Emerging Voices 2016: Recognising Literary Talent


April 2016| 169 views

OppenheimerFunds has once again partnered with Financial Times on Emerging Voices Awards 2016 to reward outstanding artistic talent in emerging markets.

Literature, film and art have for centuries been the voice of the people, highlighting their woes, their joys and their social evolution. Leveraged by economic growth and greater connectivity, the opportunities in these fields have increased. OppenheimerFunds and Financial Times have come together to present Emerging Voices  2016, an initiative that recognises the talents and innovation of artists in over 100 emerging nations. A coveted $40,000 prize will be awarded to the winners of each category with $5,000 prizes for the two runners-up.

The competition includes the categories of art, fiction literature and film-making, for which eligibility is allotted to specific regions. This year art entries will be selected from Africa and the Middle East, film nominations hail from Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific authors are vying for the fiction prize – including Sri Lankan nationals and passport holders.

“We know that the Asia-Pacific region is rich in literary talent. These awards are our attempt to learn about, find and reward the best emerging voices and bring them to the attention of a wider audience,” says Michael Skapinker, FT associate editor and chair of the judges.

The literary category is open to authors of a published work of fiction in English or English translation. The book must be a minimum of 20,000 words long and have been published between January 1, 2015 and September 23, 2016. The organisers explain that self-published work and selections of short stories and poems will not be considered. While publishers from across the world are invited to submit nominations, they must get permission from the author and can submit a maximum of three works each.

Winners will be recognised for their outstanding talent and in some way their ability to further understanding of their region. “The quality of the submissions we received during our first Emerging Voices Awards programme was extraordinary,” says Justin Leverenz, director of emerging market equities at OppenheimerFunds and founder of the Emerging Voices Awards.

Authors and publishers have until May 3 to submit their nominations. The long list will be announced on June 6, the finalists on August 5 and the awards ceremony will be held on September 26.

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