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An Invitation for Submitting Essays

on the topic:

“The New Image of the Balkans”

Background information on the project “The New Image of the Balkans”:

  • The Project “The New Image of the Balkans” has been created by the “Diversity” PEN Collection of poetry, fiction and essay (with Office in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia);
  • Diversity is a long-time strategic Project of the International PEN (with head-quarters in London, England) and its Committee of Translation and Linguistic Rights (with the Head-Office in Barcelona, Catalan PEN).
  • This project is supported by the “Friеdrich Ebert Stiftung” (Germany) and the Ministry of Culture (Macedonia);
  • This Project will be realized in collaboration with the PEN centers from the Balkan region (Macedonian, Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Greek, Kosovo, Montenegrin, Romanian, Turkish, Croatian, Serbia, Slovenian).



This Call for Papers, organized within the frame of the creative writing project “The New Image of the Balkans”, has as its goal:

  • To invite young writers, artists and intellectuals from the Balkan region, to interpret the new prospects of the cultural re-integration of the Balkans;
  • To develop a new vision of contemporary & future Balkan realities (A New Balkan Renaissance);
  • To restore the practices of mutual understanding between Balkan and European cultures and civilizations (not just at the level of mere dialogue);
  • To unburden the youth from the negative stereotype associated with the Balkans as a “Powder Keg”;
  • To offer new developing concepts and a new ethical codex of the Balkans-without-conflicts and one Balkan with a positive image in Europe and the world;
  • To actualize, creatively, the image of the Balkans as a “cradle of civilizations”, encrypted in the ancient matrix;
  • To affirm the idea that Balkan people share sites and figures of memory from the Past, because the fragmented Balkan cultures from today once belonged to larger social and cultural systems (Balkan, Mediterranean, European);
  • To promote the idea that the fragmented and disintegrated Balkans can be reunited in the field of art and culture;
  • To show that creative practices undertaken by the youth in the fields of writing and oratory can prove to be stimulating factors for further cultural development;
  • To affirm languages with a low usage frequency, ancient (indigenous) languages from the Balkans, through literary translations (inter-relationships between major European languages), distributed online at the web portal of the multilingual collection “Diversity”;
  • To educate young people about creative expressions in the field of essay and public speech (oratory).



Selection of essays:

  • The selection of the best essays will be made by a group of preeminent writers and university professors;
  • The essays will be evaluated on the following criteria: compliance with the given topic and propositions; original perception of the Balkan realities; unique style; ability in working with essayistic and narrative discourses;
  • Two authors of the selected essays, from every Balkan country, will be invited to participate in a two-day Workshop on the topic “The New Image of the Balkan”, which will take place in Skopje, at the beginning of April 2011;
  • The country hosting this Project expects participants from the Macedonian language community as well as participants from other language communities from Macedonia (Albanian, Turkish Aromanian, Roma);
  • The selected essays will be published at the web site of “Diversity”, and there is the subsequent intention to publish a special publication with by the end of 2011;
  • If necessary, the participants can consult with university professors who have experience in the field of creative writing (Katica Kulavkova, Bela Gligorova, Vladimir Levchev);
  • The selected participants will become a part of the network for creative writing and speaking with possibility to attend the next workshop in 2011.




  • Target group: the young population, between 20 and 33 years of age (young essayists, writers and intellectuals) from the Balkan region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey), regardless of their ethnic, linguistic, confessional and/or gender identity;
  • The essays should be submitted in two languages – in the original language they are written in and in English;
  • Every participant should send his/her short bio-bibliographical note (CV) in two languages (in the native language, and in English);
  • The participants can send their essays, together with the CV document, with an indication in the subject of their e-mail that they are submitting a paper for the Call for Papers for Essay, to the following e-mail addresses:



  • The submitted papers should be the original, unpublished work of the individual participant;
  • In order to get the unique opportunity to have their essay published, the participants should cede the copyright to the organizer of this Project;
  • The participants should consent to translate at least one essay from other language communities in their native language for the purposes of the multilingual collection Diversity;
  • The appropriate length of the text should not be longer than 6 pages maximum;
  • It is recommended that the papers are typed in single-spaced, unjustified, Arial font typeface with one-inch margins;
  • Deadline: 10th of February 2011
  • The chosen selectors will perform a selection of the best essays, and the results shall be published at the web portal of Diversity, on 05.03.2011, the latest.

Additional information:

  • This Call for Papers is published at the web portal of the multilingual PEN Collection of Poetry, Fiction and Essay – Diversity (www.diversity.org.mk).
  • This Call for Papers is sent to all PEN centers of the Balkan region;
  • The PEN centers can distribute this Call for Papers to its membership and to the public;
  • Additional information will be send to the media and to the social networks.

Contact addresses:

Diversity Collection

Dimitar Vlahov Quay bb (MKC), 1000 Skopje, R. of Macedonia

Tel/Fax: + 00 389 2 3130 054

E-mail: new.balkan.image@gmail.com

Website: www.diversity.org.mk


Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – Büro Makedonien

ul. Risto Ravanovski 3, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia

tel/fax: + 389 2 3093 181 ext.100

+ 389 2 3093 182 ext.100

E-mail: nita.starova@fes.org.mk

Website: www.fes.org.mk


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