The S.E.A. Write Award Ceremony


A Prestigious ASEAN Award Presented to the 2016-18 Winners

Since 1979, the S.E.A. Write Award, or the Southeast Asian Writers Award, has been presented annually to poets and writers in Southeast Asia. 

Held in Bangkok, Thailand, this ceremony aims to recognise the creativity of writers and create a wider awareness and understanding of literary wealth in the region, and to bring together these great minds.

The awards are given to a writer from a country that is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the ten nations that comprise the ASEAN region are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. 

The S.E.A. Write Award was established to recognise and honour literary excellence in the ASEAN region, and the awards have been presented annually for the last four decades. The unique set up of the award process is that the awardees are selected by their own peers in each of the ten countries.

The award is either given for a specific work by an author or awarded for lifetime achievement. The types of honoured works vary, and have included poetry, short stories, novels, plays, folklore, and scholarly and religious works.

The ceremony was put on hold from 2016 to 2018 due to the passing of the late King Bhumibhol Adulayadej in 2016. It was restored after the subsequent coronation of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn in May this year, and Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana gave the royal address and presided the ceremony on his behalf on the evening of Monday, 25 November 2019 at the Royal Ballroom, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.

“Literature of a worthy kind is always important and necessary for the development of human thoughts and spirit,” she stated. “It is, therefore, highly appreciated and praiseworthy that the organisers of this event have long continued to arrange this ceremony to recognise and award the leading literary figures of the region who in turn have also long continued to produce great literary works.”

Guest Speaker Mrs Claire Keefe-Fox, author and historian born in Italy of French and American parents, graced the stage as she delivered her keynote speech. She is known for her works in French and English, of which three have been translated into Thai. After four years as director of the Alliance Francaise for Thailand, she returned to university in Paris to complete her degree in Thai language and studies.

“Creating your own story enables you to travel through time and space and encounter those whose passions and actions shaped our present world,” she writes.

All in all, a total of 27 winners of the Southeast Asian Writers Award from ASEAN of the past three years: 2016, 2017 and 2018 were present in Bangkok via Thai Airways International from their respective countries from Sunday, 24 – 27 November 2019 to participate in the Awards Ceremony and other activities lined up for them during their stay in Bangkok. 

Congratulations to all the winners of this prestigious award!

2016 Winners

Haji Jamaluddin bin Aspar, Brunei

Proeng Pranit, Cambodia

Soubanh Luangrath, Laos

Rejab bin Ismail, Malaysia

Aung Cheimt, Myanmar

Bienveindo Lumbera, The Philippines

Ovidia Yu, Singapore

Palang Piangpiroon, Thailand

Nguyen The Quang, Vietnam


2017 Winners

Haji Mahadi Bin Haji Matarsat, Brunei

Lek Chumnor, Cambodia

Somchay Chanthavong, Laos

Zainal Abidin Suhaili, Malaysia

Chit Oo Nyo, Myanmar

Kristian Sendon Cordero, The Philippines

Chia Joo Ming, Singapore

Jidanun Lueangpiansamut, Thailand

Tran Hung, Vietnam


2018 Winners

Tarif bin Haji Abdul Hamid, Brunei

Pol Pisey, Cambodia

Phiulavanh Luangvanna, Laos

Mawar Safei, Malaysia

Ma Thida, Myanmar

Ricardo Monreal de Ungria, The Philippines

Goh Mey Teck, Singapore

Veeraporn Nitiprapha, Thailand

Le Minh Khue, Vietnam

Each awardee received a monetary honorarium of baht 50,000 (about USD1650) plus an all-expenses-paid, four-day stay in Bangkok. HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya also bestowed the winners with commemorative plaques.

We are looking forward to next year’s awards!


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