Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Five writers were honoured recently at the National Writing Competition 2018 for Young Writers, organised by HCM City Writers’ Association in co-operation with its partners in HCM City.
The winners were all born after 1982. Most of their works focus on the lives of young people, their challenges and dreams in a changing world.
The contest had no first prize. Second prizes went to Maik Cây and Mai Thảo Yên.
Third prizes were shared by Phạm Thu Hà, Hiền Trang and Phạm Bá Diệp, who was the only male winner.
While Cây’s Wittgenstein Của Thiên Đường Đen (Wittgenstein in Black Heaven) portrays the dreams of humans, Yên’s Người Lạ (Stranger) tells conflicts between science and life.
Women’s human rights and gender equality are highlighted in the works by Hà and Trang.
Unlike other young writers, Diệp’s work, Yagon- Những Kẻ Vô Cảm (Yagon- Emotionless People), features complicated philosophical issues.
Through his work, Diệp sends his message about the earth and human beings.
"I think young writers need to overcome hardships in daily life to maintain sufficient involvement in writing," said Yên, who works in Sweden, during an interview with local media at the contest’s awards presentation ceremony.
With different backgrounds, the winners show their own distinctive style.
The organisers, including Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House and Tuổi Trẻ (The Youth) newspaper, hope the competition, which has been held every two years since 2000, will give young writers a chance to develop their careers and attract potential publishers.
“We hope to introduce new, quality books for readers,” Dương Thành Truyền, head of the contest’s organising board, said.
The National Writing Competition 2018 for Young Writers received 458 works in fiction and short stories by professional and amateur Vietnamese writers worldwide.
Respected authors Nguyễn Thành Thi, Phan Hồn Nhiên and Nguyễn Ngọc Tư were part of the jury.
The winners’ works will be printed and distributed by Trẻ Publishing House.
Previous competitions have produced winners who have gone on to become popular among young readers.
Tư, a member of the contest’s jury this year, succeeded in impressing both young and older readers by focusing on the rural life of farmers in her native land, the southern province of Cà Mau.
One of her books, Cánh Đồng Bất Tận (Endless Fields), released in 2005, has been reprinted several times and is still a bestseller.
The book was also honoured with the Southeast Asian Writers Award in 2008 by the Thai Royal Family. The award encourages and honours poets and writers in the ASEAN region. — VNS