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Six take Shweamyutay honours

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The fifth Shweamyutay literary award ceremony was held at Trader’s Hotel in Rangoon last Friday on 28th this month, with only six writers earning garlands this year, one of the judges said. 

Prizes are usually awarded under seven categories: poetry, article, essay, short story, magazine novelette, short story written by a new writer and serialised magazine novel, but this year only six could be awarded as one submission eschewed categorisation.  

Maung Lin Yeik won the prize for poetry with The Spring, which appeared in Paduakpwintthit magazine’s February issue. The short story award went to Le Wun Kyi Cho for her Thawkyartaw Hma Beda (Water Hyacinth Flower on Friday), which appeared in Shweamyutay magazine last August. Naung Kyaw scored in the essay category for I and Donation Recipients in New Style magazine’s February issue.

shweamutay-journal-ygn1In the new-writer category, Ngwe Kyi Sin took the honour for her Rice Thief in Shweamyutay magazine last October. Nyein Thit took the podium for his article, The Printed Bronze Statues in Yanant Thit magazine last November. The magazine novelette category was taken by Thin Yee for his Addition as well as Subtraction, published in Shweamyutay magazine last month. 

The committee comprised six judges who chose winners from more than 1,000 works, panel member and Ahlintan Journal chief editor Myo Myint Nyein told Mizzima. The prize money ranges from from 550,000 to 750,000 Kyats. 

The committee was reconstituted every year and works panel members were not usually considered for the prizes, he said. Members for this year were Shweamyutay magazine’s chief editor Win Nyein, writers Htet Myet, Maung Khaing Latt, Min Chan Mon, Tint Khaing and Myo Myint Nyein.

“Our selection committee members read all monthly magazines and held regular monthly meetings during the selection period,” Myo Myint Nyein said. “Since the works of selection committee members are not considered for these prizes, we reconstitute this selection committee every year to give them a chance to win a prize.” 

The Shweamyutay literary award was inaugurated in May 2006 commemorating the 60th birthday of Win Nyein, chief editor of Shweamyutay magazine. He is also the founder of the prizes, which have since been awarded annually. 

The committee reaches unanimous decisions on some manuscripts and is split on others. This year, three prizes were unanimous decisions. Criteria included the extent to which the works reflected contemporary life and sentiment, artistic merit, technique and of course grammar. 

“We found that some manuscripts have grammatical errors … Some had fine aesthetic value but so many grammatical errors that sadly we had to delete them from our shortlists,” Myo Myint Nyein said. “We can’t give out awards if there are grammatical errors even though they might have flying colours in other aspects”, 

Other annual literary prizes in Burma include the Sarpay Beikman, the Tun Foundation and the Thuta Swesone award. Among them, the Shweamyutay award is considered the least conservative.

Last Updated ( Monday, 31 May 2010 22:28 )  

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