DA NANG (VNS)— Fifteen literary works including five novels, five poems, four short stories and a note from Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam were awarded the Mekong River Literary Prize at the fourth Indochina Writers Conference yesterday.
The biennial conference was a chance for writers from the three countries to exchange work and make friends.
The fourth conference agreed to recruit the Thailand's Writers Association to participate as an official member in the fifth conference in Cambodia in 2014.
All literary prize winners focused on the friendship and solidarity between Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia over the past years of both war and peace.
"Literature helps create a relationship between the three countries. Literary works of writers from countries in the sub-greater Mekong River region are a precious treasure," said Le Quang Trang, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Writers Association.
"At the 5th conference, we will welcome our new friends from the Thailand Writers Association," Trang said.
He added that members from the India-Viet Nam Solidarity and Friendship Committee also participated in the conference for the first time.
"Creating such a link between writers in the region is necessary for durable peace, stability and prosperity," Trang told the conference.
Kim Pinun, a prize winner from Cambodia, said his work aimed to increase feelings of solidarity between people of the three countries.
Vietnamese To Duc Chieu described his winning novel Ngai La Sy Quan Cua Coongle (You're a Kong Le's Officer), as a depiction of the time he marched in Laos during the American War in 1972.
"My time in Laos during the war was unforgettable and has inspired most of my novels and short stories," he said at the awarding ceremony.
Chairman of the Laos Writers Association Phiulavanh Luangvanna stressed that the conference was a significant cultural event.
"These prizes will encourage writers from the Mekong River region to create more such works in the future. This will help enhance the friendship between Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia," Luangvanna said.
"We highly appreciate the co-operation of writers from the three countries, Thailand and India for their contributions to the development of a regional literature," she added. — VNS