List of Sahitya Akademi Award winners for Tamil

Sahitya Akademi Award
Awarded by Sahitya Akademi, Government of India
Category Literature (Individual)
Description Second-highest literary honour in India
Instituted 1954
First awarded 1955
Last awarded 2015
Total awarded 56
Cash award 1 lakh (US$1,500)
First awardee(s) R. P. Sethu Pillai
Last awardee(s) A. Madhavan

The Sahitya Akademi Award is the second-highest literary honor in India. The Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, aims at "promoting Indian literature throughout the world". The Akademi annually confers on writers of "the most outstanding books of literary merit". The awards are given for works published in any of the 24 languages recognised by the akademi.[1] Instituted in 1954, the award recognizes and promotes excellence in writing and acknowledge new trends. The annual process of selecting awardees runs for the preceding twelve months. As of 2015, the award comprises a plaque and a cash prize of 1 lakh (US$1,500).[1][2]

The inaugural edition of the award recognised works in twelve languages – Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. In Tamil, the first recipient of the award was R. P. Sethu Pillai, who was honoured for his collection of essays entitled Tamil Inbam in 1955. Posthumous recipients of the award include Kalki Krishnamurthy (1956), Bharathidasan (1969), Ku. Alagirisami (1970), Aadhavan Sundaram (1987) and C. S. Chellappa (2001). As of 2015, the award has been presented to 56 writers.

Rules and criteria for submissions

Although the Akademi is under the control of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, it functions as an autonomous body. To be eligible for the award, the work must be an "outstanding contribution to the language and literature to which it belongs". It can be a "creative" or a "critical" work; translations, anthologies, abridgments, compilations, annotation, and research papers are ineligible. To contest in a particular year, the work must have been published during the last five years, prior to the preceding year.[lower-alpha 1] In case of tiebreakers, the literary contribution and "standing" of the authors would be taken into consideration. Only Indian nationals are eligible for the award. The award will be not be given if there are no more than two contestants in the final round. The works of authors who have been awarded earlier by the Akademi – translation prize, Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Puraskar are exceptions though – are ineligible. Further, the author must not be a recipient of the Bhasha Samman or the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship. The works of members of the executive board of the Akademi are ineligible for the award. Incomplete works may be considered for the award only if a part of the work, under which it competes, is deemed "complete". A posthumous publication is eligible only if the author has been deceased for over five years starting from the current year. The Akademi does not consider direct submissions from authors or publishers.[1]

Selection process

The Akademi will prepare a "ground list", shortlisted from a set of eligible books in each of the recognized languages. Each language will have an "Advisory Board" member, who will shortlist and form and send a panel consisting of not more than five members to the President of the Akademi.[1]

The preliminary panel consists of ten referees, who are nominated by the President upon requests received from the members of the "Advisory Board". The recommendations received from members of the "Advisory Board" of each languages will be compiled and sent to the corresponding referees, who in turn will select two entries. A committee of three members, selected by the President, out of a panel of seven names recommended by the Language "Advisory Board", chooses the awardee in each language. The jury members are selected by the President after considering the recommendations in this behalf by the members of the Language Advisory Board concerned. The Akademi purchases the books recommended by the referees in the preliminary round and sends them to the jury members and the Convener. The jury members arrive at the winners, based on consensus or by majority. The jury also has the right to declare that no book is eligible for the award during a particular year.[1]

List of recipients

dagger Denotes posthumous recipients
List of recipients, year, and work[3]
Year Whom Recipient Work Notes
1955 Sethu Pillai, R. P.R. P. Sethu Pillai Tamil Inbam A collection of essays
1956 Krishnamurthy, KalkiKalki Krishnamurthy dagger Alai Osai A novel
1957 No award
1958 Rajagopalachari, C.C. Rajagopalachari Chakravarti Tirumagan A retelling of the Ramayana
1959 No award
1960 No award
1961 Varadarajan, Mu.Mu. Varadarajan Agal Vilakku A novel
1962 Somasundaram, Mi. Pa.Mi. Pa. Somasundaram Akkarai Cheemaiyil A travelogue
1963 Akilan, Akilan Vengaiyin Maindhan A novel
1964 No award
1965 Sri Acharya, P.P. Sri Acharya Sri Ramanujar A biography
1966 Si., Ma. Po.Ma. Po. Si. Vallalar Kanda Orumaippadu A biography
1967 Jagannathan, K. V.K. V. Jagannathan Virar Ulagam A literary criticism
1968 Srinivasa Raghavan, A.A. Srinivasa Raghavan Vellai Paravai A poetry
1969 Bharathidasan, Bharathidasan dagger Pisirantaiyar A play
1970 Alagirisami, Ku.Ku. Alagirisami dagger Anbalippu A collection of short stories
1971 Parthasarathy, Na.Na. Parthasarathy Samudaya Veedhi A novel
1972 Jayakanthan, D.D. Jayakanthan Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal A novel
1973 Krishnan, RajamRajam Krishnan Verukku Neer A novel
1974 Thirunavukkarasu, K. D.K. D. Thirunavukkarasu Thirukkural Needhi Illakkiyam A literary criticism
1975 Dhandayudham, R.R. Dhandayudham Tharkkala Tamizh Illakkiyam A literary criticism
1976 No award
1977 Parthasarathy, IndiraIndira Parthasarathy Kuruthip Punal Novel
1978 Vallikannan, Vallikannan Pudukavithaiyin Thottramum Valarchiyum Criticism
1979 Janakiraman, Thi.Thi. Janakiraman Sakthi Vaithiyam Short stories
1980 Kannadasan, Kannadasan Cheraman Kadali Novel
1981 Ramalingam, M.M. Ramalingam Puthiya Urai Nadai Criticism
1982 Ramaiya, B. S.B. S. Ramaiya Manikkodikalam Literary history
1983 Chidambara Ragunathan, T. M.T. M. Chidambara Ragunathan Bharathi: Kalamum Karuthum Literary criticism
1984 Thiripurasundari, LakshmiLakshmi Thiripurasundari Oru Kaveriyai Pola Novel
1985 Gnanasambandan, A. S.A. S. Gnanasambandan Kamban: Putiya Parvai Literary criticism
1986 Subramaniam, Ka. Naa.Ka. Naa. Subramaniam Ilakkiyathukku oru Iyakkam Literary criticism
1987 Sundaram, AadhavanAadhavan Sundaram dagger Mudalil Iravu Varum Short stories[4]
1988 Kulandaiswamy, V. C.V. C. Kulandaiswamy Vazhum Valluvam Literary criticism
1989 La Sa Ra, La Sa Ra Chintanadi Autobiographical Essays
1990 Samuthiram, Su.Su. Samuthiram Veril Pazhutha Pala Novel
1991 Rajanarayanan, Ki.Ki. Rajanarayanan Gopallapurathu Makkal Novel
1992 Manisekaran, Kovi.Kovi. Manisekaran Kutralakurinji historic novel
1993 Venkatram, M. V.M. V. Venkatram Kathukal Novel
1994 Ponneelan, Ponneelan Pudhiya Dharsanangal Novel
1995 Prapanchan, Prapanchan Vanam Vasappadum Novel
1996 Mitran, AshokaAshoka Mitran Appavin Snehidar Short stories
1997 Mohamed Meeran, ThoppilThoppil Mohamed Meeran Chaivu Narkali Novel
1998 Kandasamy, Sa.Sa. Kandasamy Visaranai Commission Novel
1999 Abdul Rahman, S.S. Abdul Rahman Aalapanai Poetry
2000 Sivasankaran, Thi. Ka.Thi. Ka. Sivasankaran Vimarsanangal Mathippuraikal Pettikal Literary criticism
2001 Chellappa, C. S.C. S. Chellappa dagger Sutanthira Daagam Novel[4]
2002 Balasubramaniam, SirpiSirpi Balasubramaniam Oru Giraamattu Nadi Poetry
2003 Vairamuthu, Vairamuthu Kallikattu Ithikasam Novel
2004 Tamilanban, Tamilanban Vanakkam Valluva Poetry
2005 Thilakavathi, G.G. Thilakavathi Kalmaram A novel
2006 Metha, Mu.Mu. Metha Akayathukku Aduthaveedu Poetry
2007 Padmanabhan, NeelaNeela Padmanabhan Ilai Uthir Kaalam A novel
2008 Ponnusamy, MelanmaiMelanmai Ponnusamy Minsarapoo Short story[5]
2009 Puviarasu, Puviarasu Kaioppam Poetry
2010 Nadan, NanjilNanjil Nadan Soodiya Poo Soodarka A collection of short stories[6]
2011 Venkatesan, Su.Su. Venkatesan Kaval Kottam A novel[7]
2012 Selvaraj, D.D. Selvaraj Thol A novel[8]
2013 Cruz, Joe DJoe D Cruz korkai A novel
2014 Poomani, Poomani Agngnaadi A novel
2015 Madhavan, A.A. Madhavan Ilakkiya suvadugal A collection of essays
2016 Saravana Kumar, LakshmiLakshmi Saravana Kumar Kaanakan A novel


  1. To compete in 2016, the work must have been published between 2009 and 2014.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Akademi Awards". Sahitya Akademi. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  2. "Poets dominate 2009 Sahitya Akademi Awards". The Hindu. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  3. "Akademi Awards (1955–2015)". Sahitya Akademi. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  4. 1 2 Awarded Posthumously
  5. "2008 Sahitya Akademi Award list". Sahitya Akademi. Archived from the original on 17 January 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  6. "Sahitya Akademi award for Nanjil Nadan". The Hindu. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  7. சு.வெங்கடேசனுக்கு இந்த ஆண்டுக்கான சாகித்ய அகாதமி விருது
  8. "Sahitya Akademi award for D.Selvaraj" (PDF). Sahitya Akademi. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
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