22 July 10 | Chad W. Post

I never had a chance to write all that I wanted to write about the Sozopol Fiction Workshop (and some of what I wanted to write—skinny dipping in the Black Sea, “Kentucky Fried Happy Hour,” etc.—was maybe a bit too “you had to be there” to really make sense anyway, so, well, you’ve all been spared), but it was one of the most amazing literary trips I’ve been on in a while. (Along with Torino, naturally.) Sozopol is gorgeous beyond words, the seminar itself was fascinating, and the participants fantastic, but what has stayed with me the most is just how dedicated Elizabeth Kostova and Milena Deleva are to promoting Bulgarian literature. Not only have they helped create a fantastic seminar for both Bulgarian and English writers, but now they’ve launched two contests—in collaboration with Open Letter—to promote the spread of Bulgarian literature throughout the world:

First off is the Contest for Contemporary Bulgarian Writers, which will result in Open Letter (and possibly a UK press) publishing a contemporary Bulgarian novel in translation. I’m going to be one of the judges for this, and to participate, all a Bulgarian writer has to do is submit the following to Milena Deleva (mdeleva [at] ekf [dot] bg):

  • Minimum 30, maximum 50 pages from your novel (Times New Roman, 12 pt, double space);

  • Biography (maximum 300 words);

  • Synopsis (maximum 1500 words);

All materials should be in English language.

Closing date: 20 September 2010

Each Bulgarian writer is allowed to submit one novel for this competition.


The second contest is to support Bulgarian translators. Basically, the winner of this contest will be able to spend three weeks here in Rochester working with us on their translation project, help us identify more Bulgarian books to publish, and learn about the U.S. publishing scene. Because of the funding for this grant, you must be a Bulgarian citizen who has published at least three translations either from English into Bulgarian or vice versa. Here’s the info on how to apply:

The applying translators should submit:

  • Professional biography listing their major literary translations from/into English;

  • Synopsis of originally written in Bulgarian language fiction work, which they are planning to translate or refine during their residency at Open Letter Books;

  • Agreement from the author or the publisher of the book for translation. The book should be written by a living Bulgarian writer;

  • Translation sample of fiction work: 20 pages for novel or 10 pages minimum if applying with short story (please send one or more complete stories in order to reach the required minimum) The samples could be from the intended text for translation during the work stay at Open Letter Books.

  • Statement of Purpose explaining the interest in the fellowship, the relevance of the residency to the translator’s career, areas of literary interests etc.

Deadline for Applications: 27 September 2010

Again, all info must be sent to Milena Deleva at mdeleva [at] ekf [dot] bg.

Both are excellent opportunities, and I feel very fortunate that Milena and Elizabeth chose us to work with. And I look forward to reading all your submissions and applications . . .

Comments are disabled for this article.
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

Hello and greetings in the 2017 holiday season!

For those of you still looking for something to gift a friend or family member this winter season, or if you’re on the lookout for something to gift in the. . .

Read More >

The Size of the World
The Size of the World by Branko Anđić
Reviewed by Jaimie Lau

Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, and hope of three generations of Belgraders.

The first and last sentences of the first. . .

Read More >

Island of Point Nemo
Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Reviewed by Katherine Rucker

The Island of Point Nemo is a novel tour by plane, train, automobile, blimp, horse, and submarine through a world that I can only hope is what Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s psyche looks like, giant squids and all.

What. . .

Read More >

The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

Read More >

I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

Read More >

Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

Read More >

The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

Read More >

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only. . .

Read More >

The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof
The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof by Cesar Aira
Reviewed by Will Eells

Aira continues to surprise and delight in his latest release from New Directions, which collects two novellas: the first, The Little Buddhist Monk, a fairly recent work from 2005, and The Proof, an earlier work from 1989. There are a. . .

Read More >

Agnes by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Dorian Stuber

The narrator of Peter Stamm’s first novel, Agnes, originally published in 1998 and now available in the U.S. in an able translation by Michael Hofmann, is a young Swiss writer who has come to Chicago to research a book on. . .

Read More >

The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >