This year’s category for Asia-Pacific countries is fiction literature. The winner will receive a $40,000 award, and two runners-up per category will receive $5,000 and a trip to New York. Submissions are open until May 3, 2015 and guidelines can be found here.  

The Financial Times and OppenheimerFunds have announced the launch of the second annual FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards, a global initiative designed to recognize artistic talent in emerging-market nations.*

The winners in three categories – art, fiction, and film – will be announced in September 2016. Each winner will receive a $40,000 award, and two runners-up per category will receive $5,000.

“We are delighted to launch the Emerging Voices arts awards with OppenheimerFunds for the second year. The Financial Times has reported and analysed the rise of the emerging market economies and followed their political trajectories for years. These awards show our determination to learn more about, and reward, their cultural richness too,” said Michael Skapinker, FT associate editor and chair of the judges.

The 2016 Emerging Voices Awards follow the success of the inaugural program, which launched in December 2014 and garnered submissions from over 800 artists in 65 emerging-market nations. Last year, Yuhang Ho of Malaysia won the Emerging Voices film award for “Trespassed;” Chigozie Obioma of Nigeria won the Emerging Voices fiction award for “The Fishermen;” and Cristina Planas of Peru won the Emerging Voices art award for “Vultures,” “Table of Negotiations,” “Mass Grave,” and “Coloured Christ.” 

Sumant Batra, Founder of KLF launches four important social projects initiated by KLF at the curtain raiser event including Fellows Of Nature (FON)
Sumant Batra, Founder of KLF launches four important social projects initiated by KLF at the curtain raiser event including Fellows Of Nature (FON)

“Nature writing was once considered to be the rock and roll of literature. In the last few decades it has shown a steady decline. There is a pressing need to restore this literary art. The best way to do it is through stories.”

— Sumant Batra, Founder, Fellows Of Nature

Fon_logoLike all extinctions, nature writing’s gradual disappearance represents a profound loss. Writing in this category is born out of love, respect, and awe of nature. It finds its subject during days of close observation of the beauty of the natural world. Writing about the close relationship between humankind and nature plays an important role in creating interest and building respect for it amongst book lovers and others.

The FON SOUTH ASIA SHORT STORY AWARD an initiative of Kumaon Literary Festival (under the umbrella body of NHP centre) was launched on February 15, 2016 amidst enthusiastic readers and writers at the Oxford Bookstore (Delhi) with the objective of promoting nature writing and building a community of nature writers. 

Submission of short stories based on the theme of nature is invited from South Asia region in accordance with the contest guidelines set by the FON steering committee which comprises of the lead project partners: The French Institute in India; Wild Life Trust of India; Wisdom Tree publishers, Kumon Literary Festival and the Taj Colloquium. The committee is chaired by the founder of FON, Mr. Sumant Batra and also includes Indian author and poet Sujata Parashar who is spearheading the project.

The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist has been announced – including seven Asian writers.

The prize – which aims to “brings stories from new and emerging voices, often from countries with little or no publishing infrastructure, to the attention of an international audience” – received nearly 4,000 entries from 47 countries this year.

26 stories by writers from 11 countries make up the shortlist.

The prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction in English, translations also eligible. Five winners from the five different Commonwealth regions are selected, winning £2,500 (about R53,000) each, with the overall winner receiving £5,000 (about R106,000).

The 2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist (Asian writers in bold): 

Kitaab USA REBA Desmond Kon Author PixIt’s unprecedented. Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has walked away with the gold in four out of the five formal regional categories at this year’s USA Regional Excellence Book Awards.

The winning titles include: Phat Planet Cometh (Glass Lyre Press), The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love (Glass Lyre Press), Singular Acts of Endearment (Grey Sparrow Press), Babel Via Negativa (Ethos Books), I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist (Math Paper Press), Sanctus Sanctus Dirgha Sanctus (Red Wheelbarrow Books), and Eye/Feel/Write: Experiments in Ekphrasis (Squircle Line Press). In fact, had the anthology Ars Moriendi won under the category of Anthology (Southeast Region) instead of its placing as a finalist – Clay Stafford’s Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded bagged first place – Desmond would have placed wins in all five territories.

In total, this veritable coup for the author looks at a sweep of seven wins under Adult Fiction, Anthology, Poetry, and Spirituality in four territories (Northeast, West, Midwest, Southwest) at the Awards.