about the prize

The JCB Prize for Literature is a Rs 25-lakh award presented each year to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian author, as selected by the jury.

The Prize aims to enhance the prestige of literary achievement in India, and to create greater visibility for contemporary Indian writing. It has a particular focus on translation, and hopes to introduce readers to many works of Indian literature written in languages other than their own.

Each year, the Literary Director appoints a jury of prominent individuals from different fields, chosen in order to reflect the range and diversity of contemporary Indian life. The five members of the jury are alone responsible for selecting the longlist of ten, the shortlist of five, and the winner. Each shortlisted author receives Rs 1 lakh. The winning author receives a further Rs 25 lakhs. An additional Rs 5 lakhs is awarded to the translator if the winning work is a translation.

Administered by the Advisory Council of the JCB Literature Foundation with the very highest standards of integrity and transparency, the Prize will continue to discover and reward great Indian writing for decades to come.


The JCB Prize for Literature is awarded by the JCB Literature Foundation, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act, whose purpose is to promote the art of literature in India.

The Foundation has an Advisory Council, which ensures that its principles and ideals are upheld. The Advisory Council appoints a Literary Director for the Prize, who is responsible for maintaining its literary standards and appointing each year a jury of five discerning men and women of varied backgrounds. The jury reads all Prize entries, narrowing them down, first to a longlist of ten, then to a shortlist of five, then to a winner.

The 2018 Jury

Advisory Council


The rules and eligibility criteria for the 2018 JCB Prize for Literature are available here.

Key dates

Entries open 1st March 2018
Deadline for entries 31st May 2018
Announcement of longlist (of ten) 5th September 2018
Announcement of shortlist (of five) 3rd October 2018
Awards ceremony 24th October 2018


General enquiries