Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Buddhist literary awards explores heavy theme in 2023

Buddhist literary awards explores heavy theme in 2023

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Award winners in past competition. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Buddhist literary awards explores heavy theme in 2023

The 6th Buddhist Literary Awards are returning for 2023. The theme for this year’s short story and poetry contest is “Greed Brings Doom”.

Candidates are invited to submit their compositions between now and April 30, according to a notice from the Buddhist Institute of Cambodia, which is overseen by the Ministry of Cults and Religion.

“This competition will promote Buddhism, the official religion of the Kingdom. This year’s theme is particularly pertinent to Buddhist doctrine. The contest also contributes to improving reading and composition skills, and provides a venue for testing the ability of beginning or novice authors,” said Sar Sokny, head of the institute.

“The first, second, and third place winners will each receive a prize, along with a trophy. Their work will be published in Kampuchea Sorya magazine,” he added.

Since the founding of the Khmer Library in 1921 and the Royal Library in 1925 – which later became part of the Buddhist Institute – the institute has been responsible for the production and dissemination of traditional literary works. In 2018, it established the annual literary awards.

The theme of the first year’s contest was “Harmonisation in Society through Religion”, which was followed by “Buddhism in the development of Khmer society” and then “The Punishment of Alcohol”. 2021 explored the concept “No Disease is a Good Reward” and last year’s theme was “The Morality of Life”.

Last year saw 21 short stories and 16 poems entered.

Sokny anticipates a larger number of applicants for this year’s competition.

“Each entry is scored according to several strict criteria: meaning, tenor and grammar,” he said.

He said he believed that several previous winners would submit new work for this year’s competition.

Last year saw Ton Chanrith take first place in the short story category with a piece titled This Society. In second was Pov Makara, with Southwest. Phuy Ratana’s Indoor Lamp took third.

Chuon Khmao produced the winning poem, called Dragon Child, with Moeung Piseth’s Motherland placing second. Phirum Dara claimed third with the poem River Tide.

Candidates may submit one work in each category, and submissions must not have been published previously. Entries must be typed in a 12-point KhmerOS Siem Reap font. Stories should be between 10 and 15 pages, with poems from 5 to 10 pages.

All works must adhere to the spelling requirements of the Khmer lexicon produced by the 5th Buddhist Institute, and entrants must include their contact details.


  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • PM declares ASEAN Para Games open

    The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially kicked off on the evening of June 3 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring fireworks and performances by some of the Kingdom’s most accomplished talents. Tens of thousands of sports fans

  • Honda shutters Siem Reap football club

    Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda, the owner of Siem Reap football club Soltilo Angkor FC, has been forced to shut the club down, after it failed to attract sponsorship for the upcoming season. Honda, the former manager of the Cambodia men's national football team, said

  • Waterway job still pending for Kampot tourism port’s opening

    The search is still on for a contractor to expand and deepen the Kampot International Tourism Port’s waterway and deliver additional enhancements allowing safe access for larger vessels, nearly a year after the main construction work on the 4.25ha site was completed on June 30, 2022.