Saturday, 8 November 2014 00:00
Submissions for the Gratiaen Prize 2014 will open from 1 to 31 December. Entries for the 2014 H.A.I. Goonetileke Prize for translation will also be accepted during the same period. Both prizes cover a wide range of genres including fiction, poetry, creative prose and literary memoir. More details on prize submission and regulations can be found on www.gratiaen.com.
The Gratiaen Prize has the singular distinction of being the only prize for Sri Lankan creative writing in English that has been awarded without a break since its inception in 1993. Standard Chartered has been the longest standing corporate sponsor of the Prize.
Founded and funded by Michael Ondaatje with the prize money he received as joint winner of the Booker Prize for his novel The English Patient, and administered by the Gratiaen Trust, the prize is worth Rs. 200,000.
Anirvan Ghosh Dastidar, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered speaking during the awarding of the 2013 prize, which went to Malinda Seneviratne, for his poetry collection ‘Edges,’ said: “I am delighted to extend my congratulations to the Gratiaen Trust on sustaining the engagement with its literary endeavours and for its efforts in ensuring the award of the Gratiaen Prize.
“Standard Chartered supports not only enterprise and wealth creation but also consciously engenders the development of the arts. The award has retained its reputation for literary distinction and achievement and we hope that in the future it will continue to draw interest and submissions from writers of the younger generations too.”
Previous winners of the Gratiaen Prize include the late Nihal de Silva (The Road from Elephant Pass), Punyakante Wijenaike (Amulet), the late Tissa Abaysekera (Bringing Tony Home) and Ruwanthie de Chickera (The Middle of Silence). Shehan Karunatilaka’s Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, which won the Gratiaen Prize in 2008, subsequentlyreceived the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Commonwealth Book Prize.
The Gratiaen prize is now a well-established event in Sri Lanka’s literary calendar, attracting a wide range of writers from all across the island. It has been successful in nurturing the English writing tradition in the country for two decades. The H.A.I. Goonetileke Prize supports the important task of translating Sri Lankan local language literature into English, making it available to a wider, international audience.
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