Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Awards, Recognitions and Sri Lankan Creative Writing in English

Featured image courtesy University of Kelaniya
SASANKA PERERA on 05/30/2017

Editor’s Note: The text reproduced below is the longer version of the introductory comments made at the BMICH, Colombo on 27th May 2017 at the announcement of the winner of the Gratiaen Prize 2016. 

 About Concerns of Judges

When speaking of the concerns we have as judges with regard to our experiences in judging the entries for the 2016 Gratiaen Prize, I am speaking on behalf of my fellow judges, Chandana Dissanayake and Ruhanie Perera as well.  These are our collective thoughts. Over two decades, the Gratiaen Prize scheme has been an important system in providing recognition to writers in Sri Lanka who write in English. And this should continue. We already noted in April when the short list was announced that it would be best to institute separate award schemes for different kinds of creative writing in English on the same model as the H.A.I. Goonetilleke Award for Translations. Though difficult, this is not impossible if there is a willingness to work with other concerned entities and people who may share the same goals and ideals.