AutHer Awards 2021 Longlists for best women authors in Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s Literature and Debut were announced today by a panel of 12 eminent judges. The Times of India received a whopping 1000 plus entries submitted by both publishers and individual authors for the coveted national award, the first of its kind in India.
The AutHer Awards – a joint venture between JK Paper and Times of India — are a celebration of women authors who have added value and creativity to the literary space. The jury considered books by women published in India between December 2019 and November 2020.
The chairs for the AutHer Awards jury consisted of author Anand Neelakantan (Fiction), author, columnist and playwright Kishwar Desai (Non-Fiction), author Kulpreet Yadav (Debut), and author Archana Garodia Gupta (Children’s books).
Talking about women’s writing in literature, Kishwar Desai says, “The range and diversity of subjects chosen made each book an inspiring and informative read. The combination of unusual topics with great writing made this a difficult selection, proving that in contemporary non-fiction, there are no ‘women only’ subjects. We have already spotted many potential winners, amongst the established and debut authors. ”
While sharing her experience of the AutHer Awards, Archana Garodia Gupta says, “It was a privilege to read so much wonderful writing for children – Well researched, engaging and thought-provoking. Times Auther awards are performing a much needed public service by shining a spotlight on the very talented women in our country.”
The other jury members were the Director Arts for the British Council in India Jonathon Kennedy (Fiction), author and film maker Tahira Kashyap (Fiction), historian and columnist Hindol Sengupta (Non-Fiction), writer, critic and literary historian Rakhshanda Jalil (Non-Fiction), author Devapriya Roy (Debut), marketing and publicity professional Ratna Joshi (Debut), therapist and writer Dr. Shelja Sen (Children’s books), and media professional, actor, model and storyteller Janaki Sabesh (Children’s books).
Debut Chair Kulpreet Yadav summed up his opinion about the long list along with that of jury members Devapriya Roy and Ratna Joshi as, “Eclectic, imaginative, original, and drawn from various genres within the worlds of fiction and nonfiction, the longlist comprises the most remarkable debuts of 2020.'”
The books under consideration went through multiple layers of screening before reaching the final jury.
Vinita Dawra Nangia, Literary Director of the Awards, says, “Perhaps neither the market situation nor reading habits reveal the true picture, but quality writing by women authors in India is gaining ground fast and awards such as the JK Paper-Times of India’s AutHer Awards give the much-needed fillip to women authors to take over this unique space in the literary landscape.”
The AutHer Awards Shortlist will be announced on March 8.
The AutHer Awards winners will be announced at a grand ceremony in New Delhi. Cash prizes would be given to the top winners of all four categories and a Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to a woman author for her lasting contribution in the field of literature.
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