The AutHer Awards – a joint venture between JK Paper and Times of India – are a celebration of women authors who have added value and creativity to the literary space. The jury reviewed women’s books published in India between December 2020 and November 2021.
The shortlisted books are (in random order):
The presidents of the AutHer Awards jury were composed of poet, author and lyricist Prasoon Joshi (Fiction), author, columnist and former Indian diplomat Rajiv Dogra (Non-Fiction), translator Arunava Sinha (Debut) and author and poet Jerry Pinto. (Children’s books).
Speaking about his experience as the President of the Jury (Non-Fiction), Rajiv Dogra said, “Going through almost two dozen books was an experience in itself. While this is an important task and responsibility, it was interesting to see the variety that female writers produce in the field of non-fiction today.
“There were books about the history of female doctors in India, asylums in India and their miserable conditions in the past, and others written by young authors who were frank, open and – in some cases – very exclusive in their opinions. It was a pleasure to read such books. I think India can look forward to many more exciting books,” he added.
Meanwhile, Arunava Sinha, the President of the Jury (Debut) said, “This is a very important award and it is great that the Times of India has chosen to institute this award for women writers. It was an honor to be part of the jury for the first author category. It was an exciting experience reading all the books and working with the other members of the jury to identify the long list.
Other members of the jury include best-selling author Ravi Subramanian (Fiction), screenwriter and columnist Advaita Kala (Fiction), professor and historian Christine Cornet (Fiction), author and historian Swapna Liddle (Non-Fiction), author Ravinder Singh (Debut), poet, author and translator Saba Bashir (Debut), TV presenter, actress and model Amrita Raichand (Children) and educator Sujata Noronha (Children).
Speaking of the AutHer Awards and his experience as President of the Jury (Children’s Books), Jerry Pinto said: “It’s a bit of a cliché to say that it’s hard to judge an award because every book that comes to us has something to offer.
“Children’s publishing in India has recently experienced a boom. But often it seems we’re stuck in an old way of viewing children as receptacles of wisdom, as little people who need to be educated in the intricacies of politics and society. I think that’s a mistake, especially at a time when children are reluctant to read. What we need to do is bring them in and let them find their way to the pleasures of reading. Today we are dealing with children who have multiple ways of entertaining themselves. We need to entice them with entertaining and enjoyable stories. We, the jury, want all children’s writers to remember the pleasure they have derived from reading and the pleasure they want to give to children. It would be wonderful if we just made the kids happy, and that was the guiding principle of our selection process,” he added.
The books under consideration went through several layers of selection before reaching the final jury.
Vinita Dawra Nangia, literary director of the awards, said, “The third edition of the AutHer Awards brought literature that was created during one of the most difficult times in recent history. As such – whether or not it deals with the subject – the result is a revealing commentary on the indomitable spirit of humanity in difficult times. It was a time that pushed people to read and write more in an effort to decipher events and experiences beyond our known experience. We are happy to share that more books by female authors were sent to us for consideration this year than in our previous two editions of the Women Author Awards. The AutHer Awards look forward to encouraging more women to express themselves through writing and to bringing about a positive change in the somewhat skewed gender equations in the publishing industry.
The AutHer Awards shortlist will be announced on March 22.
The winners of the AutHer Awards will be announced at a grand ceremony in New Delhi. Cash prizes would be awarded to the top winners in the four categories, and a lifetime achievement award would be given to a woman author for her lasting contribution to the field of literature.
For the long list, please connect to: