by Lucas Stewart, Editor-at-Large (Myanmar), Kitaab
Formed out of the dissolution of the government controlled Myanmar Writers and Journalists Association in July 2012, the Myanmar Publishers and Booksellers Association (MPBA) has grown to over 300 members nationwide. As well as holding a literature conference every October and organising book festivals, the highlight of the MPBA Calendar is the Annual Awards ceremony, now in its second year.
A simple affair in the upstairs restaurant of the Orchid Hotel in downtown Yangon, over 100 members arrived to see who would be crowned the best publisher and best bookshop in Myanmar. After opening speeches by short story writer Ye Shan and MPBA joint secretary Ma Waing Waing, reporters and photographers clambered over chairs and tables to encircle the Minister of Information, U Ye Htut, invited to present the awards.