The prestigious Gemcon Literary Award was handed over to eight winners on Tuesday.

Eight individuals, four each for 2020 and 2021, received the awards at a function organized at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad auditorium of Bangla Academy.

Kazi Anis Ahmed, director of Gemcon Group, announced the names of the winners.

Writer Mashrur Arefin received the Gemcon Literary Award 2020 for his novel “August Abchhaya”. Jabbar Al Nayeem for “Jiboner Chhuti Nei,” and Dhrupodi Ripon for “Shomporko Apon-Por” jointly received the Gemcon Youth Literary Award while Hasnain Hira received the Gemcon Youth Poetry Award 2020 for “Baak Bachaner Baitha”.

For 2021, Afsana Begum received the award under the novel category for “Kolahol Thamar Pore”. Sanjay Pal received the award for his story book titled “DwipRaj”. Marufa Mita for “Botam Ghor” and Dipon Debnath for “Adi Fossiler Gaan” received the award jointly under the manuscript category.

Afsana Begum said: “On one hand, it is a great moment for me and on the other the award burdens me with certain responsibilities. Any award brings recognition. However, maintaining quality of work in the future is equally important since being a writer who has been awarded but couldn’t maintain his quality can provoke reproach. I will be conscious so that I can keep up the good work.”

A 30-member jury board finalised the Gemcon Literary Awards for 2020 and 2021.

The annual award is one of Bangladesh’s biggest literary awards for creative works in Bengali and is given to encourage and recognise creative writers working in the Bengali language.

Kazi Nabil Ahmed, MP and vice chairman of Gemcon Group, said: “This award is a platform to promote young writers and project their talents before the people. The young writers who had been awarded in previous years have proven themselves and are now renowned in their respective fields.”

Introduced by Gemcon Group in 2000, the previous award recipients include eminent writers Syed Shamsul Haq, Shahidul Zaheer, Selim Al Deen, Hasan Azizul Haque, Mamun Hussain, Ahmad Mostafa Kamal and others.

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