Six shortlisted candidates are today announced for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia Prize.

Manuscripts by Rasana Atreya, Sabyn Javeri, Vidya Madabushi, Rohit Manchanda, Hema S.Raman, and Srikumar Sen have been selected for the shortlist.

The deadline for submissions was October 19, 2011 and open to any unrepresented South Asian writer with a completed draft of an unpublished novel. The TJSA Prize is unique in that it nurtures new unrecognized talent. An esteemed panel of literary and publishing professionals have been reviewing dozens of applications.

Amit Chaudhuri, novelist and Professor of Contemporary Literature at UEA, notes,

“The shortlisted submissions have been a pleasant surprise – they all display genuine imagination and literary skills, and a willingness to give precedence to craft and imagination over ‘big’ themes. The best of them are impressively accomplished. Judging has been painless, friendly, and there’s been a striking degree of agreement in our thoughts.”

Amit Chaudhuri is chairing the panel of judges and joined by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, the poet, translator and critic; Urvashi Butalia, the publisher and author; Jon Cook, Professor of Literature at UEA; and the journalist Amana Fontanella-Khan.

The prize was created following the success of the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize at the 2011 London Book Fair merged with the desire to nurture emerging South Asian writers. Charles Pick Fellowship founder and Tibor Jones Chairman Martin Pick says, “South Asia’s emergence as a centre for writers is exciting. We want to help them find a place to work and exchange ideas, to develop and grow.”

The winner, who will be announced in New Delhi on January 17, 2012, will receive 1 Lakh Rupees and literary representation by Tibor Jones & Associates, a leading London literary agency. The finalists will also be encouraged to apply for the Charles Pick Fellowship for a creative writing course at the University of East Anglia, which includes a cash award of £10,000 and six months board on campus in Norwich, UK. UEA has one of the world’s best regarded creative writing programmes, and boasts alumni such as Booker Prize-winning novelists Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro.

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