Nominations for the '5th UBL Literary Excellence Awards' announced

The Awards are an initiative by UBL to acknowledge & reward the writers contributing in Urdu and English literature
Published 23 Jan, 2016 11:47am

One of its kind, the 'Literary Excellence Awards' will continue the tradition of recognizing the outstanding literary work in Urdu and English in Pakistan for the fifth round this year.

The literary scene is active and thriving steadily in Pakistan as evident from the growing public response to the literary festivals holding in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad every year. These festivals provide the necessary platform to the budding and established writers, literary figures, and intellectuals to showcase their work and interact with the general public.

Beside literary festivals, currently, there are very few platforms for the writers to earn recognition and get rewarded for their talent. But the situation is not entirely hopeless, as United Bank Limited (UBL) has been hosting one of its kind 'Literary Excellence Awards' for last half decade, encouraging the writers and recognizing the outstanding literary work in Pakistan.

The Awards are an initiative by UBL to acknowledge and reward the writers contributing in Urdu and English literature. It was started back in 2010 in collaboration with Jung and the first awards ceremony was held in May 2011 in Karachi. Since then, the ceremony has been held every year, with an exception in 2015. The '5th UBL Literary Excellence Awards' will be held at Karachi Literature Festival this year.

The awards are given to the best books selected by the jury in the categories of Urdu fiction, Urdu nonfiction, English fiction, English nonfiction, Urdu children’s literature, English children’s literature, Urdu poetry, and Urdu translations. The winners are also awarded with the cash prize of 0.1 million to 0.15 million rupees depending on the category.

The nominations for the '5th UBL Literary Excellence Awards,' for awarding the best books published in the year 2014 and 2015 were revealed recently in an advertisement published on the front page of a leading English daily. This year, to the surprise of many, no book is selected in the category of English fiction, despite having several English novels published in the last two years including the best sellers 'The Spinner's Tale' by Omer Shahid Hamid and 'Karachi, You’re Killing Me!' by Saba Imtiaz.

Here are the nominees in the seven categories for the '5th round of the literary awards':

Urdu Fiction

  • Chor Lamha by Roohi Tahir
  • Na-tamaam by Muhammad Asim Butt
  • Burf Main Jaltay Log by Abdul Rauf Kayani

Urdu Non-Fiction

  • Mir Baqir Ali – Dastan-go by Aqeel Abbas Jafari
  • Bazm-e-Ronaq-e-Jahan by Aslam Farrukhi
  • Rashid, Meera Jee Faiz Nayab Hain Hum (Tanqeed) by Muhammad Hamid Shahid
  • Tamaseel by Ishrat Ali Khan

Urdu Poetry

  • Dars Dhaara by Shaheen Abbas
  • Dhoop Kiran by Imdad Hussaini
  • Mohabbat Roshni Hai by Naseem Nazish

English Non-Fiction

  • Power Failure by Syeda Abida Hussain
  • Ottoman Turkey by Naeem Qureshi
  • The Emergence of Socialist Thoughts by Khizer Humayun Ansari

Urdu Translation

  • Surkh Mera Naam by Huma Anwar
  • Ranjeet Singh by Zubair Qureshi
  • Namoos by Huma Anwar

Urdu Children’s Literature

  • Sunehri Kahaniyan by Najma Parveen
  • Dragon Ki Wapasi by Akhtar Abbas
  • Chi Chu Ka Neya Ghar by Erum Maqbool

English Children’s Literature

  • A Children’s History of Balochistan by Hamida Khuru
  • The Magical Woods by Saman Shamsie
  • The Simurgh and the Birds by Fahmida Riaz

The winners will be announced at the award ceremony to be held at the Karachi Literature Festival on 7 February, 2016 at the Beach Luxury Hotel, as shared in the official announcement by UBL.

Karachi Literature Festival, founded by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi and produced by Oxford University Press, is the biggest literary festival in Pakistan and it attracts the people both from Pakistan and the rest of the world including India, UK, and USA. Last year more than 70,000 people attended the event. The 7th Karachi Literature Festival, dubbed as KLF-7, will be held from February 5th - 7th.