Writers’ House has issued a statement that due to the current situation, this year’s literary competition “Litera” will not be held.
Litera was founded in 2015 with the initiative of the Writers’ House and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection. The prize is annual.
“This year, by the order of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth of Georgia N00007864 (03.06.2021), the rules of staffing the jury were changed: in any jury funded by the Ministry, one member must be a representative of the Ministry. Therefore, the Litera Jury, all five members of which had previously been selected by the Writers’ House and submitted to the Ministry for approval, saw for the first time this year, one member selected by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth,” the statement reads.
The Writers’ House notes that as soon as they received the order, The Writer’s House tried to communicate with the Ministry to review the change, but the Ministry did not respond.
In the statement, It is also noted that due to the current situation, the Writers’ House announced the names of the jury in order to make the process more transparent.
Writers protested changes in the process of selecting jury members. The decision of the Ministry was assessed as interference in creative activities. Consequently, a large number of writers and publishers refused to participate in the competition and withdrew their applications. Four members of the jury selected by the Writers’ House also refused to work. Out of 110 books submitted to the competition, 92 books have been removed from the competition due to the personal statements of publishers and authors.
“In the current situation, it has become impossible to hold this year’s literary competition Litera. The Writers’ House hopes to re-examine the situation with the ministry and representatives of the literary field and find the best solution for next year,” reads the statement.
By Ketevan Skhirtladze