Call for Submissions

Closing Date: Tuesday, 1 August 2017

We’re looking for the next Great Singaporean Novel; the 2017 Epigram Books Fiction Prize is now accepting submissions.

Prize winner will receive S$25,000 and a publishing contract
Three finalists will each receive S$5,000 and a publishing contract
Longlisted entries also stand a chance to be published

Established in 2015, the Epigram Books Fiction Prize promotes contemporary Singapore creative writing and rewards excellence in Singapore literature. The annual prize is Singapore’s richest literary award, offering S$25,000 to the winner and S$5,000 to three shortlisted finalists.

The Prize is open to Singaporeans, permanent residents or Singapore-born authors with full-length, original and unpublished novel-length manuscripts written in the English language.

Introducing the EBFP 2017 Judging Panel

The 2016 Winner

Nuraliah Norasid

An early subject of Nuraliah Norasid’s writing was an earthworm princess. Growing up in a less privileged family, writing for her was a source of escapism. Since then, this research associate has graduated from spinning stories about star-crossed lovers to fearsome gorgons in this first novel. An early draft was written in 2006, but ten years later, Nuraliah found herself returning to it with older, wiser eyes. It evolved into The Gatekeeper, an allegorical tale ostensibly about two gorgon sisters, but looks to shed light on discrimination against marginalised communities in Singapore.

For Nuraliah, a champion of the fantasy genre, this mythological creature is more than just an emblem of terror. “The Medusa is like a very painful or disdainful truth—truth like poverty in clean, first class Singapore,” she explains. “[She is] like the Malay girl who was bullied out of her job at the froyo outlet because she can’t speak Mandarin in multiracial, multicultural Singapore.”

The Gatekeeper

At the tender age of ten, a gorgon named Ria petrifies an entire village of innocents with her gaze. Together with her sister, she flees the jungles of Manticura to the underground city of Nelroote, where most of society’s marginalised members live.

50 years later, a man named Eedric has become bored with the monotony of his privileged life in Manticura, which has now become an urban city. He stumbles upon the entrance of Nelroote and meets gatekeeper Ria, who has been petrifying soldiers who threaten the peace of the underground city. As their friendship begins to blossom, whispers of the gorgon sisters come to a head and spark off a chain of events that throws Nelroote and its inhabitants into danger.

The 2016 Finalists

News and Updates