Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Buddhist Literature Awards accepting Khmer entries

Buddhist Literature Awards accepting Khmer entries

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ton Chanrith won first place in the short story category at the Buddhist Literature Awards 2022. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Buddhist Literature Awards accepting Khmer entries

The 6th Buddhist Literature Awards 2023 features the theme “Greed often leads to one’s downfall”. The Buddhist Institute has organised the competition in order to revive Khmer literature. It focuses on short stories and poems.

The winners of the short story and poetry categories will be ranked from first to third, with each winner seeing their work published. They will also receive cash prizes and certificates, said Sor Sokny, director of the Buddhist Institute, as he revealed plans for the 2023 competition.

He said the entries to the contest will be accepted until April 30, 2023.

Sokny explained the terms and conditions for applying to participate.

“A candidate may submit only one work and it cannot have been entered in a competition before. Short stories should be between 10 to 15 pages long, with poems of 5 to 10 pages accepted. They must be typed in Khmer Unicode, in 12 point Khmer OS Siem Reap. All submitted works must adhere to the spelling specified in the 5th Khmer dictionary published by the Buddhist Institute,” he said.

Candidates should provide their address, phone number and email to allow communication with the judges.

Last year’s competition was held with the theme of “Ethics of Living”. The winners were announced by the Ministry of Cults and Religions in August, with This Society, by Ton Chanrith claiming first prize in the short story category. Pov Makara’s piece Norati and Phuy Ratana’s The Lamp were second and third, respectively.

Chuon Khmao’s Kon Neak (Baby Naga) was the top poem, with Dey Mer (Mother’s Land) by Moeung Piseth in second. Phirum Dara with the poem Chumnor Kongkea (Wind in Water) was third.

Chanrith, who claimed first place in the story competition, is a freelance writer from Battambang province. Piseth, who took second in the poetry comp, is from Pursat province. The two men shared some of their experiences, with a view to supporting the next generation of candidates.

Chanrith was pleased with his win, saying the competition is an excellent way of promoting the field of literature. He enjoys the format of the event, particularly the different themes that are set by the organisers.

“As a writer, you have to be creative. You must adapt to current societal realities if you want to attract the attention of the public, and also the evaluation committee. You also have to be constantly aware of the three main elements of Khmer literature – meaning, form and benefit,” he said.

“We need to review our previous work and work out what our weaknesses are, and then create a new work that overcomes these. I entered this competition many times before I was able to win it,” he added.

Piseth intends to re-enter next year’s poetry category.

“I will participate in the competition for short poems again. I came second this year and want to know if I can improve on that,” he said, before offering advice to next year’s prospective entrants.

“As a writer, you must pay close attention to classic works, and the writing of older, more established authors. The more of their work we read, the better an understanding of composition we acquire. Later we can come up with our own ideas, but it is important that we adhere to the principles of the art of composition,” he added.

The first composition was held in 2018, with the theme of “Harmonisation in Society through Religion”. Subsequent themes have included “Punishment of Alcohol” and “No Disease is a Good reward”.


  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior