EPIGRAM BOOKS FICTION PRIZE 2017
The Epigram Books Fiction Prize is in the third year and we are grateful for the continuous support all our sponsors have shown us thus far. We hope the prize event will continue to grow together with the literary community, as we see more quality manuscripts being published in the years to come.
Once again, we are encouraged by the high quality entries. Even as the Prize goes into its third year, the pool of local talents has not diminished. We received forty-seven submissions, most of them written by newcomers to fiction.
We were impressed with the quality of the submissions, as well as the range of genres covered. After a lengthy assessment of all the scripts, four stood out for their plots, prose and protagonists. Their authors are, in alphabetical order, Judith Huang, Akshita Nanda, Sebastian Sim and Andre Yeo. We honour them and their works here tonight. May our literary scene continue to grow in vibrancy with the emergence of more budding authors in our midst.
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
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.
You have to live and explore life first. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Sebastian Sim