The winner of this year’s Khmer Literature Festival urged aspiring authors to work as much as possible on their original ideas to avoid repeating the work of others. Vann Sareth, who writes under the pseudonym of Chao Sme Prolom (novel author grandson), won first prize in the field of composition, for his poem “Voice of Tro, to accompany the Temple”.
In recent years, Sareth, a native of Prey Veng province, has received a series of awards for his poetry from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Buddhist Institute. He has just added the Khmer Literature Festival to the list of institutions that have recognized his talent.
“The next generation of writers should work hard to acquire as much compositional knowledge as possible. They should strive to make writing a daily habit and always remember the need to create original work – the need to forge their own literary path and not to plagiarize others,” he said. .
Sareth, 39, has a lot of experience inspiring original ideas in others. When he’s not writing award-winning prose, he teaches students to do so.
“I am a teacher of Khmer literature in high school. On weekends, I teach undergraduate students in higher education institutions in Prey Veng,” he added.
He was happy to share some of his non-poetic compositions, saying that although they were not yet available in print, he had written several short stories and short stories, as well as a number of scholarly works.
“My short stories include ‘Shepherd Boy’, ‘Break up in Siem Reap’ and ‘Free from Bondage’. One of my best academic works is ‘Methods of Studying Khmer Literature’,” he said .
He plans to have them published soon, to do his part to promote reading and writing habits in modern society.
“I enjoy writing instruction manuals and contemporary fiction. I find that fiction can include interesting philosophical themes, which can inspire the reader,” he said.
“I didn’t expect to win a prize, to be honest. I’ve only entered one play and haven’t entered any other contests. This one is special though. The judges of the Festival de Khmer literature are very thorough and take a long time to pick the winners,” he added.
Holder of a bachelor of arts in Khmer literature and another in English, he is particularly proud of his students, calling them “bamboo shoots that will one day reach the height of the sky”. He also led training courses with the Association of Khmer Writers, of which he is proud to be a member.
This year’s Khmer Literature Festival was held in Pursat province on October 22-23.