Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Literary Prize

Earlier today I received an email from someone I worked with on an anti-racist political/community development project for a couple of years saying that he has won a prestigious writing award. It makes me happy to promote fellow writers that I know, so here are the details:

Ahmad Saidullah won $4000 as the second prize for his short story "Happiness And Other Disorders" in the 2005 CBC Literary Awards held at La Grande Bibliothéque in Montréal, Canada on 26 February 2006.

The story was commended by the jurors for its experimental style, humour, and empathetic breadth. "Happiness" will be published in the June 2006 edition of enRoute, Air Canada's flight magazine, which is a partner in the awards, and is expected to reach a million readers.

The story will also be read on CBC Radio Canada at a later date and the CBC Literary Awards will be broadcast too. Ahmad is the third Canadian South Asian writer after Michael Ondaatje and Shauna Singh Baldwin to be recognized by Canada's top literary short story prize and the first since the awards were redesigned in 2001.

Here is a listing of the winners.

Ahmad Saidullah was born in Ottawa in 1958. He has worked as an editor and a lexicographer and is now a policy research consultant. In 2006, he launched The Village Green Rag, an e-zine for new and emerging writers from all over the world. Ahmad started writing fiction seriously in 2004. The "Happiness" story is taken from his first novel Fifteen Sketches of Rumi. He wrote the book in ten months mostly at night and on weekends while laid up with a bad back. He is looking for an agent and publisher for Rumi. Ahmad is working on another novel.

Congratulations Ahmad!

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