|The 168-page fictional work Hat Hoa Binh written by Tran Nguyen Minh, known as Minh Moon, who works for a magazine in HCM City, tells war stories in Cambodia in 1978. — Photon minhmoon.wordpress.com
HCM CITY (VNS) — Literary works by 18 young writers submitted to a writing contest organised by three prestigious national organisations have received a warm response from readers.
These high-quality works were the final contributions from the fifth National Youth Writing Competition, which began in 2012 and will end later this year by the HCM City Writers' Association, in co-operation with Tre (Youth) Publishing House and Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
All the books focus on the lives of young people, their challenges and dreams in a changing world.
The jury composed of noted authors, including Nguyen Dong Thuc and Doan Thach Bien, will name the winners in the categories of fiction and short stories later this year.
Highlighted books include Hat Hoa Binh (Peaceful Seed), Urem – Nguoi Dang Mo (Urem – The Dreamer) and Chon Ron Xu Nguoi (The Bustle and Hustle in a Foreign Country).
The 168-page fictional work Hat Hoa Binh written by Tran Nguyen Minh, known as Minh Moon, who works for a magazine in HCM City, tells war stories in Cambodia in 1978.
Although the wars ended before she was born, Minh still gives them a fresh perspective.
Unlike other young writers, Minh is keen on writing about war and history even though many people have told her these topics do not appeal to all readers.
"Young writers need to overcome hardships in daily life to maintain sufficient involvement in writing," said Minh in an interview with local media after releasing her work.
Like Minh, Pham Ba Diep, a student of the HCM City University of Social Science and Humanities, used fantasy writing to complete Urem – Nguoi Dang Mo, a 500-page novel.
Through his work, Diep sends his message about the earth and human beings.
Mai Thanh Nga's Chon Ron Xu Nguoi tells the lives and challenges of young Vietnamese living in Paris.
The National Youth Writing Contest is held every two years and aims to give the writers, particularly those under the age of 40, a chance to develop their careers as well as bring writers and publishers together to introduce new, quality books for readers.
This fifth contest received 179 short stories and 149 fictional works by professional and amateur writers at home and abroad.
Previous competitions have produced winners who have gone on to become popular among young readers, like Nguyen Ngoc Thuan, Nguyen Huong and Nguyen Ngoc Tu.
Tu, in particular, has succeeded in impressing both young and older readers by focusing on rural life, featuring the simple lifestyle of farmers in her native land, the southern province of Ca Mau.
Her first book, Canh Dong Bat Tan (Endless Fields), proved to be a bestseller as soon as it hit the shelves in HCM City bookshops in 2005.
The book was also honoured with the Southeast Asian Writers Award in 2008. The award is given annually by the Thai Royal Family to encourage and honour poets and writers in Southeast Asia. — VNS