About the award
THE World Readers Award was announced last year (“Borderless books”, Star2, April 12, 2015) with the intention of searching out “the best read of the year”.
Mooted by the Hong Kong and Australia- based Asia Pacific Writers And Translators ( APWT) association, it was introduced to honour good literature with no geographical restrictions, no specific nationality requirement, and no genre exclusions ( for instance, no distinctions are made between fiction and nonfiction, or adult and young adult books).
The world’s top literary awards, such as the Britain- based Man Booker Prize and the American Pulitzer Prize, usually have restrictions that exclude many of the world’s writers: the former is open only to books published in Britain, while the latter is restricted to authors with an American passport. The World Readers Award’s sole criteria is that the books be written with the world’s diversity in mind. Only books written in or translated into English are eligible.
On Tuesday, the inaugural award went to Beauty Is A Wound by Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan ( see story on page 12). According to the award’s website, worldreadersaward. com, a Young Writer of the Year award was also given out and was won by Gabrielle Mei Ying Tse, aged 16, for her “complex, multilevel short story, Terracotta”.
“Today we declare war on any suggestion that people on the Eastern side of the planet cannot be richly, powerfully, delightfully creative in the world of literature,” said prize chairman Vittachi on Tuesday in Hong Kong, where the ceremony was held.
According to the website, the award was coordinated by volunteers from the APWT, working with PPP, a publishing company and the prize organizer in Hong Kong. The young writers awards were arranged through the Hong Kong Young Writers’ Award team: the award, although originally designed for Hong Kong schools only, have become popular with entries from several countries.
For more information on the Asia Pacific Writers’ and Translators’ association, go to apwriters. com; for more information on the award, go to worldreadersaward. com.