News

EU Prize for Literature 2019 Winners Announced

14 emerging authors from across Europe have been announced as laureates of the 2019 European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL).
On 22 May, the laureates of the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) 2019 were officially announced. The award ceremony will be held in Brussels on October 2nd, 2019.
The announcement was made by Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, and the Romanian Minister of Culture and National Identity, Mr Valer-Daniel Breaz, at the Permanent representation of Romania to the European Union in Brussels.
The EUPL 2019 laureates are:
Laura Fredenthaler (Austria)
• Piia Leino (Finland)
• Sophie Daull (France)
• Réka Mán-Várhegyi (Hungary)
• Beqa Adamashvili (Georgia)
• Nikos Chryssos (Greece)
• Jan Carson (Ireland)
• Giovanni Dozzini (Italy)
• Daina Opolskaite (Lithuania)
• Marta Dzido (Poland)
• Tatiana Țîbuleac (Romania)
• Ivana Dobrakovová (Slovakia)
• Halya Shyyan (Ukraine)
• Melissa Harrison (United Kingdom) 

More information about our winning authors:
http://www.euprizeliterature.eu/

The selected countries participating in 2020 (next year):
Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, North Macedonia, Germany, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Norway and Spain.
The EUPL is an award which recognises outstanding new and emerging literary talents across Europe, and highlights the wealth of contemporary European literature.
The prize also draws attention to the continent’s unique cultural and linguistic heritage. So far, the EUPL has awarded 108 authors from 41 countries and this year, it is announcing its first ever winners from Georgia and Ukraine.
Supported by Creative Europe, the initiative is accessible to all countries participating in this EU funding programme for the cultural and creative sectors for the current period 2014-2020.
The European Union Prize for Literature is organised by a consortium comprising the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP).
https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/creative-europe/content/announcement-laureates-2019-european-union-prize-literature_en
https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/creative-europe/actions/literature-prize_en

Authors’ Rights are fundamental for culture, freedom of expression and a diverse Europe

New EWC Board Press Release:
The new elected Board of the European Writers’ Council (EWC) sets its agenda: to strengthen the moral and economic rights of authors and keeping the diversity of literature alive, the most powerful and independent instrument of democracy.

Nina George, international bestselling author from Germany, has been elected as President of the EWC at its general assembly in Riga, Latvia. The Vice-President is Daniel Cristea-Enache (Romania), Director of Communications at the Writers’ Union of Romania and Associate Professor in the Department of Literary Studies at the University of Bucharest. The new elected board includes Poet Ružica Cindori, Secretary General of the Croatian Writers’ Association, Non-fiction-writer Markku Löytönen, Professor of human geography at the University of Helsinki (Finland), and Alena Makouskaya, Director of the Civil society organization “Homeland”, and member of the Secretariat of the Union of the Belarusian Writers.

 

The new EWC-Board sets its agenda on three major tasks:
--Protecting the authors’ moral and economic rights in the digital era
--Promoting the values of Literature, to transfer knowledge, independent opinions and cultural narratives not only to the next generations
--Defending the freedom of expression, to stand for the values of a democratic, pluralistic and diverse Europe

 

Integer societies need a diverse culture and protected authors’ rights
«The digital era is a challenge for protecting authors’ rights and empowering the voice of writers and translators in the level-playing field», says Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council, on the upcoming challenges for the new EWC-board. «Digitization, biotechnology, AI and robotics have also changed the communication, the cultural consumption, the common views on legal issues like ownership and responsibility. The post-factual-era and politic-hacks have their impact on the upturn in the right-wing parties throughout the Union. In order to cope with these developments, which bring about technological, political, legal, ethical and economic upheavals, Europe needs visions and concepts for an inclusive and integer society. The EWC could be the ideal think-tank.»

Vice-President Daniel Cristea-Enache confirms the meaning of EWC: «The European Writers’ Council stands for a united Europe, for the ideal of diversity, for independent literature, as well as for a wide range of culture and art. EWC, a federation which brings together the individualists, also represents individualism within a pluralist community. As it is widely acknowledged, each writer creates a personal, unique fictional world. Therefore, let us share the large-scale literary system of meaning and value, of forms and significance. Above all, we will endeavour to support and defend the writers’ and translators’ rights.» 

Defending the food chain of literature – not only in the European Union
«The ‘information food chain’ starting with those producing and providing – be it literature, articles, e-media, or something else – must be kept alive and flourishing», Finnish non-fiction writer Markku Löytönen points out clearly. «The starting point i.e. the author, is often the weakest element in this chain and should be protected through legislation and international agreements. If authors are left alone with no proper compensation, soon there will be no food chain to provide readers, teachers, students, or decision makers. If you think that facts and information are expensive, try ignorance!» 

Poet Ružica Cindori from Croatia sees the upcoming chances also in collaboration: «The European Writers’ Council raises the public awareness on the importance of the respect for copyright and the problems within the book chain that affect not only writers but also publishers, booksellers, translators», she said. «It is my belief that these problems should be solved foremost at the European level and in European institutions. In this context the voice of the EWC is of crucial importance. It is also my opinion that we should extend our help to the writers from countries that are still not members of the EU with the aim of respecting their authors’ rights and increasing the creative freedoms. Together we are stronger!» 

Creative freedoms are based also on freedom of expression
Alena Makouskaya, Director of the Civil society organization «Homeland» from Belarus, stresses the importance of freedom of expression: «The purposes which the European Writers’ Council pursues in its activity are very important to me, among which the most significant one is the protection of freedom of expression. There are still cultural organizations in Europe that are faced with censorship, limitations and violations of the rights of its members. It is especially actual for some countries of Eastern Europe. I hope that EWC maintains an active communication with democratic cultural organizations of this region as they are a very important component of the development of the region and its safety. I would like very much for the European Writers’ Council to increase its potential in this direction.» 

 

The EWC welcomes The Czech Writers’ Association as new member

The European Writers' Council is delighted to announce that our Annual General Assembly ratified unanimously Asociace spisovatelů, The Czech Writers’ Association, on Sunday 2 June in Riga, Latvia.The association was presented by Mr. Ondrej Lipár, Chairman,  at the assembly.
“The Czech Writers Association joins together both poets and prose writers. The organisation was founded in 2015 by Czech writers who lacked a functional platform that would advocate living literature’s interests in the Czech Republic.
The Association promotes a professional approach to authorship and sees to its prestige. It aims to formulate professional concerns with respect to state institutions and private entrepreneurs. In regard to publishers and other organisers of literary life, the Association seeks “fair-trade” conditions for authors, provides them with information and legal advice, and also serves as a place to share their professional experience.”

The European Writers’ Council New Board (2019-2021)

The EWC Annual General Assembly held in Riga, Latvia, on Sunday 2 June 2019, elected the new board constituted by the following members:

EWC President: NINA GEORGE (Germany), award-winning international best-selling author of novels and non-fiction, as well as free-lance journalist.

EWC Vice-President: Daniel Cristea-Enache (Romania), literary critic.

 

Regular Board members:

Markku Löytönen (Finland), academic author and researcher (Professor), author of numerous articles, and of five books for children.

Ružica Cindori (Croatia), literary critic, poet and translator of poetry.

Alena Makouskaya (Belarus), director of a civil society organisation and project manager of the Union of Belarusian Writers.

The Winners of EUPL Writing Contest “A European Story: EUPL Winners Write Europe”

36 previous 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 at the Awards Ceremony in Vienna, Austria on 07/11/2018.
You can download the anthology here: http://anniversary.euprizeliterature.eu/
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 awards 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.

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.

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), selected the work of short fiction “A Voice” by Ioana Pârvulescu from Romania, for its excellence.

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

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”.

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.

For photos of the ceremony and more information:  http://www.euprizeliterature.eu/awards-ceremony/2018

 

PUBLIC LENDING RIGHT Seminar for Writers held successfully in TALLINN, 22-24 October 2018

Sponsored by the Norwegian Non-fiction Writers and Translators Association – NFFO, this event was coordinated by the European Writers’ Council (EWC), hosted by the Estonian Writers’ Union, and co-sponsored by Sanasto – the Finnish Literary Copyright Society.

The regional focus was on the Baltic and Eastern-European countries. The Seminar had 24 participants, all representatives of national writers’ associations, and a few experts from collective management organisations in charge of the distribution of PLR funds for authors, who provided a report on PLR implementation in their country, covering 15 countries:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and United Kingdom. 

The previous events in this series were held in Zagreb (2016), and Lisbon (2017).

The European Authors’ Group welcomes MEPs’ support for authors

20 June 2018, Brussels –

European organisations representing authors have welcomed the strong support from Members of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee for a fair and proportionate remuneration for authors, and call upon all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to support the Legal Affairs Committee mandate.

Today, the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted its position on a Proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market.

JURI MEPs backed by an overwhelming majority our European authors’ call for strong authors’ rights by strengthening the “transparency triangle” (Articles -14a to 16a), ensuring regular reporting by publishers, broadcasters and producers on the exploitation that is made of creative works, thus reinforcing the contractual position of authors in Europe.

The Authors’ Group said:
“We thank all JURI MEPs that have made this success possible, and encourage all MEPs to support the Legal Affairs Committee mandate. We also call on Member States and the European Commission to follow the leadership of the European Parliament and show a similar support for improving the remuneration of authors. The Copyright Directive represents a once in a decade opportunity to establish a general principle of proportionate remuneration for authors and rebalance their contractual position in Europe and we cannot miss this chance.”

The Authors’ Group, represents more than half a million writers, composers, journalists, film directors, screenwriters and songwriters in Europe.
The Authors’ Group is composed of: ECSA (European Composer and Songwriter Alliance) EFJ (European Federation of Journalists) EWC (European Writers’ Council) FERA (Federation of European Film Directors) FSE (Federation of Screenwriters in Europe).

The Authors’ Group Welcomes the EU Directive Proposal on Copyright

ECSA, EFJ, EWC, FERA and FSE Press Release 14/09/2016

The European Commission presented on 14 September its proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. The Authors’ Group* – representing more than 500 000 authors, including writers, literary translators, composers, songwriters, journalists, photographers, film/TV directors and screenwriters in Europe – welcomes the directive, in particular the proposal to address the key issue of creators’ weak bargaining position in their contractual relationships and fair remuneration in contracts.

The Authors’ Group supports the European Commission’s commitment to address problems related to the forced transfer of rights of authors to publishers, producers and broadcasters. Achieving a well-functioning market-place for copyright must start with establishing a system that allows fair contractual practices for authors and performers, who are affected by a weak bargaining position when assigning their rights to publishers, producers and broadcasters.

The introduction of a mandatory reporting obligation detailing the revenues generated and remuneration due will create more transparency and is a prerequisite for authors and performers to adjust unfair contractual agreements. These new provisions will constitute, together with a dispute resolution mechanism, an indispensable first step in order to create more sustainable conditions for Europe’s creators, who are the origin of Europe’s cultural and creative industries. However, authors need further mechanisms against unfair copyright contracts and the undersigning organizations are looking forward to working with the European Parliament and Council in this respect.

The Authors’ Group also welcomes the provisions of the directive clarifying the liability of online platforms but considers that substantial work remains to be done with regards to proportionate remuneration of authors, particularly for the online exploitation of their works.
The Members of the Authors’ Group are ECSA (European Composer & Songwriter Alliance), EFJ (European Federation of Journalists), EWC (European Writers’ Council), FERA (Federation of Film Directors in Europe) and FSE (Federation of Screenwriters Europe).