Epigram Books Blog

Singapore’s Richest Literary Prize Launched March 10 2015

SINGAPORE’S RICHEST LITERARY PRIZE LAUNCHED
For Immediate Release

 

SINGAPORE, 10 March 2015—Epigram Books is pleased to announce the launch of a new literary prize, the Epigram Books Fiction Prize.

The annual prize of S$20,000 is the richest literary award in Singapore. It is to be awarded to a Singaporean, Singaporean permanent resident or Singapore-born author for the best manuscript of a full-length, original and unpublished novel written in the English language. The first winner will be announced at this year’s Singapore Writers Festival in November 2015 and have his/her novel published by Epigram Books.

“We want to reward excellence in contemporary Singapore creative writing and to encourage the readership of high-quality Singapore literature by publishing the winning and shortlisted entries,” explains Edmund Wee, Publisher and CEO of Epigram Books.

The competition is now open for entries. The manuscript must be unpublished and uncontracted to a publisher. Four hard copies of the manuscript and a completed official entry form should be submitted by post or delivered by hand to Epigram Books at Block 1008 Toa Payoh North #03-08 Singapore 318996. The closing date for submissions is August 31, 2015, 6pm.

The judging panel will be chaired by Edmund Wee. The names of the other judges will be announced at a later date. For more information about the inaugural edition of the Epigram Books Fiction Prize, or for any queries, please visit www.epigrambooks.sg.

For interview opportunities or further media enquiries, please contact ebfp@epigrambooks.sg or +65 6292 4456.
 

About Epigram Books

An independent publisher based in Singapore, Epigram Books is known for putting together well-designed and thought-provoking titles. It began as a division of the multiple award-winning communications design firm Epigram but registered as a separate entity in July 2011 to champion Singaporean literature.

It is best known for the middle grade series, The Diary of Amos Lee, which has sold over 240,000 copies worldwide. Other landmark publications include translations of Cultural Medallion winners and new editions of out-of-print classic Singaporean novels.

In 2014, a debut short story collection Epigram Books published, Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe, unanimously won the Singapore Literature Prize for English Fiction. 

 

Epigram Books Fiction Prize

The Epigram Books Fiction Prize promotes contemporary Singapore creative writing and rewards excellence in Singapore literature. The annual prize is Singapore’s richest literary award. S$20,000 is awarded to the Singaporean, permanent resident or Singapore-born author for the best manuscript of a full-length, original and unpublished novel written in the English language. The competition is now open for entries. The first winner will be announced at the Singapore Writers Festival in November 2015 and have his/her novel published by Epigram Books. Please download the official entry form and rules and regulations here


Amos Abroad Photo Contest January 02 2014

Singapore’s favourite toilet diarist is back! And this time, he’s reporting from much more far-flung locales. First stop: Taipei, Taiwan!

Take part in “The Weird and Wonderful Photo Contest” and stand a chance to win one of ten special hardcover editions of The Travel Diary of Amos Lee: Lost in Taipei and tea with the creators of Amos Lee!

Here’s how:

We can’t wait to see your photos!


The Inaugural Epigram Books Holiday Pop-up Store! December 07 2012


Spend $100 and get an exclusive goodie bag*, comprising a bestselling NOTBOOK, The Little Nightingale Who Can’t Sing boxset, and an Amos Lee notebook.

  

Enjoy ATTRACTIVE DISCOUNTS OF UP TO 70% on our titles. Check out some of our books that would make great Christmas gifts for your loved ones:
  

 

Mum’s Not Cooking: Favourite Singaporean Recipes for the Near Clueless or Plain Lazy, by Denise Fletcher, is the perfect gift for Singaporean foodies who live abroad, or a kid who’s away at college.

Only the Best!: The ieatishootipost Guide to Singapore’s Shiokest Hawker Food, by local food blogger Dr Leslie Tay, is the only guide you’ll need for laidback weekend meals out with your family.

Our colourful children’s picture books, with their heartwarming tales and beautiful illustrations, make great bedtime stories to read with your young ones. For slightly older kids, consider the bestselling The Diary of Amos Lee series.

 

    

From L-R: A New Home for Bo Bo and Cha Cha, translated children’s title The King and the Frog, and the recently launched The Diary of Amos Lee 4: Lights, Camera, Superstar!

Our graphic novels tell an eclectic array of stories: Ten Sticks and One Rice by Oh Yong Hwee and Koh Hong Teng is inspired by the experiences of their hawker parents and their friends, Miel’s Scenegapore offers sharply observed yet tongue-in-cheek commentary on our country’s past, present, and future, and drewscape’s Monsters, Miracles & Mayonnaise is a collection of personal anecdotes both real and imagined.

 

    

 

And if you’re not sure what would exactly suit someone on your Christmas shopping list, look no further than our bestselling NOTBOOKS that put a positive spin on people’s lovable quirks. This year, we have launched four new titles:

 

      

 

With such an array of titles, the Epigram Books Holiday Pop-up Store is a great one-stop holiday shopping destination. We hope to see you there!

Please note that we only accept payment in cash or by cheque.

Directions:

We are located at 1008 Toa Payoh North, #03-08.

Braddell MRT (NS Line): Take the Toa Payoh North exit and follow the route outlined on the map.

*While stocks last. Goodie bag contents are subject to change.


The Travels Of Amos Lee November 23 2012

It’s been an exciting few weeks for Singapore’s most famous toilet diarist, Amos Lee. He thought his world would come to an end when his diaries were stolen and published, but it seems fame and fortune await him! A director has even offered to adapt his diaries into a television show—but a new boy will take over from Amos. How unfair! The show must NOT go on! But will Amos succeed?

Fortunately, Amos hasn’t let his jealousy get him too down. In fact, he has been on some exciting travels!

 Checking out the toilets at Changi Airport—they're known to be amazingly clean!

Checking out the toilets at Changi Airportthey're known to be amazingly clean!
Oh wow! Can you guess which city Amos is in?
Oh wow! Can you guess which city Amos is in?

That's right—it's London! Amos is excited to see the famous Tower Bridge and the River Thames.
That's rightit's London! Amos is excited to see the famous Tower Bridge and the River Thames.

 

Looks like Amos is the star at Shakespeare's Globe theatre as well...
Looks like Amos is the star at Shakespeare's Globe theatre as well...

 

Look at that beautiful scenery! Can't wait to go swimming!

Look at that beautiful scenery! Can't wait to go swimming!

 

"Headed back to home, sweet home...gotta write in my diary about my great trip!"

"Headed back to home, sweet home...gotta write in my diary about my great trip!"


Wow, that looked like a ton of fun! Look out for more photos from Amos Lee’s exciting travels—coming soon.

In the meanwhile, now that the school holidays have started, are you headed on adventures overseas? Or perhaps you will be exploring Singapore’s hidden corners with your family and friends? We want to see YOUR travel photos! Send them to contact@amoslee.com.sg and who knows, you too might find fame like Amos Lee himself.

The Diary of Amos Lee 4: Lights, Camera, Superstar! is now out in bookstores. Don’t miss the final instalment in this series! You can also view more photos from the Amos 4 e-book launch at the Singapore Writers Festival here, and photos from the official launch at { prologue } bookstore here—a big thank you to those who joined us!


The Diary of Adeline Foo in Beijing April 26 2012

Hello from Beijing!

Here are some participants who attended the China-Singapore Publishing Symposium. From left to right, Daniel Ho from People’s Trend, Evelyn Chia from Pan Asia Publishing, Catherine Khoo from Janus Education, (me) Adeline Foo and Edmund Wee, CEO & Publisher from Epigram Books.

Here’s a household name in MediaCorp Channel 8 dramas, Edmund Chen (the other Edmund, also the other author, on this trip).

I remember when I was a teenager, I used to watch Edmund on TV.  I envied him for his easy switch between use of English and Mandarin in speaking; I was never comfortable, nor good, with my mother tongue. Preparing for this trip had been a nerve-wrecking experience. For someone who prepares for a school presentation just the night before the talk, I’ve had to rely on quick thinking to get through speeches.  But this is China, and this presentation is in Chinese!  I can’t think and speak fast in Mandarin!  Arrrghhhh!

So what was the hardest part in preparing for my talk?  Well, what do you call Amos in Chinese?

The original computer-aided translation was 阿莫斯 李的日记, but I thought it sounded really weird!  I had to work on sooooo many permutations before coming up with this, something that sounded like ‘er mo xi’. But how do you write that? My son, Ben, helped me to install an app for Chinese word recognition.  I went through hundreds of characters before deciding on 儿模施的日记. The last word was inspired from the names of one of China’s four greatest beauties, Xi Shi. Then what about ‘I Sit, I Write, I Flush’? I liked this one which a friend suggested:  我上大号、写日记、冲马桶!It sounded really cocky, something naughty that Amos would say in Mandarin!  I’m also pleased with the other translations for Book #2 and Book #3:

Girls, Guts & Glory: 有女生真烦! 要成名太难!

I’m 12, I’m Tough, I Tweet!: 十二岁的我很威风,因为我会发微博!

There’s more than just translating titles in the presentation, of course, but for this blog, I thought it’s enough to share this. So, after surviving the presentation, how did we celebrate? In Beijing, over Peking duck of course!  A quick check with locals led us to this quaint, run down Peking duck restaurant called ‘Liqun’ (definitely an ‘F’ rated dining place for hygiene, see pictures!) But we’re all good foodies, we eat everything that’s served, and we don’t ask if the cooks ever wash their hands!

It was a really eventful trip, thanks to the Media Development Authority and organisers from EonBoo Publishing who made it possible. Hopefully, this first symposium would pave the way for more authors from Singapore to enter the China market.

Work aside, how did the Peking duck rate? I gave it a five-star, while Edmund (not the author, but the publisher) said Singapore still has the best Peking duck.  But he’s not telling where because he doesn’t want the place to be swarmed by people.

Cheers from Beijing!

Adeline Foo


Meet ‘Amos Lee’ Fan Delia Lee, Author to be Comic Artist and Writer April 13 2012

Meet 9-year-old Delia Lee, who is becoming an author and is our first young comics writer and artist featured on our blog. She wrote and posted us a letter, and shared a comic she drew. In her letter, Delia insists, “I AM A CHILD! SERIOUSLY!”

We believe you, Delia and must say that you are a very accomplished child with a great ear for dialogue.

The comic brings to life a conversation she had with her mum which resulted in her mail to us. In the comic, her mum informs Delia that the hardest part of becoming an author is finding a publisher. An avid fan of The Diary of Amos Lee, Delia hits on contacting us at Epigram Books with her ardent proposal to publish her comic “if it is good”.

Having studied in Macau for 7 years, Delia says studying in Singapore is more fun and tells us about a schoolmate in Macau who wants everything everyone else has. Stay tuned next week to read in Delia’s letter, what this girl does when she is refused. A master at manipulation at such a young age…

Delia, we had a blast reading your comic and would like you to keep drawing and writing your witty stories with such snappy dialogue. We’ll be glad to receive a manuscript from you for your first comic book.

We send our love, from all of us at Epigram Books. Thank you for making our lives at work special and extra-fun with your heartfelt letter and comic!


Edmund, Meet Bologna. Bologna, Meet Edmund March 19 2012

It started with a letter from the National Arts Council inviting our Managing and Creative Director, Edmund Wee, to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2012. From 19 to 22 March, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair will be held in Bologna, Italy (where else?!), and is the most important fair devoted to children’s books, publishing and multimedia in the world. At the fair, publishers (like us), authors, illustrators, literary agents, distributors, booksellers, librarians and more children’s book professionals the world over meet to discuss the selling and buying of rights. There, these industry professionals will discover the very best in children’s publishing and multimedia, meet up with their peers and make important contacts. Deciding to go, a flurry of activity then ensued!

Felicia, our Rights & Marketing Manager, has been busy sourcing for air tickets, making hotel arrangements and buying book fair tickets (she almost forgot but she’ll never admit it: forgetting would have left Edmund stranded outside the fair, ticketless and barred from entry) while juggling the many emails requesting appointments with Edmund and trying to fit everyone into his busy schedule. On the creative side, our designer, Stefany, together with Edmund, worked hard on creating fun and eye-catching catalogues for two of our best- selling children’s series, The Diary of Amos Lee and Archibald!

 

Months later, our fearless leader’s bags are packed and he is finally ready to take off and represent Epigram Books at Bologna for the first time ever! Well, almost ready, we are waiting for advance review copies of Archibald and the Black Knight’s Ring, publishing only in June 2012 to come back from the printers and then he’s off!

Keep a look out for Edmund’s misadventures once he returns.

 


A Day in the Life of Felicia March 12 2012

Welcome back to the hectic harried universe of Epigram Books. In this edition, our Rights and Marketing Manager Felicia gives us an inside view into the glamorous world of book marketing.

___________________

Greetings Earthlings!

I’m Felicia, the Rights & Marketing Manager with Epigram Books. Basically what this means is that it is my job to ensure that all our titles are known by and hopefully read by everyone the world over!

Now. When I decided to join Epigram Books, I thought that I would be taking on something less hectic in my old age. I mean, after more than five years in book retail, what could compare to prepping for the release of the final book in the Harry Potter series or a new Lee Kuan Yew title? Now that’s the Hard Truth. Little did I realise the insanity that awaited me at Epigram Books: firstly, a food crazy Managing Editor constantly dragging us around the island for lunch to try new food places; secondly, a Managing Director who only answers emails after 2am. And yet…I wouldn’t change anything for the world (Well, maybe just the printers. Maybe).

So here you go. A peek at my to-do list slash post-it mad day.

TO DO LIST

  • Ask someone how to turn on the darn Mac! Buy new mouse because the Apple mouse has no roller and fingers are not equipped to deal.
  • Call Canadian publisher to discuss sale of rights for Archibald and the Blue Blood Conspiracy. (Update: When trying to use a Skype account, first remember to set up Skype account.)
  • Read Rights Contract. Bring contract home to read. Bah. (Note: Go back to school to get a law degree.)
  • Chase editors to fix a launch date for new titles in Stage to Print series: Model Citizens, Fear of Writing and Mimi Fan. (Note: Remember to read scripts in order to appear somewhat intelligent when talking to playwrights.)
  • Talk to Min about press kit for Stage to Print series. (To think about: How far is too far when it comes to creating controversy over political plays? Should probably check with someone as would like to keep job.)
  • Tell Aran minion to mail samples of The End of Char Kway Teow and Heritage Cookbook title to Overseas Singapore Unit (OSU). (Update: Make sure that all future minions are taught from the start that they should write the address on the front of the envelope not the back.) — Reminder: Email OSU about new cookbook for lazy people aka students!! Also newlyweds.
  • Check with Boon how to print paperwork needed to process first ever Epigram Book title order from Dubai!!! (Note: Also ask Boon why the printer hates me and refuses to print for me. Create own Epigram Books letterhead because the printer hates me.)
  • Talk to Jocelyn about marketing plan for new local kid’s poetry book coming out. (Reminder: Tell her about the time I almost drowned longkang fishing since there’s a poem about longkang fishing in the collection.) Also ask Sok Wan what’s the progress on the SG Poets series (Note: Think really, really hard about how to plan an event with Professor Edwin Thumboo, Robert Yeo and Kirpal Singh).
  • Email Adeline Foo on her upcoming appearance at the Hong Kong International Young Readers Book Fair in March. IMPORTANT: Make sure Sok Wan is around to speak Cantonese in case HK distributor calls to talk about sending The Diary of Amos Lee titles to Hong Kong. Speaking Mandarin in a funny accent does not Cantonese make.
  • Continue to set up meetings for Edmund at the Bologna Children’s Fair in March. To check: What exactly constitutes spam mail? (OMG, remember to actually BUY Bologna fair tickets for Edmund!!!!!)
  • Prepare for Books-in-Progress meeting next week. (Note to self: actually prepare this time, don’t pretend to have lost notes. THEY KNOW.)
  • Help draft email to comic creators keeping in mind delicate sensibilities of artists (Note: remember to hide notepad so no one can see comments on delicate sensibilities of artists, especially in-house designers).
  • Do a to do list for tomorrow. (Reminder: Buy more post-its too. Sticky ones this time)

 


Announcing the ‘D-I-Y Diary’ Cover Contest February 01 2012

Have you got a copy of Amos Lee’s D.I.Y. Toilet Diary to Fame? Yes? Good. Are you ready for The Diary of Amos Lee TV series? Yes too? Great! You are officially ready to take part in our contest!

Here’s what you need to do: Simply colour, doodle and decorate the front cover of the D.I.Y. Diary, and let us know what you love about the TV series.

Ten lucky contestants will stand a chance to join us at a tea party and writing workshop on 10th March with Adeline Foo and Stephanie Wong at AllanBakes Bakery! And yes, you will get to try some of the Famous Amos (Lee) Cookies too!

Rules:
Email a (1) scanned colour image of your cover and (2) a message describing what you love about the TV series to amoslee.blogger@gmail.com. Remember to include your name, age and telephone number!

Contest period:
25th January 2012 – 25th February 2012

Results:
Results will be announced 1st March 2012. Winners will be notified by email, so keep a look out!


Amos Lee at Compass Point January 19 2012

 

On Saturday, 28th January, meet the cast of the new Amos Lee TV series and hear author Adeline Foo talk about the new Amos Lee D.I.Y. Diary! Behind-the-scenes stories will be shared about the filming. Books will be signed. Plus special guest Allan Teoh, the master baker behind the Famous Amos (Lee) cookies will share tips on how to prepare the recipes in the book.

Join the fun at Popular Compass Point next Saturday. The start time of this event will be announced soon on Epigram Books’ Facebook page. See you then!


Teaser: Who is Amos Lee? January 16 2012

Schoolboy, toilet diarist, Twitter star—just who is this Amos Lee? Visit our Facebook page to view this teaser. “Like” us for the latest updates on the books and special events! The Amos Lee TV series (official page) starts next Wednesday at 8pm on okto.

By the way, the Amos Lee series will be the first local children’s books adapted to TV! Thank you, all you Amos Lee fans! Your support has made this achievement possible.

In the meantime, you can find the latest Amos Lee book, The Diary of Amos Lee: Your D.I.Y. Toilet Diary to Fame! in major bookstores islandwide.

Here are photos from yesterday’s launch at the Kinokuniya Main Store.


Meet Ernest Goh and Adeline Foo on January 15 January 05 2012

Save the date! On Sunday, January 15, meet Ernest Goh, photographer of The Fish Book, and Adeline Foo, author of the brand-new Amos Lee book The Diary of Amos Lee: Your D.I.Y. Toilet Diary to Fame!


New: ‘The Amos Lee D-I-Y Diary’ January 05 2012

Write your way to fame and fortune the Amos Lee Way!

Along with the premiere of the live-action TV Series, we’re excited to announce a brand-new Amos Lee book: The Diary of Amos Lee: Your D.I.Y. Toilet Diary to Fame!

This is a daily diary-cum-activity book that features activities such as personality tests, creating and drawing your own superhero, palm reading, and even some simple yoga poses and recipes. This book is designed to let your imagination run wild—you can even colour in the cover!

If you like to write about your life and have lots of fun doing it, this is the book for you.



The D.I.Y. Diary will be available in all major bookstores by the end of January. If you’d like even more Amos Lee swag, author Adeline Foo is running a contest with exclusive notebooks and tumblers as prizes! Just think of an answer to the question “If I am going to be a famous TV star, who would I choose to be?” in 50 words or less. The deadline is 15 January 2012. Good luck!

 


Epigram Books Christmas Gift Guide December 08 2011

Do you need fresh gift ideas? Would you like your dollars to support local industry? Like to read, but don’t have an iPad?

Well, you’ve come to the right blog. Take a look at these hand-picked recommendations for you and everyone on your list.

1. ARTSY FOLK


 Six Plays

by Tan Tarn How

Tan won critical acclaim this year with his censorship-themed play Fear of Writing. Theatre buffs and culture watchers will appreciate Six Plays, a collection of his earlier works, which also push boundaries in topics such as sex, life and politics.

The Fish Book

by Ernest Goh

The Fish Book is an collection of art photography focusing on the miniature world of ornamental fish. Warning: these charming close-up portraits may trigger a run to your local aquarium shop.
 

2. YOUNG AT HEART



Archibald and the Blue Blood Conspiracy

by SherMay Loh

A thrilling tale about a bumbling son of a duke who gets embroiled in a sinister conspiracy. SherMay Loh keeps pages turning with endless wit and a fast-moving plot. This novel for young adults picked up a Bronze Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and a nomination for Popular Readers’ Choice in 2011.

 


The Diary of Amos Lee 3: I’m Twelve, I’m Tough, I Tweet

by Adeline Foo

The latest volume in this bestselling series brings more laughs and tween angst as Amos takes part in his school’s talent contest. Catch up on the Amos Lee saga before the TV series airs on okto next year! This book won third place in the Children category of the Popular Readers’ Choice Awards 2011.

 

3. ARMCHAIR ADVENTURERS


 
The Scholar and the Dragon

by Stella Kon

Stella Kon may be most famous for a certain play starring Ivan Heng as a Nonya matriarch, but did you know she brought her dramatic talents to prose too? This historical novel brings you to Singapore of the 1910s, where overseas Chinese fought the revolution to bring down the Qing dynasty. This book is part of the Singapore Classics series, which reprints formerly out of print novels by pioneering local writers.
 

Xixabangma

by Robert Goh

The real-life adventure story of how a Singaporean team climbed a Himalayan mountain without fixed ropes or the aid of sherpas. Written by Robert Goh, the leader of the expedition, this account sheds light on the many uncertainties of unguided expeditions to Himalayan big mountains and how they were overcome. “If you’re sure you can do it,” Goh often says, “where’s the challenge?”

 

4. FOOD LOVERS

The End of Char Kway Teow and Other Hawker Mysteries

by Dr Leslie Tay

Featuring mouthwatering photos of dishes from rojak to wanton mee, and stuffed with entertaining facts and fictions about hawker food in Singapore, this is a foodie guide like no other. Use this insider’s guide to clue in your friends and family about the best hawker stalls in Singapore.
 

Madam Krishnan’s South Indian Recipes

by Ambrose Krishnan

Indian food fans will be enthralled by this collection of over 120 treasured family recipes from Pondicherry and Kerala. Recipes include those for Chutneys & Thovials, Rice, Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Snacks & Desserts, and Home Remedies.
 

5. EVERYONE ELSE



If none of your prospective giftees fit into the previous categories, we’re sure you’ll find an suitable design in our new series of NOTBOOKS. Take the NOTBOOK that reads “I AM NOT BOSSY. I AM TAKING CHARGE”, for instance. How many people does that remind you of?
 
Where to shop: all the books can be found in major bookstores, and NOTBOOKS can be ordered directly from Epigram Books and purchased at selected retailers.


Epigram Books: The People's Choice November 29 2011

The inaugural Popular Readers’ Choice Awards recognise Singapore’s favourite books as measured by sales and readers’ votes. We’re very pleased to note that of the 20 English books nominated, no fewer than 4 were published by Epigram Books! Not a bad showing for a young publisher! The nominees were: The End of Char Kway Teow, Archibald And the Blue Blood Conspiracy, Whoopie Lee and The Diary of Amos Lee 3.

We’re also excited to announce that The End of Char Kway Teow and The Diary of Amos Lee 3 each took third place in the Adult and Children categories, respectively. Congratulations to authors Dr Leslie Tay and Adeline Foo!


Amos Lee, The TV Series, out in 2012! September 27 2011

The Diary of Amos Lee, the book your kids just can’t get enough of, is being turned into a TV series! Okto, the channel that is set to launch the show next year, recently conducted auditions at various malls across the island.

Watch this memorable audition by 11-year-old Gaius Ong.

Interviewer: “Why do you like the books?”
Gaius: “Actually, I don’t have the book, but I go to Popular, take the book and read.”

For the record, Epigram Books encourages you to buy the books. Read all about our series here. The series now includes a book by Amos’ attention-loving sister, Whoopie Lee, who will set the record straight on the outrageous tales perpetuated by her older brother.