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S.E.A Write Award

Since 1979, the S.E.A. Write Award, or the Southeast Asian Writers Award, has been presented annually to poets and writers in Southeast Asia. 



The awards are given to a writer from a country that is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) though not all countries in ASEAN have been represented every year. The award is sometimes given for a specific work by an author and sometimes awarded for lifetime achievement. The types of honoured works vary, and have included poetry, short stories, novels, plays, folklore, and scholarly and religious works.

The ten countries which comprise the ASEAN region are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.


Professor Edwin Thumboo was Chairman for the award for Singapore from its inception to 2012. In 2013, Professor Wong Yoon Wah is the appointed Chairman for the award for Singapore. Singapore Book Council is the appointed Secretariat for the award.

For more information, click here.  

S.E.A Write Award Winners List

1979 Edwin Thumboo
1980 *Masuri bin Sulikun
1981 Wong Meng Voon (黄孟文)
1982 Ma Ilangkannan (M Balakrishnan)
1983 *Arthur Yap
1984 Wong Yoon Wah
1985 *Noor S.I. (Ismail Bin Haji Omar)
1986 *Paranan (C. Veloo)
1987 Lee Tzu Pheng
1988 Leou Pei Ann (Chua Boon Hean)
1989 Suratman Markasan
1990 Rama Kannabiran
1991 *Gopal Baratham
1992 Cheong Weng Yat
1993 Muhammad Ariff Ahmad
1994 *Naa Govindasamy
1995 Dan Ying (Lew Poo Chan)
1996 Minfong Ho
1997 Elangovan
1998 *Abdul Ghani Hamid
1999 Catherine Lim
2000 Teoh Hee La (张曦娜)
2001 K.T. M. Iqbal (Mohamed Iqbal)
2002 Mohamed Latiff bin Mohamed
2003 Philip Jeyaretnam
2004 Soon Ai Ling (孙爱玲)
2005 P. Krishnan
2006 Isa Kamari
2007 *Rex Shelley
2008 Stella Kon
2009 Chia Hwee Pheng
2010 Johar Buang
2011 Robert Yeo
2012 Suchen Christine Lim
2013 Yeng Pway Ngon
2014 Haresh Sharma
2015 JM Sali
2016 Ovidia Yu
2017 Chia Joo Ming
2018 Goh Mey Teck (aka Peter Augustine Goh)

* deceased 


2019 SEA Write Award Winner Press Release (588KB pdf)