Fifth Blancpain-Imaginist Literary Prize winners announced

Young author Lin Zhao garners first prize for her work Chao Xi Tu

BEIJING, Nov. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The award ceremony for the fifth Blancpain-Imaginist Literary Prize was held as scheduled on November 9, 2022. Young author Lin Zhao won first prize for her work Chao Xi Tu. The prize, co-sponsored by Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain and China’s most influential cultural brand Imaginist, aims to create a literary award that is impartial, authoritative, professional and enduring while honoring a work that is likely to stimulate international dialogue.


The theme of this year’s prize is “From this moment on”. The five judges, Liang Yong‘an, Lin Bai, Liu Zheng, Luo Xiang, and David Der-wei Wang (in alphabetical order), made their choice after intense discussions at the jury meeting on the day of the award. Blancpain China vice president and Swatch Group China Management Committee member Jack Liao joined jury members Liang, Lin and Luo in presenting the trophy to the winner. The literary prize committee awarded the first prize author a cash prize of 300,000 yuan (approx. US$42,400, provided by Blancpain) and a Blancpain Villeret collection watch.

Blancpain China vice president and Swatch Group China Management Committee member Jack Liao and Imaginist founder Liu Ruilin present awards to the finalist authors

The five finalists, Guo Shuang, Huo Xiangjie, Lin Zhao, Wei Sixiao and Zhou Yuyang, all received the Young Friend of Blancpain award and a finalist’s certificate from Mr. Liao and Imaginist founder Liu Ruilin. The other four finalists were each also granted a bonus of 20,000 yuan (approx. US$2,800, provided by Blancpain) to support their creative efforts and to encourage the young writers to continue their work.

Lin Zhao, the top prize author, said: “I want to extend my thanks to many people, as it is due to them that I have been given this opportunity to continue growing. I would also like to thank every reader who spent time with Frog and for the love that you gave Frog. I would like to share these words from the famous Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes as a word of encouragement — before we can own the world, we must first own ourselves.”

Mr Liao, the Blancpain China vice president, said in his speech that “2022 is an extraordinary year, with the Blancpain-Imaginist Literary Prize celebrating its fifth anniversary, a key milestone for the annual event. The purpose of the award is to provide a stage for and a spotlight on young writers so that book lovers everywhere can learn about and be encouraged to read their works. Every year in the past five years, we have moved a step closer to this goal. The list of the books penned by the finalists has become the “must-read” reference guide for young readers, while the judges’ forum has become an event that they avidly follow.”

The theme of this year’s event “from this moment on” is not limited to today’s list of finalists, but to all budding authors and lovers of the written word wherever they are! Let’s start from this moment on to encourage more of the wonderful experience that can be made available to all by reading and creating.”

Jury of the 2022 Blancpain-Imaginist Literary Prize (in alphabetic order)

Liang Yong‘an, Postraduate Students Advisor for Literary Creation, Fudan University.

Lin Bai, author, one of the most important writers of contemporary Chinese women’s experience.

Liu Zheng, literary critic, senior media editor, book reviewer.

Luo Xiang, Professor of Law.

David Der-wei Wang, Edward C. Henderson Chair Professor of Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations (and Department of Comparative Literature), Harvard University, literary critic.

About the Blancpain-Imaginist Literary Prize

The Blancpain-Imaginist Literary Prize, co-founded by Swiss luxury watch brand Blancpain and China’s most influential cultural brand Imaginist, was created to uncover new and promising literary stars, support talented young authors and encourage the creation of Chinese-language novels.

Engagement of the members of the latest generation just entering adulthood is always a key indicator that determines the future of the world of literature. In the field of literary creation, talented young authors are always seeking an opportunity, while publishing platforms are looking for potential authors, and, at the same time, seek to attract more attention and garner more engagement. Many contemporary classical authors were discovered and recognized in their youth, as literary awards specifically designated for up and coming authors were available to them. For example, Naipaul, Coetzee and new Nobel Prize in Literature winner Kazuo Ishiguro all won the Man Booker Prize in their youth, and went on to earn the Nobel Prize in Literature at a later stage in their writing careers. Renowned Japanese authors, among them, Shusaku Endo, Kenzaburo Oe and Ryu Murakami, were each recipients of the Akutagawa Prize in their youth. In today’s world, literary creation is a lonely and long road for young authors. The literary prize is designed to create a future that gives authors the space to focus on the creation of their works just as calligraphers are given the space and time to practice their craft.

Imaginist, the most influential publisher in China, has been dedicated to discovering the best authors who write in Chinese, offering an opportunity for thoughtful words to be published, while imagining another possibility for books. Works by Mu Xin, Kenneth Pai Hsien-yung, among others, have become even more valuable with the passage of time, nourishing the emotional life for generations of readers. Imaginist has, for a long time, been focused on publishing both the literary classics alongside the works of some of the most dynamic and thoughtful young authors who care about the human condition through the diverse collection of works that they have created with their open-minded insights.

Founded in 1735, Blancpain, the fine watchmaking brand from Switzerland, can pride itself in a long history going back 287 years. This creator of classic timepieces understands that the keepers of time that it creates are devices that go well beyond the material and physical, and that they speak to the faith, the feeling for aesthetics and the humanity that resides in each and every one of us. When one talks about the act of creation, it means the perseverance that must be maintained over an extended period of time, while bringing together the inspiration, skills, devotion and patience to create the structure, details and theme for each watch, which often calls for endless iterations of design while rethinking new ones to deliver true excellence in quality. Such an approach is very much in line with the essence that led to the creation of our literary classics. Literature is the extension of time. Blancpain, hand-in-hand with Imaginist, represent the literature penned by members of today’s youngest generation who love literary creation and remain committed to making their contribution.

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