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While a majority of people in Cambodia say that Khmer literature is in a bad way, few people are doing anything to stop its demise.
In order to fill this void, the Nou Hach Literary Association, the Association of Nagn Sab Brus and the Association of Vocational Training of Rural Poets have created the “Competition Poetry Programme” to strengthen literature and literacy in the Kingdom.

Khem Chan So Ah Haing, director of the Nou Hach Literary Association, said that the number of entrants in the annual competition has been increasing, and that entries are diverging from traditional styles of poetry.

“Old poets liked to write only about love. In contrast, today’s generation of poets write more about theory and innovative methods to resolving societal problems,” he said.

Por Savorng, who has won second prize in both the poetry and short story writing contests, is now a coordinator of New Sun Printing House.

“I entered my poem in the competition because I wanted to show my great achievement to humanity and reveal to young people the social impact they can have through poetry,” he said.

Khem Chan So Ah Haing said that the competition receives 400 poems and 200 short stories each year, adding that entries should expose personal views, show a strong vision and have an effective conclusion.

This year’s competition will be open for poetry and short story entries until March 1. Stories should be brought to the second floor of the Buddhist Institute, which is located next to NagaWorld Casino. Each candidate can submit one short story and one poem. Short stories should be limited to five pages and poems should be under 15 pages.

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