The Rainbow Awards for Literature & Journalism Returns with Its Second Edition

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The Rainbow Awards for Literature & Journalism Returns with Its Second EditionNew Delhi, May 31, 2024: Celebrating diverse and authentic queer narratives, The Rainbow Awards for Literature & Journalism (RALJ) returns with its second edition. The period for assessment is work published between the beginning of International Pride Month last year (June 1, 2023), and May 31, 2024.

Launched last year, RALJ received a positive response with close to 100 entries for its inaugural edition. A learning and genre-supporting initiative of the Dwijen Dinanath Arts Foundation, the purpose of the awards is to recognize honest, compelling, and unadulterated storytelling around LGBTQIA+ lives by Indian queer and cis-het writers. It also aims to encourage more and more people to write their own stories with the hope that the media and publishing world is pressured to give the queer community more space.

RALJ invites writers to submit entries* across the categories of Literature (Fiction & Non-fiction) and Journalism (Features & Op-Ed), starting Saturday, May 19, 2024, for a period of eight weeks. The award function will be held during the Rainbow Lit Fest – Queer & Inclusive, which returns this December.

Speaking about the second edition of the Awards, the Founder, Sharif D Rangnekar said “The awards, I hope, help in our larger endeavour to support the creation of a genre focused on queer life. We hope this eventually leads to making more people aware of LGBTQIA+ existence besides providing queer folks with reference points. We believe that the sheer recognition of unadulterated and unfettered expression will encourage others to pen down their stories, whether they are personal or political”.

The power-packed jury this year is:


  • Parvati Sharma (She / Her) – Author

  • Poonam Saxena (She / Her) – Senior journalist, writer, and translator

Non – Fiction

  • Niladri R Chatterjee (He / Him) – Professor, Department of English, University of Kalyani; Author & Translator

  • Dhamini Ratnam (She / Her) – Senior Editor, The Hindustan Times & Podcaster


  • Ashlin Mathew (She / Her) – Multilingual journalist; News Editor, National Herald

  • Aroh Akunth (They / Them / She / Her) – Founder, Dalit Queer Project and Dalit Art Archive


  • Sindhu Rajasekaran (She / Her) – Author, Filmmaker and academic

  • Sayantan Datta (They / Them) – Independent journalist; Assistant Professor, Krea University

RALJ is associated with a variety of organisations. Kunzum Books returns in the capacity of being both a Bookstore and Process partner. Talking about the awards, Ajay Jain, Founder Kunzum Books said, “I am excited to witness the second edition of the RALJ. At Kunzum, we have ‘The Q List’, a section solely dedicated to queer books, and going forward, we are also creating a space for the winning and shortlisted books from RALJ 2023 and years to come.”

Avian WE also joins hands with the awards as its Communications partner. The Mumbai Press Club, The Naz Foundation (India) Trust, The New Delhi LGBTQIA+ Centre, The Nazariya Foundation, Official Humans of Queer, The Pink List India, The QKnit Foundation, The Keshav Suri Foundation, Queering in Chandigarh, and Yes, We Exist also come together in support of RALJ this year.

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