Contest encourages younger writers

Young professional and amateur writers are being encouraged to participate in a writing contest held by three prestigious national organisations.
Young professional and amateur writers are being encouraged to participate in a writing contest held by three prestigious national organisations.

The National Writing Competition 2010 for Young Writers, organised by the HCM City Writers Association, the Tre (Youth) Publishing House and the Tuoi Tre (The Youth) newspaper, will award prizes in the categories of fiction and short stories.

Organisers hope the competition will give writers under the age of 40 a chance to develop their careers as well as bring writers and publishers together to introduce new, quality books for readers.

They also want to help young writers express their feelings about their lives in a changing world, and encourage them to reach their goals. The organisers have invited talented authors, including Nguyen Ngoc and Le Van Thao, to join the jury.

They plan to print and distribute all of the high-quality contributions.

The participants must submit no fewer than six short stories or a novel of no more than 200 pages on A4 paper.

Writers should send their works by post to the contest's organising board, at 161B Ly Chinh Thang Street , district 3, HCM City .

The contest will close late this month and prizes will be awarded on September 2.

Author Ngoc, a member of the contest's jury, said the organising board and jury believe the competition would be a success this year.

"Winners of our previous writing competitions, including Nguyen Ngoc Thuan, Nguyen Huong, Nguyen Ngoc Tu, and Hong Hanh, are still popular," said Ngoc, adding that they are involved in modern society, and writing in styles that are particularly liked by young readers.

"I think we need more young writers like them," he said.

The competition in 2000 introduced the newcomer Thuan, a final-year student at the HCM City Fine Arts College, who won one of the top prizes for his work titled Vua Nham Mat Vua Mo Cua So (Closing Eyes While Opening Windows).

One year later, Thuan received first prize at a book competition for children held by the Kim Dong Publishing House.

His prize book Mot Thien Nam Mong (Children's Dreams), a novel of 18 chapters featuring a world of dreams, mystical and funny stories, and supernatural characters, met with a warm response from readers and literary critics.

More than 3,000 copies of the book were sold after the first week release.

One of his colleagues, Tu, chose a different path by focusing on rural life.

Her first book, Canh Dong Bat Tan (Endless Fields), became a bestseller within hours of being displayed in HCM City bookshops in 2005. Nearly 2,000 copies of the story sold after the first two days of its release.

Tu's book featured the simple lifestyle of farmers living in the southern province of Ca Mau , and impressed both young and older readers.

The book was honoured at the Southeast Asian Writers Awards ceremony in 2008.

The awards are held annually by the Thai Royal Family to encourage and honour poets and writers in the ASEAN region.

The Vietnam Writers Association selected Tu's book to participate in the award competition, with the aim of introducing a slice of Vietnam 's contemporary literature.

Readers responded very favourably to Tu's works, including the short story collection Gio Le (Alone Wind) in 2008 and the fiction Khoi Troi Long Lay (Splendid Sky Smoke) in 2009./.

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