Every month, we host a new competition on Writing the City. Sign up to our newsletter and be the first to find out about competitions and more. Our competitions are open to writers of any nationality in any location, though some prizes may be specific to Singapore.
We Love Our Neighbourhoods
Competition deadline: 30 June 2013
Pasir Ris, Toa Payoh, Tiong Bahru…
This month, Writing the City in collaboration with Epigram Books invites you to write a story that takes place in your neighbourhood – wherever you live, across Singapore.
Be inspired by familiar sights and sounds: the smells of freshly baked bread, or the sounds of shop shutters opening each morning. Perhaps it’s the local characters that arouse your interest: the chicken rice auntie at the corner coffee shop, or the old cobbler who sits under an umbrella, mending shoes all day…
Use these sketches (by Urban Sketchers) to keep the ideas-wheel turning.
(Artists: Marvin Chew, Don Low, Tia Boon Sim)
And for additional inspiration, pick up a copy of the Our Neighbourhoods series by Urban Sketchers and Epigram Books.
Write in any genre of your choosing as long as it is based on this theme. Our judges will be looking out for pieces that are descriptive and well-crafted.
Winners will receive the following prizes:
First prize: Epigram Books book bundle worth $40.
Two runners-up: Epigram Books book bundle worth $24
Please make sure that you pay close attention to all the rules and instructions below when entering the Competition:
- All Poetry entries must be no longer than 30 lines
- The maximum word limit is 650 words. There is no minimum word limit
- All entries must follow our Posting Guidelines, except regarding length
- The deadline for entries is 30 June 2013
- Sign up/in at http://civiclife.sg/writingthecity/wp-login.php
- Click on WRITE
- Enter your text.
- Tick We Love Our Neighbourhoods in the categories on the right hand side
- Click Publish
- Click View Post to see your entry
- Click READ to read other people’s entries
- For help, click here
December 2012-March 2013: On the Road
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” ~ Jack Kerouac. Inspired by the Beat classic On the Road, Writing the City asked for stories about a journey. Writers sent in pieces of travel writing about anywhere across the globe, real or imagined, using their life experiences and imagination to build the world around their tales. Thank you to our judge, Madeleine Lee, and congratulations to our winners, Alythea Ho with her piece North Korea: Reprisals of Juche and our runners up Eston T and Genevieve Wong with Refugee and Travelweary.
October-November 2012: Musicity
Presented by the British Council, Musicity, a location-based project aims to inspire people to see the urban fabric in new ways and encourage them to explore the city musically, architecturally and experientially. Writing the City asked writers to take in the sights, scents and sounds of the city and use Musicity locations as an inspiration to write their next piece! Thank you to our judge, Eleanor Wong, and congratulations to our winners, Lynnette Toh with her piece Yin and Yang Not So Different and our runners up Lim Jia Ying and Krystalle Teh with Slice of Life and Static Silence.
September 2012: Migrant Stories
Of boat people, curry-eaters, and a hot pot of cultural stew. Inline with Playback Theatre’s Encounters Project, Writing the City invited writers to tell a story from the eyes of the other. What it might be like, for instance, to arrive on these shiny shores for the first time. Thank you to our judge, Pooja Nansi, and congratulations to our winners, Idelle Yee Zi Hui with her piece Mid-autumn Festival and our runners up John Davies and Krystalle Teh with The Lucky Dutchman and Cheap Dreams. An honourable mention for Mehul Mangalvedhekar whose piece A New Beginning was selected for the Playback Theatre Encounters Exhibition.
August 2012: Happy 47
As the city turned another year older, Writing the City asked writers to look back at the city’s past and craft a story surrounding a moment in the history of this city, and explore how a city influences the characters who walk its streets and live in its homes. Thank you to our judge, Suchen Christine Lim and congratulations to our winners, Sangeetha N. with her piece If Only, and our runners up, Lim Jiaying and S.M. with Names and 3 Sad Faces at the Coffeeshop.
July 2012: Olympics and Paralympics
Like athletes of any sport, writers aspire for something greater. This month, Writing the City celebrated the shared spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics, to challenge writers to create a character that embodies that determination and perseverance in the face of adversity, against the odds. Thank you to our judge, Melissa de Viliers, and congratulations to our winners, Ang Jing Wei with his piece This Country to the Next and our runners up Lim Jia Ying and Ell with By the Sword and He remembers.
June 2012: World Shakespeare Festival
A hero with a tragic fate!
And perhaps, even a challenge to thee to rhyme.
This month’s competition challenged writers to submit a piece on the city, inspired by any one or more of the bards’ poetry and plays. Thank you to our judge, Steven Shaw, and congratulations to our winners, Rocco Hu with his piece Rear and our runners up Clarilyn Khoo and Kathleen Yu with Cesario and Memento Mori.
May 2012: City Beginnings
We invited writers to submit a piece on new beginnings; a pivotal point in a city’s history past, present or future. To delve into the city’s past: to the very beginning of something new, or project into the future where science has revolutionised the way we live. Thank you to our judge, Duncan Rose, and congratulations to our winners, Jasmine Goh with her piece Circle Line and our runners up Daniel Lee and Teo Yi Han with Year Zero and Hello There.
April 2012: Our Lost Poems
In conjunction with the Singapore Arts Festival 2012, Writing the City invited writers to explore the world of myth and of memory. To revisit the stories we grew up with, to uncover hidden pasts and almost forgotten memories; legends, riddles, tales told to us at bedtime. Thank you to our judge, Ng Yi-Sheng, and congratulations to our winners, Clarilyn Khoo with her piece Crossing the same river and our runners up Jason Wee and Ryan Lim with Grimm Tales and Wolf.
March 2012: The City Orchestra: Libera
How do you put sound into words? How do you give life to an audio experience using just your pen? Writers listened to the city’s orchestra – the chatty morning birds, the din of construction, the buzz of gossip, the whir as the train goes by, the sweeping wind as it makes its way through the trees – and put their pens to the paper to see how music brings to life emotional experience. Thank you to our judge, Pooja Nansi, and congratulations to our winner, Lim Jiaying with her piece Home and our runners up Nicholas Chng and Kenneth T with Earth Hour and Heart Beat.
Dickens 2012: City Dwellers
In continuum to our celebration of Dickens 2012, the 200th year anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, Writing the City invited writers into the ordinary lives of ordinary city folk. To delve into the rich detail of day-to-day city-life, the subtle undercurrents of everyday relationships, and the hidden motivators behind ordinary actions. Thank you to our judge, Alvin Pang, and congratulations to our winner, Rodrigo Jr Dela Pena with his piece The Merlion Speaks and our runners up Chi Ying Yue and Teo Cheong Cheong with Stairway and Stall No. 51
Dickens 2012: The Bicentennial Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Dickens
To mark the 2012 bicentennial anniversary of one of Britain’s most beloved writers, Writing the City invites you to step into the imaginative world of Charles Dickens and write a present-day character sketch, taking inspiration from one of Dickens’ characters. Thanks to our judges, Julia Bell (English), Chia Hwee Peng (Chinese), Isa Kamari (Malay) and K Kanagalatha (Tamil), and congratulations to our winners, Resham Premchand with her piece Silence and Amanah Mustafi with her piece Anak Jalanan and our runners up Benjamin Goh and Lin Jiaying with The Old Lady of the Blocks and Unseen.
November 2011: History & the City
A city’s history, its building blocks, and mesh of irony and contradictions. We asked writers to think about a city’s hidden past and unearth the gems beneath cement-exterior, and the characters who once walked this city whose stories are yet to be told. Thanks to our judge, award-winning author Dave Chua, and congratulations to our winners, Jerrold Yam with Inheritance, and runners up Ann Ang and Joel Chua with Finding the Sea and The Great White Lie of 1964.
October 2011: Transactions
Inline with the Singapore Writers Festival 2011, Writing the City asked writers to delve into the topic of “Transactions”. How do the currents of exchange affect our daily lives; from the individual to wider society? Does it distracts us from the truly valuable aspects of life? Does money stimulate or hinder art? Many thanks to judge, Madeleine Lee. And a warm congratulations to our competition winner, Farah Jaffar, with her piece Means of Gains, and runners up Catherine Rose Torres and Tracey Sullivan with Buskerville and Or Do They Laugh?.
Jack and the Beanstalk
What happened to Jack when he climbed the gigantic beanstalk? We asked writers to let their imagination run wild and submit their take on what indeed, did happen to Jack. Who did he meet? What magical encounters awaited him? Congratulations to winners Loh Guan Liang and Joel Chua with Beanstalk and At the Top of the Beanstalk.
September 2011: Looking Forward
Writers looked forward into visions of the future in the city, exploring city scenes disappearing into memory as the city changes and evolves. Judge Pooja Nansi selected winners whose work was showcased at Writing the City’s Spoken Word/Open Mic event on 13 October at the Arts House. Many thanks to Pooja Nansi and a big congratulations to the winner Lilian Wang with her piece Lim Mong Lee and runners up Joel Chua and Dorothy Low with Futuristic Painting and Remember?
August 2011: The Individual and the City
Writing the City encouraged writers to contemplate a moment amidst the alienation of city life where a lonely individual surprisingly connects with a character or characters around him / her and how this connection reveals the common humanity between people, transcending differences and cultural identity. Congratulations to our winner Nurfilzah Rohaidi with her piece Stickmen and to our runners up, Yi Han Teo with The Meaning of Things and Catherine Rose Torres with Shivering Worlds of Beauty. Thank you so much to our judge Jeremy Sheldon himself.
July 2011: Local Magic
We invited writers to compose a short piece in which magic or an encounter with the supernatural takes place in their neighbourhood. Congratulations to Ryan David Lim who won first prize with his piece rain girl and to the runners up, B. Liew with We’re all ghosts and Tania De Rozario with Whether She Would Dream. Many thanks to our judge, accomplished writer and playwright, Eleanor Wong.
June 2011: Hidden Skyline
We asked writers to choose a meaningful place or building in the city where they had worked, lived, dreamed or loved and to write about the memories that live in that place. Our judge, acclaimed writer and editor Desmond Kon, selected Eric Valles’ poem Verses on Bukit Chandu as the winning piece and two runners up: Catherine Rose Torres for her piece The Birdcage and Bronwyn Tan for The Postman You Recognise So Well.
May 2011: Two Voices
We invited writers to create a piece involving an urban encounter between two characters, and to record themselves reading their work. Congratulations to Ryan How, who won first prize with his piece Dust, and to Catherine Rose Torres and Jia, our runners up. A big thank you to our judge, UK novelist Jeremy Sheldon.
April 2011: Character Snap
We challenged writers to create a character in no more than 500 words, and to include an image that would add something to the piece. Our judge, graphic novelist Dave Chua, awarded first prize to Catherine Rose Torres for her piece The Single Mother. She won a compact canon camera. The runners up were Evariste Galois and Seow Ser Lee.
March 2011: Fair is Foul
Lisa Li, Geraldine Choo and Ashley Ong were the winners of our Fair is Foul Writing Competition, supported by Singapore Repertory Theatre. We challenged writers to explore aspects of the city where ‘fair is foul’ or ‘foul is fair’, and all is not as it seems. All three won tickets to Singapore Repertory Theatre‘s Macbeth in Fort Canning Park. The competition was judged by poet Madeleine Lee.
February 2011: City Loves
Michael Chin, Eric Valles and Melanie Lee were the winners of our special one-day Valentine’s competition. Lucky in words, though not always in love. Click here to read their entries and much, much more.