Gratiaen prize 2020 | Sunday Observer

Gratiaen prize 2020

28 March, 2021

The shortlist for the Gratiaen Prize 2020 will be announced at an online event on Monday, April 5 at 7.00 p.m, live-streamed on the Facebook page of the Gratiaen Trust. For a second consecutive year, the prize event has gone online and for the third consecutive year a long list for the prize was announced. At this event, these long-listed writers and their work will be featured before the announcement of the short list.

The Long-list that was announced earlier this month includes eight writers:

A Sunbird’s Guile - Chamanthi Denisha Jayaweera

Chasing Tall Tales and Mystics: Ibn Battuta in Sri Lanka - Ameena Hussein

Cross match - Carmel Miranda

Mind Games - Jehan Aloysius

Ovaryacting!- Piumi Wijesundara

Restless Rust- Lal Medawattegedara

Softly We Fall - Megan Dhakshini

The Red Brick Wall- Ciara Mandulee Mendis.

This year the panel is chaired by Mahendran Thiruvarangan, a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Jaffna and an active arts and political commentator.

Other members in the panel are a well-known creative writer and public personality Ashok Ferrey, and Victoria Walker a former diplomat and passionate supporter of arts and culture, currently working as a volunteer for Sri Lanka’s Design for Sustainable Development Foundation. Detailed bios of the jury members can be found on the Gratiaen Trust website.

The Gratiaen Prize was founded in 1992 by Sri Lankan-born novelist, poet and essayist Michael Ondaatje with his Booker Prize money for The English Patient. This year the Gratiaen Trust continues its partnership with John Keells Foundation – the CSR entity of the John Keells Group.

The Trust also held a Literary Weekend in Bentota in September 2020 in association with John Keells Foundation, with media sponsorship by Daily Mirror and the Sunday Times.

In March 2021 the Trust also conducted an online literary translation workshop entitled ‘Doubling Ourselves’ to recognise and develop literature in translation, a goal of its H.A.I. Goonetileke Prize which will also be awarded this year.

The Gratiaen Prize is awarded each year to the best submitted creative work in English, written by a Sri Lankan writer resident in Sri Lanka. Both published works and unpublished manuscripts are accepted, and this year over 60 entries were received. Every year the Trust appoints a creative writer, an academic, and an informed general reader to its three-member jury.