Submissions for the 2021 Dhahan Prize are now being accepted
The Dhahan prize for Punjabi literature was established to recognize excellence in Punjabi literature and inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders. The prize is awarded at the international level each year to three books of fiction in Punjabi written in either of two scripts, Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi .
Founded in 2013, the Dhahan Prize presents $ 25,000 CDN to the winner and $ 10,000 CDN each to the two finalists. Both Punjabi scripts are represented among the three winners. The Dhahan Prize was first awarded in 2014 and since 2018 the annual award purse is $ 45,000 CDN.
The Dhahan Prize is named (https://skyrocket.is/work/dhahan-prize) after the ancestral village of the Dhahan family of the late S. Budh Singh Dhahan. The Prize is founded by Barj (Barjinder Singh) and Rita Dhahan along with family and friends from Vancouver, Canada.
For more information about eligibility and the adjudication process, see below on this page.
If interested in submitting a novel or short story collection for consideration for the 2021 Dhahan Prize, fill out the form below. Before doing so, please ensure that the eligibility requirements are met.
Once the following completed form is received you will be contacted with further instructions via email. In the meantime,
1. Mail / courier 3 copies of your book to
Dhahan Prize Book Submission
# 1058 – 2560 Shell Road,
Richmond, BC Canada V6X 0B8
2. Email PDF of your book to
If you have any questions, kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prize Eligibility Requirements
A. The Jury
- Each year three juries are appointed with each jury having three members.
- Jury membership is confidential until the final granting of the award. Only the jury members, Chair of the Dhahan Prize Advisory Committee and the Dhahan Prize Management Team know the final constitution of the juries. The Dhahan Prize Advisory Committee provides suggestions for jury membership to the Chair but do not know the final composition of juries.
- Two juries are established to determine semi-finalists in each script, Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. These are referred to as the “Gurmukhi Jury” and the “Shahmukhi Jury.” These two juries determine potential winners in their respective script, submitting from the candidates the greater of 3 books or 20% of the total eligible Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi submissions each, to the Chair of the Dhahan Prize Advisory Committee who forwards the same to the Central Jury for its deliberation.
- A Central Jury is established to compile a short list of not less than 6 and not more than 10 titles from the list of recommended books by the Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi juries. The Prize winner and two finalists are selected from the short list, ensuring that out of the total three winners, each of the two scripts is represented.
- Central Jury members must be able to read books in both Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi scripts.
- All jury members agree to confidentiality and not to discuss the same with anyone outside of the jury they are members of. They agree not divulge or discuss any of the books submitted for the Prize with anyone outside of their respect jury.
- The juries will pick the best books without giving any consideration to the authors’ age, gender, sexual orientation, national background, ethnicity, religion, name recognition and past literary achievements.
- All jury members receive hard copies and/or electronic versions of all books submitted that meet the eligibility requirements. Jury members are responsible for reading books in the script associated with their jury.
- No person is entitled to remain a jury member for the consecutive year.
- No jury and Dhahan Prize Advisory Committee member may submit a book for consideration for the prize in a year he/she serves on a jury.
B. Eligibility Requirements
- To be eligible, every book must be a first-edition novel or short story collection written in either the Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi script; reprints of previously published works are not eligible (unless a reprint is published in the same year as the first edition); and more than half of the given book should not have been published in book form previously.
- A submitted book must be published in the calendar year prior to the year in which the prize will be awarded e.g., 2020 for the 2021 prize.
- Books can be submitted by the author or any other person on his/her behalf including the publisher. If the latter, explicit written permission from the author must be obtained and submitted to the Prize.
- The submitted book must have ISBN Number printed on it.
- No submission shall be ineligible because the author has won another literary prize previously.
- Three hard copies of the book must be mailed to the Dhahan Prize office in Canada, and, an electronic version in PDF must be submitted via email. After verification of the book that it meets the eligibility requirements, it will be submitted to jury members.
- All entries must be received by March 31 of the prize year. Submissions received after this date will be deemed ineligible.
- No works of poetry and other genre shall be eligible.
- No book shall be awarded the prize where the book’s author has died prior to the announcement of the Prize winner and finalists.
- The decision of the Chair of the Dhahan Prize Advisory Committee and the Dhahan Prize Management Team as to whether a book is eligible shall be binding.
- A winning author of the Prize will be eligible to compete again after a period of 5 years, while finalists will be eligible to compete again starting the following year.
- All authors whose books are submitted are required to sign an agreement that should her/his book be selected as ‘the winner’ or ‘a finalist’ she/he will attend the Dhahan Prize Awards Ceremony held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and any affiliated events highlighting the author and her/his works, in order to receive her/his award. If an author fails to attend, the author will not be eligible to receive the award.
- Authors and publishers of the winning and the two finalist books will be required to sign a permission agreement granting the Dhahan Prize the right to reproduce an excerpt, chapter or a short story in any Dhahan Prize promotional activity. Furthermore, the authors and publishers will be required to sign an agreement to imprint or sticker all future editions with the Dhahan Prize logo as per instructions from the Dhahan Prize.
- Each year the Dhahan Prize will announce the winner and the finalists with a press release in early September in Vancouver, Canada. The short list and the names of the jurors will also be released.
- Each year the Dhahan Prize Awards Ceremony shall be held in late October to early November in Vancouver, Canada. The Dhahan Prize will bear the cost of economy return air travel to and from Vancouver for the winner and the two finalists including the cost of accommodations and meals in Vancouver for up to five days.