Encounter: The Ukrainian-Jewish Literary Prize ™

Ukrainians and Jews have lived side-by-side on the territory of modern-day Ukraine for nearly two millennia. Separately and together, they weaved a tapestry that has left an indelible mark on Ukraine’s cultural, linguistic and historical legacy. Long periods of peaceful co-existence were also accompanied by years of tragedy, separating these two peoples through different historical experiences and narratives. Yet as the 21st century progresses, and as Ukraine and Israel shape their identities as independent states, shared threads remain, giving rise to new understanding of the past.

The ‘Encounter’ prize aims to build on the common experiences of Ukrainians and Jews over the centuries, expressed in literature and nonfiction. The prize will be awarded annually to the most influential work in literature and nonfiction (in alternate years) that fosters Ukrainian-Jewish understanding, helping solidify Ukraine’s place as a multi-ethnic society and giving truth to the motto, “Our stories are incomplete without each other”.

Deadlines for submission and awarding:
Submission period: 16 January – 16 March 16, 2020. Awarding in September 2020.

The Award:
The Prize, valued at 6500 Euros, will be awarded annually in two categories: fiction and nonfiction. The winner in each category will be determined alternately, every two years.

The Prize money is divided between the author and publisher: the author will receive 4000 Euros and the publisher 2000 Euros. Two (2) incentive awards will receive 250 Euros each.

The Prize is sponsored by the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, a Canadian non-governmental organization, with the support of the BookForum.

General criteria for eligibility:
Books must be published in Ukraine.

Submitted works must reflect whole, or in part, some aspect of the Ukrainian-Jewish experience, whether it be through characters, the backdrop against which stories take place and so forth.

Priority will be given to original works in the Ukrainian language, although exceptional books translated from other languages will be considered.

Eligible genres: Literature (fiction – in 2020 and nonfiction – in 2021). Fiction is defined as prose, poetry and drama. Nonfiction is defined as histories, biographies, memoirs, journalism, essays.

Works that foster inter-ethnic strife will not be considered.

No self-published works are eligible.

Books must exist in physical form and be available in Ukrainian bookstores, on the websites of publishing houses and/or public libraries. Jury members have the right to contact the applicant for more information on the availability of books.

Submission Terms:
Works may be submitted by publishers, book-related non-profit organizations and publisher’s associations.

Works published in 2017-2019 will be considered. Publishers may only submit one piece of fiction for each year specified in the award conditions (that is a qualifying institution may submit a total of 3 (three) works).

Titles may be submitted only once.

Submission Requirements:
Submissions require two steps.

Step 1:
In the period between 16 January and 16 March 2020 fill out and file a completed  electronically submitted entry form. The electronic entry form (in Ukrainian) is available in Google Doc format here.

Step 2:
Mail a completed and signed paper copy of the entry form for every book submitted (Ukrainian available here), along with six (6) copies of the publication, in the period between 16 January and March 16, 2020 via prepaid courier to the address:

Ukrainian Jewish Encounter
‘Encounter’ Prize
29 Khreshchatyk Str., Room 50
Kyiv 01001
Ukraine

(Only courier delivery to the specified address at the expense of the sender. The contact individual is Svitlana Shiman, +380 (67) 224-4339).

Submission process:
Submissions will be judged in two phases:

A small jury of three individuals, chosen by board-approved representatives from the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter and in consultation with representatives of the BookForum, will determine whether books meet eligibility criteria.

A final jury, chosen by board-approved representatives from the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter and in consultation with representatives of the BookForum, will consist of three literati from Ukraine and abroad, with the jury head having two votes.

Award Announcements:
The composition of the jury will be announced four (4) months prior to announcing a winner.
A shortlist will be published within the one (1) month period (August) prior to announcing a winner.

Conditions of the Prize
All entry material, including book copies, will become the property of the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.

Nominated and/or winning author(s) are to participate in all reasonable publicity associated with the Prize including interviews, readings and appearances.

Publishers to include the Prize decal on all copies of the shortlisted and/or winning book(s) on all subsequent reprints. These decals or their template will be provided by the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.

Note: The first year of the Prize will be in 2020, with the fiction (prose, poetry, drama) category. Works published from 2017-2019 will be considered. Publishers may submit only one work specified in the award conditions per year (thus 3 works in total can be submitted by eligible institutions).

The second year of the Prize will be 2021, with the non-fiction category (histories, biographies, memoirs, journalism, essays). Works published from 2018-2020 will be considered. Publishers may submit only one work specified in the award conditions per year (thus 3 works in total can be submitted by eligible institutions).

Thereafter, works from the previous two years of publication for each category will be eligible.

For more information please contact:
Natalia A Feduschak
Director of Communications
Ukrainian Jewish Encounter
Mobile:             +1 (720) 394-8184
Mobile (UA):    +380 (66) 704-9681
Email:                media@ukrainianjewishencounter.org
Skype :              nfeduschak

Press Release here

Click on image for pdf of brochure (in Ukrainian).