INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF PROSE WRITING PROSEFEST
The International Festival of Prose Writing (PROSEFEST) was founded in 2007.
The venues where the Festival has been held are: The Cultural Centre of Novi Sad;
High Schools: “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj”, “Isidora Sekulić”, “Laza Kostić”, “Svetozar Marković”, “Karlovačka gimnazija”.
The Festival is organised IN MID SEPTEMBAR each year.
PROSEFEST, the international festival of prose writing, was founded (originator and founder is Professor PhD Sava Damjanov) with the aim of returning literature to its roots, that is, the live and direct contact of the author and the reading audience. Therefore, during the Festival, the eminent domestic and foreign authors publically read their works (on the premises of the Cultural Centre of Novi Sad), they have discussions with the audience, and visit the institutions where literature is included in the curriculum (High Schools, Faculties…) and talk to the pupils and students.
The International Festival of Prose Writing (PROSEFEST) has gathered around 90 writers so far:
from Serbia (Milorad Pavić, Svetlana Velmar Janković, Dragoslav Mihailović, Radovan Beli Marković, David Albahari, Vida Ognjenović, Oto Tolnai, Milisav Savić, Aleksandar Gatalica, Vladimir Pištalo, Radoslav Petković, Vladan Matijević, Dragan Velikić, Svetislav Basara, Goran Petrović, Zoran Ćirić, Goran Gocić, Slobodan Tišma, Zoran Živković, Jovica Aćin, Vladislav Bajac, Branko Anđić, Sava Damjanov, Đorđe Pisarev, Franja Petrinović, Jelena Lengold, Vule Žurić, Ugleša Šajtinac, Ildiko Lovaš, Miodrag Raičević, Jasmina Mihajlović, Milica Mićić Dimovska, Laslo Vegel, Mihajlo Pantić, Ljubica Arsić, Mirjana Novaković, Slobodan Vladušić, Oto Horvat, Vladimir Kecmanović, Enes Halilović, Radivoj Šajtinac and Srđan Srdić) – among whom 15 NIN Award winners.
Israel (David Grossman), France (Alberto Manguel), Hungary (György Konrád, Péter Zilahy, Petar Milošević), USA (Alexander Genis), England (Christopher Hope, Vesna Goldsworthy), Russia (Mikhail Shishkin, Eugene Vodolazkin), Italy (Claudio Magris, Stefano Benni, Mario Liguori), Slovakia (Anton Baláž, Miroslav Demak), Germany (Peter Handke, Žarko Radaković, Jovan Nikolić, Bora Ćosić), Austria (Lojze Vizer), Argentina (Samanta Schweblin, Guillermo Martinez, Luisa Valensuela), Australia (Inez Baranay), Cuba (Zoé Valdés), Peru (Mario Vargas Llosa, Santiago Roncagliolo), Ukraine (Irena Karpa), Scotland (Louis Welsh, Zoë Strachan), Poland (Krzysztof Varga, Olga Tokarczuk), Bulgaria (Alek Popov, Georgi Gospodinov), Turkey (Nedim Gürsel, Oya Baydar), Finland (Susanne Ringel), FRYOM (Aleksandar Prokopiev, Ermis Lafazanosfski, Goce Smilevski, Lidija Dimkovska), B&H (Nenad Veličković, Muharem Bazdulj, Bekim Sejranović), Slovenia (Andrej Blatnik, Jani Virk), Montenegro (Nikola Malović), and Croatia (Ivana Simić Bodrožić, Damir Karakaš, Robert Perišić, Slobodan Šnajder, Drago Kekanović, Borivoj Radaković, Miljenko Jergović).
The first Festival was opened by Milorad Pavić, who read his works.
The international literary award MILOVAN VIDAKOVIĆ has been awarded since the second Festival.
MILOVAN VIDAKOVIĆ (1780–1841) is the originator of the contemporary Serbian novel and one of the most important Serbian writers of the early 19th century. In addition, Vidaković was the most read author in Serbian literature during the 19th century, as shown not only by the numbers of copies his works were published in and reprints of his novels (Ljubomir u Jelisiumu, Velimir i Bosiljka, …), but also by the long lists of subscribers he used to publish at the end of each book. He wrote in honour of his audiences, not for some “imaginary eternity”, which he stated time and again in the forewords of his novels addressed directly to the reader.
The Festival’s Organizational Board serves also as the jury.
So far, the “Milovan Vidaković” Award has been given to:
ALBERTO MANGEL (France, 2008),
GYÖRGY KONRÁD (Hungary, 2009),
CLAUDIO MAGRIS (Italy, 2010),
DAVID GROSSMAN (Israel, 2011),
SLOBODAN TIŠMA (Serbia 2012),
DAVID ALBAHARI (Serbia, 2013),
MILISAV SAVIĆ (Serbia, 2014),
EUGENE VODOLAZKIN (Russia, 2015),
GUILLERMO MARTINEZ (Argentina, 2016),
PETER HANDKE (Немачка, 2017)
MILJENKO JERGOVIĆ (Croatia, 2018)
The special “Milovan Vidaković” Award has been given to:
– Peruvian Nobel Prize winner MARIO VARGAS LLOSA (2015), which was presented to him before the packed auditorium (audience of about 1,400 readers) of the Serbian National Theatre.
– Turkish Nobel Prize winner ORHAN PAMUK (2016). He received the award in front of the full auditorium of the Ceremonial Hall of Novi Sad branch of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Novi Sad.
PROSEFEST has organized around 200 meetings with audiences, for approximately 20,000, mostly young members of audience. Discussions with writers have been held by high school pupils. Good organization, accommodation, translating service, media support, exceptional turnout, more than satisfied participants and audience show that this festival has rightfully earned its place among the top European prose festivals.