23-Year-Old Malaysian Writer Bags Singapore's Richest Literary Prize

This is his first book

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23-Year-Old Malaysian Writer Bags Singapore's Richest Literary Prize

Winning words

He came, he wrote and he happily walked away with the richest literary prize in Singapore!

Malaysian writer, 23-year-old Joshua Kam, won S$25,000 (RM75,400) and became the youngest winner of the island republic's prestigious Epigram Books Fiction Prize.

The win was additionally challenging as this time around, applications were also extended to writers from Asean. 

This is the first time the competition opened its doors to non-Singaporean writers

This is Kam's first book!

The Straits Times, quoting Epigram Books founder Edmund Wee said in 2018 that opening the restrictions from just Singaporean writers was a way to reach out to more people. 

Kam’s winning entry was for his manuscript titled ‘How The Man In Green Saved Pahang, And Possibly The World’ in which two characters, Gabriel and Lydia, go on a cross-country race against time in an attempt to prevent the end of the world, meeting historical and mythical figures from folklore along the way.

Kam’s work, which is also his debut novel, beat 62 submissions from eight countries! (Fuyoooohhh!)


A post shared by Joshua Chun Wah Kam (@courteousinfractions) on



“Part of me is just thankful to be a vessel of the stories, peoples and ancestries I write about.

“Receiving a platform through Epigram – for those many ancestries and their tales – is a joy and honour,” said the budding writer who grew up in Montana in the United States but later moved to Kuala Lumpur.

Kam is currently completing his master’s degree in South-East Asian studies at the University of Michigan.

He beat three other finalists, Singaporean Erni Salleh, 31, California-based Thai writer Sunisa Manning, 34 and Universiti Brunei Darussalam assistant professor Kathrina Mohd Daud, 35.

We can't wait for the book to hit our bookstores!







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