Introducing the Bulgarian writers who will participate in the international talented development project CELA

Introducing the Bulgarian writers who will participate in the international talent development project CELA

Gergana Galabova, Ekaterina Petrova and Nevena Mitropolitska will be part in CELA - Connecting Emerging Literary Artists

Over the next year and a half the three emerging authors will be part of building a major European literary network, international literary festival tour and intensive seminar programme, together with 165 literary artists from 11 European countries. 

The writers will also be working with literary translators on the translations of excerpts of their literary works into the languages of the project — Spanish, Italian, Ukrainian, Polish, Dutch, Serbian, Slovenian, Czech, Romanian. Read more about the writers and their books:

Gergana Galabova is a writer and translator with a BA in English with Creative Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London, and MA in Editor-Translator from Sofia University and she is currently a PhD student in Literary Theory. Her works have been published in a variety of online and print magazines and newspapers, as well as anthologies, the latest being "From the Authors and Readers — about Books and reading" (2023). In 2021 she won the Grand Prize at the National Student Literary Competition "Boyan Penev". She’s the editor-in-chief of the online cultural outlet

"Water for gazing"
Colibri, 2022 

A woman sees the sea for the first time, a Polaroid retrieves someone else's photos, people de-bone themselves to cure their misfortunes. In this collection no event is too trivial and no reality too absurd. The stories challenge the reader's imagination, taking them on a journey from realism through absurdism to surrealism. A book that will make you laugh, make you cry, that will make you contemplate, as if for the first time, everyday objects, leaves, yourself, water for gazing.

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Ekaterina Petrova is a bilingual nonfiction writer and literary translator. She holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Iowa and has also spent time in Kuwait, Minnesota, New York, Berlin, London, Paris, Kosovo, Serbia, North Macedonia, Northern Ireland, and the South of France. Currently based in Sofia, she practices and occasionally teaches literary translation, writes a column on fascinating etymologies for the Bulgarian independent media Toest, and is at work on a collection of essays and photographs, titled "Here & Elsewhere", about traveling, translation, and belonging.

Photo: Yana Lozeva

"Thingseeker: 44 (Un)Usual Objects from Near and Far"
Janet 45, 2021

As its subheading suggests, the book "Thingseeker" - whose main title was borrowed from Pippi Longstocking - contains stories about 44 objects from near and far. The intriguing selection includes a variety of unexpected finds from all over the world: bespoke boots from Bhutan, Barcelona pavement tiles designed by Gaudí, Sofia’s iconic yellow cobblestones, wine glasses from the Basque Country, a heart-shaped pin from Sarajevo, espadrilles from the Pyrenees, scarabs from Ancient Egypt, an archival map of East Berlin, etc. By telling the stories of the specific objects, Ekaterina Petrova recounts stories about their places of origin as well, by placing them in a wider linguistic, cultural, historical, and geographical context. A compelling mixture of travelogs, essays, and short stories, each piece of writing is carefully researched and based on fascinating facts, while simultaneously reflecting the author’s subjective point of view and her personal experience as a traveler, translator, and thingseeker.

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Nevena Mitropolitska is a librarian аnd author of the novels "Anna and the Mountain" (2015), "The Gift" (2019) and "Along the Tracks" (2021). She has degrees in Russian and English Literature from Sofia University and Library and Information Science from Université de Montréal. Since 2002, she has been living in Canada. She is interested in issues such as immigration and intercultural relations, topics that keep resurfacing in her works. In 2022, "Along the Tracks" received the Peroto National Award for Contemporary Bulgarian Fiction and was nominated for the National Readers’ Helikon Award. наградата „Хеликон“.

Photo: Anelia Petrova

„Along the tracks“
Janet 45, 2022 

An elderly woman gazes into her past: her carefree childhood, the yellow stars that followed, the train to Treblinka waiting for her at the Kyustendil station in '43, her adulthood in communist Bulgaria, and her old age in modern times. Her 15-year-old granddaughter struggles with betrayal and loneliness in Canada. Will the two find a way to each other? Will the bitter lessons carried through the decades serve a purpose today? This is the story of a family: one of war, persecution and separation, but also of will to live and of love

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CELA is an international talented development project, that offers literary artists across Europe the opportunity to work on their (international) network and develop their professional literary skills. They share their stories, create new work, and bridge the gap between each other, the literary industry and the European public.

CELA is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and by the National Culture Fund Bulgaria.

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