultures.”[I think] there is an advantage in writing when you’re older,” he remarks. “You have to live and explore life first. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

As a man writing from three women’s perspectives in his second novel, Sebastian has no lack of imagination. As a child, he harbours a runaway imagination. He recreates the stories in his mind and takes on the role of the protagonists. In his fantasy land, he could be a deadly assassin in Tang Dynasty China going undercover as the emperor’s concubine or a teenage songstress trying to escape from the abusive gambler of a stepfather.

Sebastian has published several books in Chinese and his first English novel, Let’s Give It Up for Gimme Lao! was shortlisted for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize and published in 2016.

Catch Sebastian’s response after being announced the winner of the 2017 Epigram Books Fiction Prize!

The Riot Act

Winner for the 2017 Epigram Books Fiction Prize

Questions abound in the aftermath of the Little India riot. Hashwini wonders if she triggered the chaos. Jessica asks if she should reveal what truly happened in the ambulance. Sharon thinks that the catastrophe could be what she needs to boost her political career.

The lives of three women intertwine when accident and coincidence collide. In Gimme Lao!-style hilarity, they become wrapped up in a web of truth, deception and political connections. This is a perceptive, fast-paced romp that asks “what if” of the riot that recently shook Singapore.

Let’s Give It Up for Gimme Lao!

Finalist for the 2015 Epigram Books Fiction Prize

“I don’t aspire to be nice. I do what is necessary to get what I want.”

Born on the night of the nation’s independence, Gimme Lao is cheated of the honour of being Singapore’s firstborn son by a vindictive nurse. This forms the first of three things Gimme never knows about himself, the second being the circumstances surrounding his parents’ marriage, and the third being the profound (but often unintentional) impact he has on other people’s lives.

Tracing social, economic and political issues over the past 50 years, this humorous novel uses Gimme as a hapless centre to expose all of Singapore’s ambitions, dirty linen and secret moments of tender humanity.

The 2017 Finalists

Pre-order your book titles

The Epigram Books Fiction Prize is growing to be Singapore’s most coveted book prize, with a prize pot of $40,000 to support four novelists in bringing their writing to the masses. We created the Prize in 2015 to nurture Singaporean authors both new and established, with the confidence that one or more of these authors may earn that honour for themselves, and for Singaporean Literature.

Now that we’re setting the wheels in motion in this year’s search for the Next Great Singaporean Novels, we’re offering 2 very special bundles so you can lend your support for the Prize, too. We’re now making our upcoming Epigram Books Fiction Prize novels available for pre-purchase, to be delivered to you as soon as each title is released in 2018.

The proceeds from these bundles will go into administering the Epigram Books Fiction Prize, and help boost Singaporean novels to the forefront of the local literary scene.

Our EBFP Titles

Epigram Books Award Ceremony 2017

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