Text: Magdalena Gigova
Video: Tsvetan Ignatovski
The Executive Director of NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’, Slava Ivanova, presented the diplomas for first, second and third prizes in the Rashko Sugarev National Literary Short Story Competition, amid the captivating decor of the international exhibition of the art of glass at the Sredets Gallery.
The ‘quarantine’ ceremony was held in the presence of only two jury members, Theodora Dimova and Deyan Enev, the latter emphasising that the young writers were receiving their awards on the Day of Saint Paisius of Hilendar. The other renowned members of the awarding commission, Dimitar Korudzhiev and Georgi Velichkov, associates and friends of Rashko Sugarev, chose to follow the ceremony through Tsvetan Ignatovski’s video.
‘I am certain that, spiritually, mentally and emotionally, the other jury members are here sharing today’s event with us,’ said Slava Ivanova.
The competition, which has been held without interruption since 1998, provides young authors (up to 35 years old) the opportunity to present their short works if published in the periodical press. So far, over 70 writers have been awarded the prize.
This year, the pandemic changed the tradition of awarding the prize on 23 April, the World Day of the Book, Copyright and Readers, by NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ (which organises the competition and provides its prize funds).
Theodora Dimova said that the festive mood after the award lasts for several days, but the self-confidence of a writer comes from the working process, from obsession, a responsibility to the readers, as well as from their character.
Deyan Enev congratulated the winners for their new membership—that of the fraternity of prizewinners.
Angel Ivanov, who received third prize, said that he would be happy to discover what the other winners had written, and wished them ‘a brave pen’.
Second-prize winner Radoslav Petkashev had insisted that his wife Radina also attended the ceremony, despite social restrictions, and cordially thanked her and their young son Danny for his source of inspiration—love. And also the jury and NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ that, through the Rashko Sugarev Prize, they encourage young writers not to give up.
Yanitsa Hristova, winner of the Rashko Sugarev Prize, said that during this peculiar year when new and different things were happening in the world, good stories make people feel good.