NEW DELHI

Fiction a winner at Sahitya Akademi Awards

NEW DELHI DEC. 24. Fiction writers have won a lion's share of the Sahitya Akademi Awards for the year 2003 which was announced on Wednesday with nearly 12 of the 22 awards for excellence in writing being given away for novels and short stories.

At least two new awards -- young achievers and lifetime achievement -- were announced by the Akademi Secretary, K. Satchidanandan, who added that the names of the winners would be announced later. To be given away as part of the inaugural ceremony of the Akademi's Golden Jubilee Celebrations in March next year, the award will be given to upcoming writers below the age of 35 showing promise in their area of work.

Elaborating on the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, Mr. Satchidanandan said that various events would be held over the year, with some of the highlights including a possible exchange between writers of India and Pakistan, a conference of SAARC writers, a special seminar on young writers and a dialogue and discussion on the Mahabharata that is also likely to see musical representations of the Epic.

Among the novelists to be honoured this coming March will be acclaimed writer Kamleshwar for his Hindi work, Prafulla Roy for Bengali, Bindu Bhatt for Gujrati, Sara Joseph for Malayalam, T.V. Saradeshmukh for Marathi, Bindya Subba for Nepali and R. Vairamathu for Tamil. The award for short stories has been bagged this year by Syed Muhammad Ashraf, Sudhir Naoroibam, Niraja Renu, Shashank Sitaram and Som Nath Jutshi. Honoured for their collection of essays will be Meenakshi Mukherjee, K.V. Subbanna and Hiro Thakur. While Jatindra Mohan Mohanty has been awarded for his Oriya book of literary critics, Charan Dass Sidhu will be honoured for his Punjabi play.

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