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Writers Honored for Literature Prize

Ten Chinese writers were granted Chuang Chung-wen Literature Awards at a ceremony held on Wednesday in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Each winner was given a prize of 20,000 yuan (US$2,400), plus a certificate.

It was the ninth ceremony since the literature award was initiated in 1987 by the Chinese Writers Association and the Chinese Literature Foundation.

Chuang Chung-wen (1912-93), former chairman of Chuang's Consortium International Limited, as an adviser to the Chinese Literature Foundation, first proposed to establish and sponsor the award.

Starting in 1988, the first three awards were given to six literary magazines and two classes of literature students, which were deemed to have made contributions to the development of Chinese literature.

The awards were granted to individual writers starting in 1991. A total of 114 writers have been given this honor since.

When Chuang Chung-wen died in 1993, his son Chuang Shaw-swee took over the consortium and promised to continue offering financial support.

Zhang Qi, deputy chairman of the Chinese Literature Foundation, said the award this time is different from previous years. New rules for selection have been established and a new panel has been organized with new members.

Writers above the age of 40 have also been included for the first time. The award used to be given only to younger writers.

Zhang Qi said the award will be granted every two years starting this year.

Wang Meng, vice-chairman of the Chinese Writers Association and also one of China's most prestigious writers, impressed upon the winners that they should never be carried away by the award and continue to be as meticulous in their writing as they were when they began their career.

He also hailed this award as helpful and important to promoting the development of Chinese literature.

(China Daily December 18, 2003)

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