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50 Literary Awards in India

Introduction to Literary Awards in India

Indian writing is a complicated and massive category. It reflects the diversity of the country in terms of languages, cultures, religions, and geographies. It also covers an array of forms- from poetry to novels, non-fiction to stage plays. Correspondingly, India also has a vast network of awards that recognize different types of writing at different levels. To help you navigate them, we’ve compiled a list! 

The list has been divided into regional awards, national awards, and international awards. All these awards have certain requirements for eligibility to apply. The regional awards need you to be residing in the state since birth and/or be writing in the regional language. While the national awards cater to various genres in writing while honouring authors with awards.

What are literary awards in India?

A literary award or literary prize is an award presented in recognition of a particularly lauded literary piece or body of work. It is normally presented to an author.


Submitting your work for awards can be a nerve-wracking experience because it means opening it up to scrutiny and criticism. It takes a lot of courage, so you can take one step at a time and aim for the lower-level awards before aiming for the big leagues. 

How to submit your work/s to literary awards in India?

Most of these awards require the publisher to submit the works. Authors cannot directly submit their words. However, a few of them do accept direct submissions. Do check out the submission guidelines on their individual websites to know the respective process for each literary award in India.

Why should you submit your work/s to literary awards in India?

In order to understand why these awards are so important, however, it is also crucial to understand what they can mean for an author. 

  • To start with, most awards come with a monetary prize. As anyone who has tried to make a living out of writing knows, it is not a financially secure profession. Especially for authors who are not well known, finances can be a struggle. Winning an award with a monetary prize offers immediate income. 
  • Apart from that, awards generally generate a certain amount of publicity. This helps in selling more copies of the work, and in boosting the author’s income. In the industry, an author’s branding and name are of utmost importance.
  • Awards are greatly beneficial to both of these and have a significant impact not just on income, but on the level of fame. There have been instances where winning a prestigious award has resulted in overnight fame for authors. 

For example, when Arundhati Roy was nominated for the Man Booker prize, she suddenly became the center of international attention. By the time she won it, she was a public figure. It completely transformed the trajectory of her career.

  • Apart from commercial interests, however, awards have another crucial function. They boost the confidence of a writer enormously. They represent an acknowledgment that can have a profound positive effect on the writers. 

If you are a short story writer and are looking for contests and awards to submit your short stories, you can check out 15 Contests and Awards for Short Stories in India

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List of the Literary Awards in India

International Literary Awards

Nobel Prize for literature 

Man Booker Prize

DSC South Asia Literary Prize 

Raja Rao Award for South Asian Literature

Gitanjali Literary Prize

National Literary Awards in India

Jnanpith Award

Tata Literature Live! Awards

Sahitya Akademi Award

Sahitya Akademi Fellowship

Vyas Samman

Yuva Puraskar

Saraswati Samman

Mahapandit Rahul Sankritayan Award

JCB Prize for literature

Times Excellence Award in Literature

Hindu Literary Prize

Valley of Words Awards for Literature

Moorthidevi Award

Crossword Book Award

Shakti Bhatt Prize

Subramanyam Bharti Awards (Hindi)

Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Award (Hindi)

Gagan Sharan Singh Award

Dr. Geoge Grierson Award (Hindi)

Atta Galatta Book Prize by Bangalore Literary Festival

If you are a poet and are looking for contests and awards to submit your poetry, do check out 15 Contests and Awards for Poetry in India.

State Level Literary Awards in India

Rabindra Puraskar

Kabir Samman

Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar

Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award

Vayalar Award

Vallathol Award

Asan Smaraka Kavitha Puraskaram (Malayalam Poets)

Kalaimamani Award (Tamil Nadu)

S.P. Adithanar Literary Award (Tamil Nadu)

Ezhuthachan Puraskaram (Kerala)

Odakkuzhal Award (Malayalam writers)

Muttathu Varkey Awards

Assam Valley Literary Awards

Pampa Award (Karnataka)

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Pandit Sunderlal Sharma Literature Award (Chattisgarh)

Ananda Puraskar (West Bengal)

Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award

Matrubhumi Literary Award

O. V. Vijayan Sahitya Puraskaram (Malayalam)

Edasseri Award (Malayalam)

Nrupatunga Award (Kannada)

Padmarajan Award (Malayalam)

Bankim Puruskar (Bengali)

VishnuPuram Award (Tamil)


These are all the major literary awards for Indian writing.

Whether you’re writing in a regional language or in English, your work can be recognized. Good luck, we hope to see your name on one of these lists soon!

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4 Responses

  1. This is no doubt a well-researched compilation. I would love to add here that Govt of Assam had started an award for creative writing – the ‘Prakashan Parishad Award’, Rs 2 lac to the author and 2 Lac to the publisher of the book. Assam Publication Board is the nodal agency for this award.

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