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Edwin Tessensohn Memorial Prize

for Creole, Indigenous and Underrepresented Literature


Edwin John Richard Tessensohn (1855-1926) was one of the most important indigenous voices in the Straits Settlements and colonial Singapore, spearheading not just the sociocultural and economic development of the Kristang and Eurasian community, but the rights of the constituent colonised peoples of the Lion City to represent themselves in governance, on the stage and in everyday life as full, intelligent and expressive human beings devoted to the well-being of their island and city in a manner that celebrated diversity and multicultural cosmopolitanism with nuance, respect and finesse. He contributed to not just the founding of the Eurasian Mutual Improvement Society, the Portuguese Amateur Dramatic Company, the Eurasian Literary Association and later the Eurasian Association of Singapore and the Singapore Recreation Club, but to numerous public works and committees permitted by the British authorities for the sake of Singaporean self-determination, including the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the Committee on Public Band Performances, the Eurasian Subscription Ball Committee, the Town Hall Fund Committee, the Straits and Malayan South African War Relief Fund Committee, the Singapore Catholic Club Committee, and eventually in a permanent fashion as a Municipal Commissioner and Justice of the Peace. He was fittingly honoured as the first ever Eurasian to be elected to the Straits Settlements Legislative Council in 1923, and was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1926, the year of his passing. So respected was he in the Straits Settlements for his tremendous energy and public service that at his funeral, "one of the biggest ever seen in Singapore", his body was accompanied to its internment by a motorcade numbering in the hundreds.

In the open spirit of calls for a Tessensohn Scholarship first made 100 years ago to support underprivileged members of the Eurasian community in the Straits Settlements, and in conjunction with Kodrah Kristang, the contemporary grassroots initiative to revitalise the critically endangered Kristang language in Singapore, Kadamundu: The Spice Road Review is pleased to present the Edwin Tessensohn Memorial Prize for Creole, Indigenous and Underrepresented Literature, for the best short story (up to 10,000 words) written in any language that is categorised by the Endangered Languages Project as Endangered or Severely Endangered.

The Edwin Tessensohn Memorial Prize for Creole, Indigenous and Underrepresented Literature

Prizes proudly sponsored by Kodrah Kristang

First Prize: SGD100

Second Prize: SGD50

Third Prize: SGD25

All prizewinners and, if applicable, a further shortlist of notable work, will be published on Kadamundu: The Spice Road Review

Entry conditions

  • The Prize is open to writers from anywhere in the world writing in any language that is categorised by the Endangered Languages Project as Endangered or Severely Endangered. Writers who are not sure if their language counts under these criteria for any reason, or whose language or variety may not be listed on the Endangered Languages Project website, are welcome to contact the Kadamundu team at kadamundu dot gmail dot com

  • Previously unpublished short stories of up to 10,000 words may be submitted to the Prize.

  • Simultaneous submissions for Kadamundu: The Spice Road Review's normal call are permitted, provided they fit with the normal call parameters (i.e. they are 6,000 words or less; stories exceeding this word length can only be submitted to the Prize). General simultaneous submissions, where the story in question is also submitted to another journal, publication or competition, are also permitted.

  • All entries should be submitted in their original language, as well as with a translation into English.

  • All entries will be judged by the Kadamundu: The Spice Road Review editors and the Kodrah Kristang Core Team.

  • Only one submission is permitted per entrant.

  • The Prize is free to enter.

  • The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 31 December 2023, 2359 h (GMT +8). Winners will be notified in April 2023.

How to submit

  • Entries should be submitted to kadamundu at gmail dot com in a PDF file, with both the original language text and the translated English text in the same file.

  • For the subject title of your email, please present it in the following way: "ETMP 2023 <Title of work> by <Author>". If you are also submitting your work for consideration in the magazine under the normal call for submissions, please present it in the following way: "ETMP 2023 & Kadamundu Issue 1 Submission: <Title of work> by <Author>"

  • ​In the body of your email, please provide

    • (1) a bio of 100 words

    • (2) the name(s) of the language your work is written in

    • (3) the vitality status of the language your work is written in, as listed on the global Endangered Languages Project consortium.

  • You will receive a response email confirming receipt of your entry once submitted; please feel free to query us after five working days if you have not yet received this response email.​

Thank you so much for submitting and we're looking forward to reading your work! Mutu grandi merseh (thank you very much in Kristang) and bong fortuna (good luck)!

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