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Muse India Young Writer Awards 2015 Winners

Aditi Rao for poetry Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar for fiction Shahnaz Bashir for fiction

Muse India Young Writer Awards are given to recognise and encourage outstanding literary talent. The awards are given in the categories of poetry and fiction. Original works in English, or in English translation from an Indian language, are considered for the awards. Instituted by Muse India, the literary eJournal, the awards are given during the Hyderabad Literary Festival. Widely respected in the industry, the awards attract submissions from leading publishers of the country as well as writers and poets.

This year the awards have been named after Mr Satish Verma, senior poet and the sponsor. Books published during 2014 and 2015 were considered. A panel of senior professors, besides editors of Muse India, evaluated the entries to short-list books for the final round judged by nationally reputed writers. The panel included eminent poets and critics K Satchidanandan, Ranjit Hoskote, Meena Kandasamy, Sukrita Paul Kumar and GJV Prasad among others.

Muse India - Satish Verma Young Writer Awards 2015 winners

The winner of the poetry award is Aditi Rao (for The Fingers Remember) for “the range and variety of her poems, her innovative craft, the solidity of her images and the unflinching fortitude of her unique voice,” as the judges put it. Meera Nair was declared the runner-up (for Grey - Born When Black Invaded White) for “the beauty, irony, intensity and the spirit of combat that enliven her poems.”

In the category of fiction, the judges declared Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar and Shahnaz Bashir as Joint Winners, for their exceptional debut novels. Sowvendra’s The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey brings to vivid life a Santhal village, its people, and gods and demons who influence their lives. Shahnaz’s The Half Mother is a heart-wrenching and deeply troubling tale of a lone woman’s battle for life, dignity and justice in Kashmir.

The awards will be presented during the forthcoming Hyderabad Literary Festival (Jan 7-10, 2016).


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