Submissions for the Gratiaen Prize 2016 and the H.A.I. Goonetilleke Prize for Translation 2016 will open from December 1 to 31, 2016. 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writing in English that has been awarded without a break since its inception in 1993 and is unique in accepting unpublished work to foster the emergence of new literary talent. 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. The same prize money is offered for the H.A.I Goonetilleke Prize which is offered every other year. This is the second year of the Gratiaen Trust’s new partnership with Sarasavi Bookshop.
Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, HD Premasiri, Managing Director of Sarasavi Bookshop said: “We are very happy to support the Gratiaen Prize and also to extend our support to the awarding of the H.A.I. Goonetilleke Prize for translation which promotes the vital literary activity of translation in Sri Lanka. As a socially conscious book publisher we are always read to support the arts and culture in Sri Lanka and to promote an informed readership.”
Previous winners of the Gratiaen Prize include the late Nihal de Silva (The Road from Elephant Pass), Punyakante Wijenaike (Amulet), the late Tissa Abeysekera (Bringing Tony Home) and Ruwanthie de Chickera (The Middle of Silence). Shehan Karunatilleke’s Chinaman: The Legend of Pradeep Mathew, which won the Gratiaen Prize in 2008, subsequently received 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.
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