Books by young writers in HCM City recently issued by Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House, one of the country’s leading publishers, are leaving a fresh impression on young readers. Photo courtesy of Trẻ Publishing House 

Kẻ Săn Chuột (The Hunter) is the first work by Pha Nguyen, who owns a small coffee shop in District 8.  

The novel is about a group of poor children living in an alley in the city. It portrays a young disabled man who discovers the world by making friends with poor kids. 

In the book, the culture and lifestyle of the HCM City residents are highlighted. 

The writer’s words evoke the reader's imagination about the city, the locals and their daily life. The city’s culture and lifestyle are seen as beautiful and peaceful. 

“My book, Kẻ Săn Chuột, features my view and thoughts about life, love, and the challenges that urban youngsters faced today,” said writer Nguyen. 

In his mid-twenties, Nguyen believes writing is “not my career but my endless dream”.

“Writing makes me happier. It helps me to share my mind and views to readers. It also brings new friends to me,” said Nguyen, at his book signing ceremony organised by the publisher on May 22. 

Young writer Pha Nguyen talks about writing at his book-signing ceremony organised by Trẻ Publishing House in HCM City on May 22. The writer entered the National Youth Writing Contest 2020 organised by the HCM City Writers’ Association in co-operation with Trẻ Publishing House last year. Photo courtesy of Trẻ Publishing House

Nguyen entered the National Youth Writing Contest 2020 organised by the HCM City Writers’ Association in co-operation with Trẻ Publishing House. The contest, launched in 2000, targets writers under 20 years old.

His work, Kẻ Săn Chuột, was selected among 20 works in different categories of short stories, fiction and poems to go to the final round in April. These best works will be published in books, magazines and newspapers.

According to Duong Thanh Truyen, director of Trẻ Publishing House, the publisher was not sure that the books would be successful but knew that young readers would find it attractive.

“We have helped young writers introduce their art to readers. We know they work hard and hope they take the market by storm,” he said. 

Young readers at a book fair in HCM City. Photo courtesy of Trẻ Publishing House


Trẻ Publishing House recently has issued two collections of short stories by young writers Dinh Thanh Trung and Mai Thanh Nga. 

Nga’s Lũ Chim Thích Chọn Cành Khô (Birds Like Dried Boughs) features the culture and lifestyle of people living in different places where the author travelled.

Trung’s Bí Mật Bóng Tối (Secrets of the Dark) tells the challenges that youngsters today face. Love, women, and family conflicts are included. 

According to a report from two book-selling websites, Tikiweb and Vinabook, books by young writers, including Nguyet Pham and Truong Anh Quoc, have all been best-sellers in recent years.     

Pham’s collection of poems, Phơi Riêng Tư (Face Off), released last year, has attracted both readers and critics.  Her work captures the beauty of life, love and women.

Quoc has a series of prose collections, Sóng Biển Rì Rào (The Sounds of Waves), Lũ Đầu Mùa (First Floods) and Hợp Đồng Chiều Thứ Bẩy (Contracts on Saturday Afternoon).  

“Young writers add something new that they have gained from their experiences to a market dominated by traditional writing styles,” veteran poet Huu Viet of the Vietnam Writers’ Association, a member of the contest’s organising board, said.

Many past winners of writing contests launched by organisations, such as the HCM City Writers' Association, Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House and Kim Đồng Publishing House, have become popular among readers. Photo courtesy of the publisher

Viet’s association launched a writing contest for authors under 35 years old in May as part of an effort to discover and support young talents. 

The 2021 National Writing Awards for Young Writers will offer prizes in the categories of poetry, fiction, literary criticism and translation. 

Vietnamese writers at home and abroad are invited to participate in the event. 

The organiser seeks works with themes about the lives of young people and their challenges and dreams in a globalised world. Women and children living in remote areas are also included.

Famous authors, poets and translators will be part of the jury. 

“We hope our contest will give writers under 35, particularly those from ethnic minorities, a chance to develop their careers and bring writers and publishers together to offer new, quality books to readers,” said Viet. 

Participants in the 2021 National Writing Award for Young Writers must submit their work on paper to the contest organiser Vietnam Writers’ Association at 9 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Nguyen Du Ward, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. 

Entries should be postmarked by September 30. 

The best works will be published by leading publishers, magazines and newspapers. The prize winners will be announced in early 2022. 

Source: Vietnam News

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