Submissions for 2015 Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature

FOLLOWING the success of the inaugural Dhahan Prize, submissions are now being accepted for the world’s signature prize in Punjabi literature. Eligible authors writing in either of the two Punjabi scripts, Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi, are invited to submit a work of fiction for the $25,000 first prize.

Novels and short story collections published in 2014 will be accepted from now until March 15 at Two second place prizes of $5,000 will also be awarded.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Dhahan Prize for Punjabi Literature was established in 2013 to recognize excellence in Punjabi literature and inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders. The prize is awarded at the international level each year to three books of fiction in Punjabi written in either of two scripts, Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi.

“This is a truly an international literature prize,” says Raghbir Singh, Chair of the Dhahan Prize advisory committee. “In our inaugural year, the Dhahan Prize received over 70 entries from five countries around the world. We’re hoping to increase our reach and the number of submissions for 2015, while continuing to encourage new writers to take up writing in Punjabi.”

The first prize winner for 2014 was Avtar Singh Billing for his book, Khali Khoohaan di Katha (The Story of Empty Wells), which will be translated from Gurmukhi to English this year. Two second place prizes of $5,000 were awarded to Zubair Ahmad from Pakistan, and Jasbir Singh Bhullar from India. Winners were feted at the Dhahan Prize Awards Gala in Vancouver on October 25, 2014.Submission guidelines and eligibility terms can be found at

The Dhahan Prize celebrates the rich culture and transnational heritage of Punjabi language and literature by awarding a yearly prize for excellence in Punjabi fiction. The prize’s mission is to inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders, bridging Punjabi communities around the world and promoting Punjabi literature on a global scale. The Dhahan Prize is awarded by Canada India Education Society (CIES) in partnership with the Department of Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts at University of British Columbia (UBC). The prize is funded by an endowment from Barj and Rita Dhahan, and family and friends.