A New Literary Award


The first presentation of the Dausa Family Literary Award, established in 2023, took place at the Vilnius Book Fair this year at the end of February. Sponsors of the award are Aldona Dausaitė-Empakerienė (1930-2012), formerly of Toronto, and the Lithuanian Canadian Foundation. The award is granted to the authors of original books of prose written in Lithuanian, debut works or those translated into Lithuanian by someone of Lithuanian descent, published during the past three years.

On February 26, well-known Lithuanian author Valdas Papievis received the award at the 2024 Vilnius Book Fair for his novel “Ėko” (published by Odilė, 2021). Ieva Dumbrytė also won for her debut in the literary world with “Šaltienos bistro” (Kitos knygos, 2021). Dr. Arūnas Pabedinskas, President of the Lithuanian Canadian Foundation Board of Directors, was in Lithuania to present the award this year, together with Lithuanian Writers’ Union president Birutė Jonuškaitė. The two authors received monetary prizes of 12,500 euros (original literature) and 5,000 eoros (debut novel). Honoraria are also given to the publishers of the prize-winning books.

Papievis thanked the foundation for its sponsorship and for building bridges with Lithuania, a mandate first undertaken in 1962 when its constitution was written to include all Lithuanians, no matter where they live or where they were born.

Dumbrytė expressed deep gratitude for the miracle of being recognized from abroad, and noted that “the more miracles we experience, the more we want to live”.

Creating a commission of judges was a challenge, said its chair Renata Šerelytė. Its members were Rasa Lomsargytė-de Vries (Rasa Sagė), Virginijus Gasiliūnas, Žydronė Kolevinskienė and Aušra Kaziliūnaitė.

The next competition for this award will be announced toward the end of the year.

Information about the Lithuanian Canadian Foundation is available at: https://www.klfondas.org/. Rules for applying for the award are on https://rasytojai.lt/.