With a cash prize of Rs.1.25 lakh, it will be the biggest in financial terms

The Sahitya Pravarthaka Cooperative Society (SPCS) will soon institute an annual award for writers, which will be the biggest such award in the State in financial terms with a cash prize of Rs.1.25 lakh, Coir and Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran has said.

Speaking at the release function of 20 Malayalam titles published by the SPCS here on Sunday, Mr. Sudhakaran said novel and story writers would be the first to be given the award, after which writers specialising in different topics would be considered. The government was also contemplating payment of a royalty bonus of Rs.10,000 each to writers who had been publishing their works with the SPCS for the last 25 years.

The Minister, who said mismanagement had led to the downfall of SPCS in the nineties, pointed out that the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had taken over the challenge to bring the society out of the red and had tasted success so far.

Approaching target

The aim of publishing 1,000 titles was nearing completion, with 800 titles published so far and the remaining 200 to be published by December this year.

The astonishing comeback made by the writers' cooperative society was causing concern among certain heavyweight publishers, who however, were afraid to come out against the society openly. The cheap barbs from these quarters were harmless and nothing to worry about, he said.

The 20 titles published on Sunday included works of M.K. Sanu, C. Radhakrishnan, G. Shankarapillai and Kumaranasan. P.P. Chitharanjan, municipal chairman; Shivaraman Cheriyanad, SPCS president; Kalleli Raghavan Pillai, academician; Sister Janet Augustine, St. Joseph's Women's College Principal; Indu Dutt, SDV Central School Principal; N. Jayakumar, Coir Workers Welfare Board chief executive; K.B. Ajayakumar, Kunchan Smarakam secretary; and S. Ajayakumar, Thakazhi Smarakam secretary; were among those present.