We are happy to introduce the following jury members for Belgium (French-speaking part):
Gilles Collard, head of the Texts and Creative Writing programme at La Cambre - École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels, President of the jury
Bernard Gérard, former director general of ADEB and Copiebel
Isabelle Wéry, writer, actress and EUPL 2013 laureate
Maria Paviadakis, bookseller (Librairie Melpomène)
Born in 1976, Gilles Collard funded the Pylône magazine in 2003. He is teaching Philosophy at the Superior School of Visual Arts – La Cambre where he is also in charge of the “Texts and Literary Creation” master degree.
Bernard Gérard is Director of the Belgian Publishers' Association and of the French-speaking Publishers Union since 1985. He is also the General Director of Copiebel since 1999, as well as President of the Publishers Collegium since 2012.
Isabelle Wéry is an actress and director for the theatre and an author. She played The Vagina's Monologues in Belgium. Her second novel, Marilyn désossée, received the European Union Prize for Literature in 2013. This novel is translated in many European countries.
“I am bookseller out of passion; it was my dream as a little girl! An only child surrounded by books, I remember the very first I was given and still have it, as well as all the following and all the ones I bought in the meantime... That's a lot of them, believe me!
But let’s stay on track here! I did (and finished) a degree in Outdoor Trade at the University of Labor in Charleroi, a diploma of Photographer at IATA in Namur, a Bachelor's degree in Archaeology and Art History (Antiquity Section) at Notre-Dame de Namur and UCL, as well as evening classes in Dutch, English, Spanish, Arabic...
My great-grandparents were Greek immigrants who came to work in the mines of Charleroi. My parents run a Greek restaurant in the area. I married a man from Mouscron, and I have three teenagers, including one girl who reads a lot. Me, I’m a book addict. I always need to have at least one with me at all time; just in case the world ends!
Everything I've done in my life, I've done it fast, as quickly as possible, so I can settle down and read quietly! I started my own bookstore, Bibliopolis, in Mouscron 10 years ago. In 2017, the twist and turns of life granted me the opportunity to buy the Melpomene bookstore, which had been in existence for 40 years. Since then, I have opened a branch in Comines and developed the main original store. I get up every morning to come to "work"; my first steps in the bookstore are always accompanied by a sigh of satisfaction at the idea of spending my day among all these books.”