Singapore

Journalists shortlisted for $25,000 book prize

Two journalists have made the shortlist for this year's Epigram Books Fiction Prize.

Straits Times arts correspondent Akshita Nanda and The New Paper assistant news editor Andre Yeo will be vying for the $25,000 prize, Singapore's only one for unpublished English-language novels, which is in its third edition.

They will be up against office executive Sebastian Sim, who is on the shortlist for a second time, and writer Judith Huang.

The four novels include a speculative work set in a futuristic Singapore, in which a 13-year-old girl accidentally creates a new world using the Reality Machine in her mother's Biopolis laboratory.

Another follows two women with the same name living 70 years apart, one an aspiring engineer in 1944 India, the other a scientist who emigrates from India to Singapore in 2015 to escape her matchmaking family and a secret past.

In the third, suicide bombers slip into Singapore to carry out an attack on National Day in 2020. The fourth looks at the 2013 Little India riots.

The manuscripts are submitted to the judging panel without names for impartial assessments.

Nanda, 38, has written textbooks, short fiction and poetry, but this is her first novel.

Yeo, 45, a journalist of 21 years, has previously self-published a collection of 50 50-word stories to mark SG50. "I am honoured they felt my manuscript was good enough to be shortlisted," he said.

The winner will be announced on Nov 23. 
- THE STRAITS TIMES

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