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Mumbai-based writer wins FON South Asia Short Story Award


New Delhi : Writer Meghna Pant will be honoured with Kumaon Literary Festival’s FON (Fellows of Nature) South Asia Short Story Award in Nature writing in October for her short story “People of the Sun.”

The annual travelling literary festival gives this award in partnership with the French Institute of India and Wildlife Trust of India to “revive nature writing and bring the spotlight on critical environment issues like climate change through this form of literature.”

“Nature writing was once considered to be the rock and roll of literature. In the last few decades, it has shown a steady decline. Like all extinctions, nature writing’s gradual disappearance represents a profound loss. FON is our little effort to revive this art,” Sumant Batra, founder of Kumaon Literary Festival, said.

The award was founded to build a community of writers who can become instrumental in reviving interest in nature writing and at the same time build awareness among public in order to facilitate the conservation of our surroundings

Pant’s story was shortlisted from over 165 entries received from across South Asia. The Mumbai-based writer has also penned a novel, “One & A Half Wife” and a collection of short stories called, “Happy Birthday!”.

She will be felicitated with the award as well as a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh here next month.

The winner was selected by a jury comprising of writers Jerry Pinto, Sidhartha Gigoo, Mridula Koshy and Shinie Antony from India, James Champion from the UK,  Samrat Upadhyay from USA and Afia Aslam from Pakistan.

“Writing about the close relationship between humankind and nature plays an important role in creating interest and building respect for it amongst book lovers and others. There is a pressing need to restore this literary art,” Asha Batra, Founder of FON Award said.

The organizers also announced the first and second runners up –  Shabir Ahmad Mir from Jammu and Kashmir and Vrinda Baliga from Hyderabad respectively.

Sujata Parashar, Director of FON, said that an anthology of the top stories from the received entries will also be published.

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