After a pandemic- induced delay, the winners of the 5th Buddhist Literature Competition Award 2022 – held under the theme “Ethics of Living” – have been announced. The winners were selected and evaluated by the competition committee over the past several months.
There are three winners in the short story category. Ton Chanrith placed first with the work This Society, with Pov Makara’s piece Norati selected as second and Phuy Ratana’s The lamp in the house as third.
The three winners in the poetry event are Chuon Khmao with the poem “Kon Neak”, Moeung Piseth with “Dey Mer” and Phirum Dara with the poem “Chumnor Kongkea”.
The Ministry of Cults and Religions announced the winners in an August 30 press release.
The date of the award ceremony has not yet been fixed, owing to Covid-19 related concerns, but the organisers – from the Buddhist institute – are planning to hold a joint award ceremony by the end of the year.
Sar Sokny, director of the Buddhist Institute, told The Post on September 5, “Due to the Covid-19 crisis, we have just announced the results of the 5th Buddhist Literature Competition Award 2022. Congratulations to all winners.”
“The institution were unable to hold the awards on the past three occasions, from 2020 to 2022, but we intend to celebrate together later this year, once a convenient time has been agreed on,” he added.
Only 21 short stories and 16 poems were received from entrants for this, the fifth competition. The selection committee said that there had been 35 entries in each class in last year’s competition.
“The reduction in the number of entrants may stem from Covid-19 related pressure,” said Sokny.
In 2021, Keo Seng Ratha was able to claim two awards, winning the poetry award with his piece “Shadow less killer” and placing second in the short story category.
The 1st competition was held in 2018 under the theme “Harmonization in Society through Religion”, with the second, the following year, exploring the theme of “Buddhist Perspectives on the Development of Khmer Society”. In 2020, the competition was built around “Punishment of Alcohol”, with the 4th exploring the theme “No Disease is a Good reward”.
The Buddhist Institute organises the annual competition in order to promote Khmer literature.
Sokny also revealed plans for the 6th competition, due to be held next year.
“The next Buddhist Literature competition will be held in 2023 under the theme “Greed brings doom”. The authors who are selected as the top three in the two categories will receive cash prizes, certificates of achievement and will have their work published,” he said.
He said that applicants must submit original work that has not been entered in any previous competitions. Short stories should be typed in Khmer Unicode or Khmer OS Siem Reap in font size 12. A4 printed copies should be from 10 to 15 pages in length. Poems should be from five to ten pages. All work should follow the spelling of the Khmer dictionary issued by the Buddhist Academy.
Applicants must provide an address, telephone number and email so the organising committee can contact them.
More information can be found at: www.budinst.gov.kh