Muscat: Submission for the inaugural edition of Times of Oman Annual Literary Contest will close at midnight tonight.
The deadline was originally set for December 31, 2013 but was extended till January 9, 2014 because of mounting requests from prospective participants. This unique annual event, a pioneering initiative from MPPH in the field of literature was launched in September 2013.
The contest, which will be conducted in three categories including Short Stories, General Essays and Poetry, has generated extremely encouraging and enthusiastic responses from writers and aspiring writers all over the country with submissions pouring in from nationals of various countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UK, USA, France, Australia, Iraq, Canada, Singapore, Philippines, Nigeria and more and of course not to forget a special mention of a very healthy participation from our very own Oman.
The submissions have come in on various themes making a fantastic carousal of reading material on topics ranging from philosophy, romance, science fiction, humour, thriller mysteries and more.
The uniqueness of this contest is that there is no restriction on the topic. The contestants were given absolute freedom to choose their own topic.
Also the contestants were given a comfortable time of four months to conceive, write, review, refine and edit as many times as they liked before submitting. This is reflected in the fact that although the contest began on a sluggish note in September, it has seen a quantum surge in submissions in December.
With a view to help and encourage aspiring candidates to come forward and participate, Times of Oman had also carried a series of articles on "writing tips". The contest has also seen a very healthy participation from children in the Poetry category for the age group of 10-15 years and it was heartening to see the encouragement they received from their schools.
Also perhaps an indication of our times was the excellent response for the online submissions that was enabled for the contest. Even more interesting was the late night hours during which a lot of these online submissions were made which indicated dedication and commitment of the contestants.
"I'm licking my lips in anticipation of an exciting reading experience in the next couple of months and look forward to this contest unearthing some real deserving writing talent," said one of the judges in the panel.
The deadline for direct submissions at the Times of Oman (advertising office) in Ruwi closes at 5pm today but the online submissions will remain open until midnight. So as long as there's still time left.