European Union Prize for Literature

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News

7 November 2018

EUPL Writing Contest winners announced in a prestigious Awards Ceremony in Vienna!

36 EUPL winning authors from 26 different countries participated in the EUPL Writing Contest “A European Story: EUPL Winners Write Europe”. The winners in the different catgeories were announced at today’s Awards Ceremony in Vienna, Austria.

The event was organised in cooperation with the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU and took place at the Belvedere Palace under the patronage of the European Parliament.

The prizes in the different categories, Public Prize, Professional Prize, MEPs Prize and Special Mention for Cultural Heritage[1], were presented by Mr Gernot Blümel, Austrian Federal Minister for the EU, Arts, Culture and Media and Mr Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport in the presence of distinguished guests from the fields of literature, culture and politics.

Readers across Europe selected “Jasmine and death[2]” by Jelena Lengold from Serbia as the winner of the public prize. This work of short fiction, which deals with a very timely topic in today’s society, resonated with many readers not only from the author’s home country, but from across the Europe.

A professional jury, comprised of Maria-João Costa (Portugal), Nina George (Germany), Juancho Pons (Spain), Cathy Rentzenbrink (UK) and Marnix Verplancke (Belgium), led by Jury President Liana Sakelliou (Greece), select the work of short fiction “A Voice[3]” by Ioana Pârvulescu from Romania for its excellence.

According to the jury statement, Ioana Pârvulescu succeeded in creating a very powerful narrative on the topic of freedom with two perspectives: The true-fictional part of the young refugee Monica L., who became the voice of freedom for the young Romanians during the Cold War, and a fictional part of a nameless passport-control employee, just a short time after all frontiers had been opened up to embrace a new Europe.

This exceptional story is dedicated to the former Radio-Free-Europe-broadcaster Monica Lovinescu[4]  who became the voice of freedom for young Romanians during the Cold War.

The jury concludes: “A Voice is very successful in making the reader feel emotions and in presenting a theme with important moral purpose about Europe before and after the Cold War.”

In addition to Ioana Pârvulescu’s “A Voice”, the jury’s complete shortlist features “The Saviour of the World” by Adam Foulds (United Kingdom), “A European Story” by Meelis Friedenthal(Estonia), “Jasmine and death” by Jelena Lengold (Serbia), “Greatness Will Have its Due” by Andrej Nikolaidis (Montenegro) and “This is my body” by Isabelle Wéry (Belgium).

Moreover, the professional jury was also in charge of awarding the special mention for cultural heritage.

Lidija Dimkovska from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia received this special mention for her work of short fiction “When I left Karl Kniebknecht”[5].

This work of short fiction, consisting of various testimonials, shows how citizens of various European countries are linked by shared knowledge, such as names of streets, geographical references, protests and comments about national languages and literatures.

According to the professional jury, this story expertly reveals “various aspects of the European consciousness shared by its citizens.”

Lastly, Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, spearheaded by Committee Chair MEP Petra Kammerevert, were also invited to select their favourite work of short fiction.

Two outstanding authors from Luxembourg, Jean Back with his work of short fiction “European Clouds”[6], and Gast Groeber with “Current weather warning: predominantly heavy fog”[7], are sharing this honour.

Each of these stories has been published in the original language along with English translation in the special “European Stories” publication, which is available to download here

[1] 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage. For more information on the European Year of Cultural Heritage, please consult https://europa.eu/cultural-heritage/.

[2] Translated from Serbian by Zoran Paunović

[3] Translated from Romanian by Mihnea Gafiţa.

[4] Monica Lovinescu (19 November 1923 – 20 April 2008) was a Romanian essayist, short story writer, literary critic, translator, and journalist, noted for her activities as an opponent of the Romanian Communist regime.

[5] Translated from Macedonian by Kristina E. Kramer.

[6] Translated from Luxembourgish by Sandra Schmitt.

[7] Translated from German by Carla McGinty.

EUPL Awards Ceremony_press release_winners.pdf