EUPL Writing Contest winners announced in Vienna!

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36 European Union Prize for Literature (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 categories were announced on 7 November during a Ceremony in Vienna, Austria.

Readers across Europe selected “Jasmine and death” 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 Europe.

The jury, comprised of Maria-João Costa (Portugal), Nina George (Germany), Juancho Pons (Spain), Cathy Rentzenbrink (United Kingdom) and Marnix Verplancke (Belgium), led by Jury President Liana Sakelliou (Greece), selected the work of short fiction “A Voice” by Ioana Pârvulescu from Romania as the winner of the professional prize.

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.

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 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”.

According to the 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”, and Gast Groeber with “Current weather warning: predominantly heavy fog”, 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 online.

The prizes in the different categories, Public Prize, Professional Prize, MEPs Prize and Special Mention for Cultural Heritage, 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.

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


Image copyright: (C) Fotoservice BKA, Andy Wenzel