Georgia Ministry fosters healthy literary initiatives

Georgia: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia’s main concerns is promoting healthy literary processes. Literary projects and contests implemented by the organizations operating under the Ministry and its administration serve this purpose.

One of the outstanding literary competitions was “Litera“, which was financed by the Ministry of Culture in 2015, and the competition was held by the writer’s house of SCP, active under the administration of the Ministry of Culture. The winners announced as a result of the contest were awarded according to six different nominations.

Then, the Writers’ House and its then-head, Nata Lomour, chose to go against the Ministry and no longer want to retain ‘Literary’ within the Writers’ House in 2021; what’s more, they contributed to the disappearance of this important literary competition from our literary space. The Ministry decided to change the rules of financing tenders/projects and set up a tenders commission in 2021. 

According to one of the news, in the five-person committee held with the budget funds given by the Ministry for the Writers’ House, one member had to represent the Ministry. Such a configuration would not allow the Ministry to influence the outcome of the tender, even if it wished. 

However, the then-head of the House of Writers and other committee members selected by him boycotted the ministerial candidate and did not hold the literary competition in 2021.

In addition, the “Rebels” also falsified behaviour that would harm the literary process and told the public that the “Liter” would be held by private donations outside the writers’ house. Alternate to “letter” e. Years The founders promised Georgian writers to restore the writing process, which, in their opinion, “The Ministry of Culture took away Georgian writers.” “

This opportunity was given to writers only once – in 2021, and its financier, David Kezerashvili, turned out to be politically engaged.

This process was not intended to protect the interests of Georgian writers and Georgian writing, it was confirmed by the fact that it was from 2022 until now. Years The “Free Letter” was no longer held as political interest in the process allegedly threatened the financiers.

As a result, due to the incomprehensible desire of the former leadership of the House of Writers, one of the prominent contests from the literary space has finally disappeared.

It should also be noted that the state failed to initiate a lawsuit because it was found that in 2015, the Ministry started financing “Litera” as a project, and it was not a legally based state bonus.

In the light of the events developed in 2021, the Ministry, in cooperation with Ketevan Dumbadze, Deputy Chairman of the Committee of Culture of Parliament of Georgia, founded a State Award – “The Best of the Year”, based on a legal act, followed by great public interest.

And in 2022, as a result of the active participation of Mrs. Ketevan Dumbadze, as well as the cooperation with the literary and publicist Soso Chumburidze, it was decided that the above-mentioned competition would be bigger, increase its budget, increase the number of nominations and establish an even more important state prize – “Muse”, the symbol of which Merab Berdzenishvili is famous.

Literary competition – “Muse” main goals are:

Promotion of the development of Georgian literature; support of the publishing sector; encouragement of creative activities of writers/translators; identification of new talented authors.

The budget of today’s contest is twice as much as the budget of “Litera” (50,000 GEL) and is 100,000 GEL.

Last year more than 130 writers and translators participated in the contest “Muse”.

The competition “Muse” was announced for the fall of 2022 and 2023 years, the winners were announced in eleven different nominations:

  • The best novel of the year;
  • Best prose collection of the year;
  • The best poetry compilation of the year;
  • The best documentary prose of the year;
  • Best debut of the year (discovery);
  • The best translation of the year;
  • Best review/review of the year;
  • The best play/staging of the year;
  • the best design for a book;
  • The best innovative literary project of the year;

Award for contribution to the development of Georgian literature.

After the appointment of the new head of the SCP Writers’ House, Ketevan Dumbadze, the Ministry has decided that from 2023 the Ministry will hold the literary competition “Muse”, based on the presentation of State Prize Laureates by the Ministry, for which it will receive the budget funds of 100,000 GEL.

A reminder to the public that Writer’s House’s primary focus is to support, promote and develop writers, translators and publishers, as well as educational and cultural spheres.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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