Estoril Sol Literary Awards return despite the crisis….

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, which poses such demanding challenges to the country and the world, Estoril Sol remains faithful to its matrix in promoting Portuguese Letters, renewing, this year, the award of the Revelation Literary Award Agustina Bessa- Luís and the Fernando Namora Literary Prize, in honour of the two great writers.

The deadline for receiving the original works and competing novels, however, has been changed, taking into account that only now is the country gradually leaving the confinement it was forced to, due to the coronavirus.

According to the regulations of both competitions, this deadline ends this year, exceptionally, on the 31st of July.

The Fernando Namora Literary Prize, in its 23rd edition, now with annual frequency, is reserved for published novels, and has a value of 15 thousand euros. It should be remembered that it was Julieta Monginho, with her novel “Um Muro no Meio do Caminho”, the winner, unanimously by the jury, in 2019.

In the Jury’s deliberation, it is noted that: “Um Muro no Meio do Caminho” (A Wall in the Middle of the Way) is built on one of the most poignant contemporary tragedies: that of refugees, especially Syrians, fleeing from increasingly wild human madness. The torments experienced in refugee camps, particularly in the camp on the island of Scios, draws the context in which Julieta Monginho situates the problem of this contemporary drama ”.

The Jury also emphasized that: “writing in a very lively and dynamic record, benefiting from the personal experience she lived in the Scios field in 2016, the author traces portraits of women immersed in a universe of pain and mourning, but also of hope. A book that, in the form of a look that is both affectionate and sad, reveals to us the face of humanity lost from itself ”.

Regarding the 13th edition of the Revelation Literary Prize Agustina Bessa-Luís, the objective assumed, since its launch, is to favour the appearance of new values.
It should be remembered that Estoril Sol has abolished, since 2016, the rule that imposed the 35-year-old limit on competitors, which made it possible to streamline the Prize Regulation.

By eliminating this clause, which was considered restrictive, Estoril Sol extended the scope of the contest, including those novelists, who, one day, decided to write the fiction that no longer fit in the drawer.

However, the competing novel must remain unpublished, and must have a Portuguese author, “without any work published in the genre”.

The winning novel of the Revelation Literary Prize Agustina Bessa-Luís, in 2019, was “Um Símbolo Vivo” (A Living Symbol), by Cristina Cosme, later “renamed” by the author with the title “Silvana”. The Prize has a value of 10 thousand euros and, under the terms of the Regulation, the work will be published by Editora Gradiva, in accordance with the existing protocol with Estoril Sol.

When electing “Silvana“ (A Living Symbol), the jury considered it to be “a novel that articulates, with ease, the game of prudence and cunning of human relations”. In the Jury’s minutes, it is observed that the novel takes Lisbon as “a scenario where the imagination circulates personal and loving relationships. The City and its places draw geography of affective paths, and sometimes dreams and fantasies of the protagonist, “Silvana”, a lonely woman in search of herself ”.

The Jury, in addition to Guilherme D`Oliveira Martins, who chairs, representing CNC – Centro Nacional de Cultura, also includes José Manuel Mendes, from the Portuguese Writers Association; Maria Carlos Gil Loureiro, for the General Directorate of Books and Libraries; Manuel Frias Martins, for the Portuguese Association of Literary Critics; and also Maria Alzira Seixo, José Carlos de Vasconcelos and Liberto Cruz, individually invited, in addition to Dinis de Abreu, representing Estoril Sol.

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