Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Call for short stories on happier times during Khmer Rouge era

Call for short stories on happier times during Khmer Rouge era

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Khmer Writers Association and the Documentation Centre of Cambodia are running a short story competition looking for happier memories of life under the Khmer Rouge. Khmer Writers Association

Call for short stories on happier times during Khmer Rouge era

The Khmer Writers Association is collaborating with the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam) to organise a short story competition on the topic of life under the Khmer Rouge, with the winner receiving the Sleuk Rith Literature Award.

To preserve the historical record of Cambodians during the Pol Pot regime and promote Khmer literature, the story must be about the everyday lives of Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge.

“Contestants wishing to enter should write an original composition about the daily lives of Cambodians in Pol Pot’s Democratic Kampuchea.

“However, the story should not focus on genocide,” the Khmer Writers Association said in an announcement obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

The association said the story should be between five and 15 pages long if typed on a computer, or 10 to 20 pages if handwritten.

Handwritten submissions must be on A4 paper, and typed entries should use Khmer OS Siem Reap font, size 12, with no header or footer.

The competition is open to anyone who can write in the Khmer language, whether they are Cambodian of foreigners.

The entries can be written by first-hand survivors of Pol Pot’s regime or anyone who has been told real-life stories of that time by those who lived through it.

The announcement said that next year, 10 outstanding short stories will receive certificates and cash prizes, with the best receiving the Sleuk Rith Literature Award.

The 10 best submissions will be published and could be made into short films or songs.

Entry is now open and short stories should be submitted by 5pm on November 30 via email to the Khmer Writers Association at [email protected].

Som Bunthorn, the editor-in-chief of DC-Cam’s monthly magazine Searching for the Truth, said on Wednesday that the competition was also aimed at evaluating young people’s understanding of Cambodian history and life under the Khmer Rouge regime.

“This contest will also be a platform for older people to share their experiences with the younger generation. We would like to receive true stories of life under the Pol Pot regime that don’t focus on the killing but demonstrate hope, resilience and happiness.

“Stories should emphasise not cruel acts, but anything people can remember or have been told about everyday experiences and the day-to-day reality of that time.

“We hope the stories encourage reconciliation among Cambodians who had experienced society during that era,” Bunthorn said.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa