Mumbai-based writer Meghna Pant has won the 2016 Fellows of Nature (FON) South Asia Short Story Award on nature writing.
Pant was awarded the INR 100,000 cash prize for her story People of the Sun. She is a journalist and author, and has previously published a novel (One and a Half Wife, 2012) and a collection of short stories (Happy Birthday!, 2013).
FON announced the winner on September 12, followed by a felicitation ceremony at the Kumaon Literary Festival in Dhanachuli on October 11.
— Kumaon Lit Fest (@KumaonLitFest) October 11, 2016
DWL is proud to have been a campaign partner of the inaugural FON South Asia Short Story Award, which received over 165 entries from all around South Asia. DWL co-founder and former editor of Papercuts, Afia Aslam, was on the award’s seven-member jury, which picked the winner.
According to Sumant Batra, the founder of both FON and the Kumaon Literary Festival, the award is an attempt to restore the literary art of nature writing. FON aims to use literature to build awareness about environmental issues and help in conservation efforts.
The award jury picked Meghna Pant as the winner from a shortlist of five stories, which included stories by three other Indians and a Nepali writer.
Shabir Ahmad Mir of Jammu and Kashmir was selected as the first runner-up and Vrinda Baliga from Hyderabad was awarded the second runner-up position.
The winning stories can be read at the following links:
FON is also planning to publish a collection of 20 to 30 of the best stories received for the contest. On behalf of DWL, we wish them all the best in this endeavour.