Lao SEA Write collections continue to be popular among readers

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The collections on Lao writers who have won the Southeast Asia Write Awards are read widely among Lao students.

Two SEA Write collections, including a book of short stories and a book of poems were two of the bestselling stories books in 2015, and they have proven to be popular again so far this year.

These books have been popular among society since its first publication in 2011 and book lovers all over Laos know well about the stories and articles in these books because they are the most beautiful stories and articles written by 10 Lao SEA Write award winners and are well worthy of reading and learning about.

The stories and poems also included some educational lessons at secondary school and university level so young readers can relate to them easily.

According to the sales sector of the State Publishing and Books Distribution House, in Xiengyeun village, Chanthabouly district, these two books were among the bestselling books of this bookshop over the last year and sales have continued to rise again this year.

These two books were collected by Thongbay Phothisane who was recently appointed as the president of the Lao Writers’ Association,. He assembled the 10 articles which have been previous winners of the SEA Write Awards.

They are all published in one individual book in order to promote more Lao literature, reading activities, and support budding young writers. The books will also serve to encourage young people to see more importance in written works and allow them to learn more about the Lao SEA Write awardees and their work.

The book is comprised of short stories, namely Kharngkheunnaipalerk by Chanthi Deuansavanh; Nok-eingkhitarkhuay by Viseth Savaengseuksa; Paphenilaexivid by Bouseune Sengmany; and Sinmaipheunkao by Bounthanong Xaysomphon.

Meanwhile the poems book contains Phikphaendinpinphaenfar yarkhennarhaibernglang by Somsy Dexakhamphou; Namtarmae by Dr Thongkham Onemanisone; South-arlay by Houmphan Rattanavong; Bormitaechao by Duangchampa; and Nguakabkien by Koularbsavan.

A sales staffer at the State Publishing and Books Distribution House, Nithsala Haxasak, told Vientiane Times that these two collections were among the bestselling books in the shop in 2015 and the shop has also sold a large number of these books again this year.

Nithsala said the main customers were students because they bought them to learn and she predicted that the two books would continue to sell well again this year.

The SEA Write Awards, or Southeast Asian Writers Awards, have been presented annually since 1979 to poets and writers in Southeast Asia.

The awards are given to writers from each of the 10 countries that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, though not all Asean countries are represented every year.

The award is sometimes given for a specific work by an author, or it could be awarded for lifetime achievement. The types of works that are honoured vary, and have included poetry, short stories, novels, plays, folklore, and scholarly and religious works.

Each country has to select the best writers to compete for the award and they are judged according to regulations of the SEA Write Award.

In 2015, the Awards Presentation Ceremony was hosted by Thailand, in Bangkok on December 14, and attended by 10 awardees of Asean countries.

Phonesavanh Phanthavichith from Oudomxay province was announced as the winner from Laos. Phonesavanh is the 18th Lao SEA Write awardee after the first awardee, Dr Thongkham Onemanisone, won the best poem with his work entitled Namtamae in 1998, and 2014 awardee Somsouk Souksavath, who won best short story with Anachakbinbon.