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The jury of the Far East Literary Prize announced live

The jury of the Far East Literary Prize announced live
Photo: photo - Vladimir Tolstoy, Presidential Advisor on Culture

A press conference with members of the organizing committee of the Far East Literary Prize was held live news agency TASS. The participants talked about the results of the first season of the award and the romance of the Far East, and also offered to conduct a literary expedition for writers. The curator of the award Vyacheslav Konovalov announced the approved composition of the jury.

According to IA PrimaMedia, adviser to the President of the Russian Federation for culture Vladimir Tolstoy, said that the prize, which originated at the literary festival in Primorye, has already managed to tie the Far East and the central part of Russia into a strong knot. 

- The Russian Far East is an important territory. This has always been the case historically, geopolitically, culturally; but today this region is acquiring special significance. Firstly, this is nature of stunning beauty, and secondly, courageous and talented people. Paradoxically, we know little about the Far East, despite the fact that there are many books and films about this beautiful land. However, there is not enough information, so the literary prize was born in a timely manner, which is wonderful, I support it very much. In addition, wonderful writers have gathered around the award. I have on my table a book of double authorship written by Andrey Rubanov and Vasily Avchenko. This is an excellent example of the unification of the Far East and Central Russia - two authors have written a wonderful joint work. I think that many interesting things await us in this premium season, so I am looking forward to it, - said Vladimir Tolstoy, adviser to the President of the Russian Federation for culture.

Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District Grigory Kuranov reminded that the literary prize is of great importance not only for the literary community, but also for the entire population of Russia as a whole.

- Indeed, the Far East is an extraordinary beauty, but it is also 44% of our country, while only 8% of the population and about the same economy. This region gives the country an opportunity to develop, and the prize contributes to this. We need the popularization of the Far East, we need a new romance, - says Grigory Kuranov, Deputy Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District.

Even in self-isolation mode, the award secretariat works tirelessly. However, the organizers believe that the pandemic has slowed down the usual pace of life a little, and therefore are considering a decision to extend the deadline for submitting applications for a literary prize. 

- Now we have already received 38 works. The works come a little slower than last year, so we are going to move the deadline for accepting works from June 30 to a month ahead, - says curator of the award Vyacheslav Konovalov.

Vyacheslav Konovalov shared another important news and told who was included in the approved jury. It will be chaired by writer and publicist Alexei Varlamov. Other experts from all over the country will also evaluate works on the "Far Eastern" theme: writer, literary critic and critic Pavel Basinsky; novelist and screenwriter Andrei Rubanov; writer, candidate of philological sciences Andrey Astvatsaturov; writer, translator and book reviewer Mikhail Vizel; children's writer and poet Anastasia Strokina (finalist of last year's award); children's writer, artist and traveler Alexander Dorofeev; publisher and educator Pavel Zhdanov; writer and journalist Vasily Avchenko (laureate of last year's prize in a special category); poet and writer, musician, actor and presenter Alexander Sklyar and candidate of philological sciences Natalia Milianchuk.

Vyacheslav Konovalov noted that two simple criteria - the love of literature and the Far East - became the determining factors in the selection of jury members.

“The jury members should be people who understand Russian literature well and at the same time have a good knowledge of the features or, if you want, the background of the Far East,” added the prize curator.

The leitmotif of the meeting was the idea that the prize, which had grown out of the literary festival at the time, passing the baton, should become the "progenitor" of the new initiative. Participants in the press conference noted that it could be a literary expedition. 

- We need to give writers the opportunity to travel. 44% of the territory! Great, wonderful places from Chukotka to the Kuril Islands. If it were possible to think over the mechanism of creative travel of writers, this would be a movement in the right direction. Gogol also said that "we need to travel around Russia." If we start our "ride" from the Far East, it will be very cool, - said the rector of the Literary Institute named after Gorky and the chairman of the jury of the award Alexey Varlamov.

Not without talking about a pandemic and self-isolation. The jury member of the second season, Alexander Sklyar, noted that for all those involved in the award, the sudden free time even plays into the hands: writers can give free rein to creativity, and the jury members can study the works more thoughtfully. He added that the criterion for evaluating him would be personal reader interest, and also said that during the quarantine he had re-read the book of another participant in the meeting, Sergei Shargunov. Alexander F. Sklyar admitted that Shargunov's work "The Pursuit of the Eternal Spring" appeared before him in a new light.

The participants in the meeting unanimously supported one more idea: a distinctive feature of the award is also that it opens up space for imagination for both writers and members of the jury. Grigory Kuranov remembered with a smile how last year's laureates doubted themselves to the last and were sure that they "would not fit according to the criteria." And the members of the jury, in turn, complained that they had read the works for six months, but there were no clearly formulated criteria for evaluating them - and as a result, the "judges" chose those works that they simply liked and aroused the greatest interest in readers. 

The jury members urge the authors not to limit themselves to genre and stylistic genres and create in full force, and experts will definitely appreciate such works.

- Write in any genre! Write as it is spelled! Nobody puts pressure on the jury or on the author, there are no frameworks and "state orders", - the writer and State Duma deputy Sergei Shargunov encouraged his colleagues.

He summed up this inspiring meeting.

- Through the word we comprehend the earth and people. Through the word, through images, through colors. We expect works both from the Far East and from residents of other regions of the country and, in general, from everyone who writes in Russian. I will say seditious thought: even those who have never been to the Far East can write - for this you can turn to the historical archives. The Far East has something to tell about the dramatic history of our country, ”said Shargunov.

Recall, the acceptance of applications for participation in the second season of the All-Russian Literary Prize "Far East" named after VC. Arsenyev began on February 1, 2020. You can apply for participation until June 30, 2020 on the official website premiaarsenieva.rf. Novels, novels, collections of short stories or short stories, as well as documentary prose and memoirs can be nominated for the competition. The author’s place of residence does not matter, the main thing is to write in Russian. The long list of the prize will be announced on September 30, the short list will be announced on November 30, and the announcement and awarding of the laureates will take place in December as part of the Days of the Far East in Moscow.

All-Russian literary prize "Far East" them. V.K. Arsenyev was established on the initiative of the Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation - Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District Yu.P. Trutnev.

Award site - premiaarsenieva.rfpremium news is also available at Facebook, Instagram @premiyaarsenyeva и VK.

September 23: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
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