Vancouver: Submissions are now open for the Dhahan Prize, the world’s signature prize in Punjabi literature. Authors who have published novels or short story collections in 2018 in either of the Punjabi scripts, Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi, are invited to submit their works for the $25,000 CDN grand prize.  Two finalist prizes of $10,000 CDN will also be awarded.  The deadline for submissions is March 31.

In addition to the Dhahan Prize Award, financial support will be provided to winning authors for transliteration and publication of their book into Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi scripts.

The Dhahan Prize is the largest literary award celebrating the rich history of the Punjabi language.  The Prize aims to inspire the creation of Punjabi literature across borders, bridging Punjabi communities around the world, and promoting Punjabi literature on a global scale. The awards garner critical acclaim and significant exposure for aspiring writers.

The prize is based in Vancouver, Canada, and was founded by Barj (Barjinder Singh) and Rita Dhahan, with support from family, friends, and the University of British Columbia (UBC). The Prize is awarded annually at the international level each year to three books of fiction in Punjabi written in either of the two scripts, Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi.

Submissions will be accepted via the Dhahan Prize website, Eligible works of fiction must be received for review by March 31.

Past winners:


  • Winner, Baldev Singh Sadaknama (India) for his novel,Suraj Di Akh
  • Finalist, Nasir Baloch(Pakistan) for his short story collection, Jhootha Sacha Koi Naa
  • Finalist, Harpreet Sekha (Canada)for his short story collection, Prism


  • Winner, Pargat Singh Satoj (India) for his novel,Khabar Ik Pind Di
  • Finalist, Ali Anwar Ahmad(Pakistan) for his short story collection, Tand Maili Chaadar
  • Finalist, Nachhattar Singh Brar (Canada)for his novel, Paper Marriage


  • Winner, Jarnail Singh (Canada) for his short story collection, Kaale Varke
  • Finalist, Zahid Hassan (Pakistan) for his novel, Tassi Dharti
  • Finalist, Simran Dhaliwal (India) for his short story collection, Us Pal


  • Winner, Darshan Singh (India) for his novel, Lota
  • Finalist, Harjeet Atwal (Britain) for his novel, Mor Udaari
  • Finalist, Nain Sukh (Pakistan) for his novel, Madhoo Lal


  • Winner, Avtar Singh Billing (India/United States) for his novel, Khali Khoohaan di Katha
  • Finalist, Jasbir Bhullar (India) for his short story collection, Ek Raat Da Samunder
  • Finalist, Zubair Ahmad (Pakistan) for his short story collection, Kabutar, Banaire Te Galian

For more information, visit, or join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

To submit, please send an application to and mail three hard copies to: