Judges of the Gratiaen Prize announced the shortlist for 2017 at the British Council on Monday.
The Gratiaen Prize is awarded each year to the best submitted English creative writing by a Sri Lankan writer residing in Sri Lanka. The entries include fiction, poetry, drama, short story and literary memoir. Both published and unpublished manuscripts are accepted as submissions.
Four writers were shortlisted out of a total of 56 applicants who applied for the Prize in 2017.
The shortlisted works for the Gratiaen Prize 2017 are
1. The Life of the Poet - Jean Arasanayagam
2. A House Down Queer Street - Neshantha Harischandra
3. The Line of Lanka – Sunela Jayawardene
4. Names and Numbers – Chiranthi Rajapakse
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the inception of the Prize and the third year of the new partnership between Gratiaen Trust and Sarasavi Bookshop.
The judges for the Prize are University of Peradeniya Chairperson and English Professor Carmen Wickramagamage, Trinity College Kandy Principal Andrew Fowler-Watt and Sri Lankan-born Australian author Michelle de Krester.
The winner of the Gratiaen Prize for 2017 will be announced at the final awards ceremony scheduled to be held on 26 May sponsored by Sarasavi.
The Gratiaen Prize was founded in 1993 by the Sri Lankan-born writer Michael Ondaatje after he won the Booker Prize for The English Patient. It celebrates the achievement of Sri Lankans by rewarding and recognising them for their talent in English Writing. Currently the Prize is valued at Rs. 200,000.
Partnering with Commonwealth Writers, the Gratiaen Trust which manages the Prize is offering a series of intensive creative writing workshops which will allow aspiring writers to hone and refine their craft. The writing workshops will feature highly experienced overseas and Sri Lankan resource persons.
In addition, the Department of English, University of Colombo, is hosting an international seminar entitled ‘The Gratiaen Archive: Truant Readings,’ which will see a range of local and overseas scholars critically evaluating various themes related to the Gratiaen Prize including critical discussions of works that have won or have been shortlisted for the Prize in the past.