Newsweek & The Daily Beast-Open Hands Prize for Commentary

We are thrilled to announce Newsweek & The Daily Beast-Open Hands Prize for Commentary in South Asia. A prize of $25,000 will be awarded.


Newsweek & The Daily Beast and the Open Hands Initiative announce a new prize for South Asian journalists and writers covering the region to celebrate and nurture raw talent and find fresh voices. The aim of this prize is to promote and support the work of an individual who has contributed thoughtful, important, and engaging commentary on the great social, political, and cultural issues of their region.

"From two years attending the Jaipur Literature Festival, I became more and more aware of the brilliant literary and journalistic voices that exist in South Asia. At Newsweek & The Daily Beast, we are eager to provide a platform for the best new voices from the region writing about political affairs, literature, and culture. We are hoping that this $25,000 award we have created in conjunction with the Open Hands Initiative for the best commentary from South Asia will bring more terrific journalists and critics from the region to American awareness," says Tina Brown.

Awards Reception: Tina Brown and Newsweek & The Daily Beast, with co-hosts Jay Snyder and the Open Hands Initiative, Lawrence Schiller and The Norman Mailer Center, Spas Roussev, and Editor of Newsweek International, Tunku Varadarajan will host an awards reception the evening of June 20, 2012 at the Asia Society in New York. The winner will be announced and featured in an onstage discussion, which will be followed by a buffet supper and cocktails.

Prize: The winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize, a one-month residency at the Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and a biweekly column for a year on The Daily Beast.

Structure: Editors, publishers, and writers across South Asia will be asked to nominate their best English-language columnists and journalists (self-nominations are permitted) by sending us three to five examples of their work and writing a brief letter explaining why that particular individual deserves this recognition. Our panel of prominent international journalists and media experts will read the submissions to select one winner and at least two finalists. To submit a nomination, please email [email protected]

Eligibility: Any nominated columnist, journalist, or writer based in and writing about South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh) is eligible for the prize. Only commentary written in the year prior to submission will be considered eligible for the prize. Nominees must be available to travel to New York for the June 20th prize ceremony. (Employees and immediate family members of employees of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company or The Open Hands Initiative (or any of their affiliates) are not eligible.) For official rules, please see here.

Judges: Writer and Historian William Dalrymple, Editor of Newsweek International Tunku Varadarajan, Newsweek & The Daily Beast Books Editor Lucas Wittmann, Author and Journalist Sir Harold Evans, and more to be announced.

Timing: The prize will be awarded at a ceremony in New York on June 20, 2012. Submissions are due no later than Friday, May 18, 2012. The finalists will be announced on or before May 30, 2012.

The Open Hands Initiative is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving people-to-people understanding and friendship throughout the world through exchanges and other projects that emphasize our basic shared values and common humanity. It specializes in diplomacy that is by and for ordinary people, emphasizing dialogue and mutual respect between the people of the United States and the rest of the world.