Singapore Book Awards 2020: A Dessert Guide Wins Book of the Year

In News by Porter Anderson

The 2020 Singapore Book Awards, presented online, include three newly added digital-publishing categories including audiobook, ebook, and digital marketing.

The 2020 Singapore Book Awards were announced in a digital presentation

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Schoppert: ‘To Ensure Books Have the Impact Intended’

The Singapore Book Publishers Association’s Singapore Book Awards, as you’ll remember, this year have been expanded to include 10 categories, the newly added three of which reflect the progress that digital publishing is making in the island city-state’s literary community.

  • Book Cover Design
  • Education Title
  • Illustrated Non-Fiction Title
  • Literary Work
  • Middle Grade / Young Adult Title
  • Nonfiction Title
  • Picture Book
  • Audiobook Title
  • Digital Marketing Campaign
  • Ebook Title

And an overall Book of the Year category, drawn from the others, has made a book about desserts the top title of the year.

Christopher Tan’s The Way of Kueh, Savouring and Saving Singapore’s Heritage Desserts is published by Edmund Wee’s Epigram Books  by Christopher Tan (Epigram Books) is both the winner in the Illustrated Nonfiction class and the Book of the Year, the jury writing in its rationale, “Its impact, relevance and importance is in its contribution to the heritage and knowledge it brings to the community as well as to the culinary world.

“This book about the heritage desserts called kueh and found in Singapore and the region is beautifully written, produced, and extensively researched. It’s truly accessible to neophytes as well as culinary experts.

“The bonus of course, is that this book is a cookbook, as well.”

Overnight, the Singapore Book Awards were announced in a digital presentation, with the association president, Peter Schoppert, saying, “The Singapore Book Awards recognize excellence in publishing.

“They don’t only consider the quality of the writing or artwork they contain. They also take into account the way the different elements have been brought together by the publisher, in book design, in production quality, in editing, and in the efforts publishers and authors make together to bring books to market, to gather the audience for every book and to ensure books have the impact intended.”

Singapore Book Award Winners 2020

Singapore Book Publishers Council president Peter Schoppert speaks in the 2020 Singapore Book Awards presentation. Image: SBPA


Penghuni Rumah Tua, narrated by Erul Samah (Pustaka Nasional)

Digital Marketing Campaign

Storytel Singapore’s digital marketing campaign


think! Additional Mathematics e-Textbooks A and B (10th edition), by Dr Joseph B.W. Yeo, Dr Choy Ban Heng, Teh Keng Seng, Wong Lai Fong and Sharon Lee (Shing Lee Publishers)

Book Cover Design

The Angel Tiger and Other Stories, designed by Liak Yuan Ying (Epigram Books)


How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying: A Satirical Look at Cutting-Edge Science, by Paul Knoepfler and Julie Knoepfler (World Scientific Publishing)

Illustrated Nonfiction

The Way of Kueh, Savouring and Saving Singapore’s Heritage Desserts, by Christopher Tan (Epigram Books)


Fall Baby, by Laksmi Pamuntjak (Penguin Random House Southeast Asia)

Middle Grade / Young Adult

Luminous Sword – Book 3, Keys of Archellos, by Eunice Li-Tan (Armour Publishing)


Homeless: The Untold Story of a Mother’s Struggle in Crazy Rich Singapore, by Liyana Dhamirah (Epigram Books)

Picture Book

Counting Sheep, by Pippa Chorley (author) and Danny Deeptown (illustrator) (Marshall Cavendish International (Asia))

In addition to those category awards, the program commended two titles with honorary mentions, one being Loss Adjustment, a book on the culturally challenging subject of suicide from Ethos Books. The other went to Pustaka Nasional as a special mention for using technology in creating bilingual resources with the support of the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism “to demonstrate the advantages of the EPUB format to make the bilingual book work in ways that a printed book cannot.”

During the course of the online presentation, commentary comes from Sim Ann, senior minister for communications, information, and national development, and from Chonrungsee Chalermchaikit, president of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand, currently holding the presidency of the ASEAN Book Publishers Association.

The digital presentation program for the awards can be seen on Facebook here.

Chonrungsee Chalermchaikit, president of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand, currently holding the presidency of the ASEAN Book Publishers Association., speaks during the 2020 Singapore Book Awards program. Image: SBPA

More from Publishing Perspectives on Singapore and its publishing scene is here. More from us on publishing and book awards is here. More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.