In their latest initiative, portal Sulekha.com and publishing house Penguin India have launched a blogprint contest, which will not only let the bloggers do something they love the mostóthat is to blog, but also recognise their work by getting their blogs featured in a book which will be published by Penguin.
Giving a big boost to the rising phenomenon of blogging, which has caught the fancy of the old and young alike these days, this initiative will encourage people to write and be read.
"In India, the appetite to read is increasing and the Internet is greatly contributing to this phenomenon. There are roughly 50 million Internet users in India today. This contest will give a boost to this trend and encourage people to write and feel good about it because it will be read as well," said Satya Prabhakaran, CEO of Sulekha.com.
The bloggers can write on both fiction as well as non-fiction. In fiction, they can write short stories, flash fiction and comic strips. In non-fiction, they can write interviews, travelogues, features, personal experiences, film reviews, food reviews and essays.
The maximum word count will be 2,200 words.
The contest which began on August 10, will run for a period of six months till January 31, 2008. Every week, during this period, two best blogs will be selected and awarded a cash price of Rs 10,000 each.
At the end of the contest, a jury will evaluate the 52 winning blogs and the number will be cut down to the best 25.
These 25 best blogs will feature in a book.
"The jury will constitute of eminent members of the literary world, authors and writers. However, we donít want to disclose the names right now. The book will be published and hit the stands in July, 2008," Thomas Abraham, president and CEO of Penguin India told IANS.
Among the criteria of selecting the best blog is that the piece should not be a time-bound read. "It has to be creative. For instance, someone might write a real good piece about Sanjay Dutt now, which might not hold meaning next year. But if the piece talks about the sympathy garnered because he is a celebrity, it is a timeless piece," explained Prabhakaran.
The fact that the issues that the blogs talk about will vary widely, not giving the book a central theme, doesnít worry the initiators of the contest. "The eclecticism of the book will set it apart. You can pick up the book at any time, anywhere and start reading it," Abraham said.
The book, to be released next year, will be the third book which Penguin will be publishing for Sulekha.com