Rules and application form: ‘Encounter: The Ukrainian-Jewish Literary Prize’ ™ 2021 Non-Fiction Category

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”. 

Genre, deadlines for submission and awarding
In 2021, the Prize will be awarded in the category of non-fiction. Works published in 2018-2020 will be considered. 

Submission period: 21 January – 22 March 16, 2021 (deadline for submission).

Awarding: in September 2021.

The Prize
The Prize, valued at 7000 Euros, is awarded annually. It consists of two categories: fiction and non-fiction. Fiction is defined as prose, poetry and drama. Nonfiction is defined as histories, biographies, memoirs, journalism, essays. The winner in each category is 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. Four (4) incentive awards will receive 250 Euros each.

The Prize is sponsored by the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, a Canadian charitable non-profit organization, with the support of the NGO “Publishers Forum” (Lviv, Ukraine).

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.

The content in the category of non-fiction (historical works, memoirs, journalism, essays) must be factually accurate, the information presented completely and exhaustively. The works should be geared toward the target audience — a general mass reader or an elite reader with higher education with knowledge in various fields. Academic publications must meet standard requirements.

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

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.

Non-fiction works published in 2018-2020 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 three steps.

Step 1:
In the period between 21 January — 22 March, 2021 fill out and file a completed electronically submitted entry form (in Ukrainian). The electronic entry form is available on the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter website (

Step 2:
Mail a completed and signed paper copy of the entry form for every book submitted (in Ukrainian), along with one (1) copy of the publication, in the period between 21 January — March 22, 2021, via prepaid courier to the address:

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

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

Step 3:

Due to the unstable situation globally because of the pandemic and difficulty of movement between countries, so that jury members are able to work safely, we request publishers send one (1) electronic copy of the submitted work for the competition in PDF format to konkurs @ (for official use only).

Evaluation 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 NGO “Publishers Forum”, 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 NGO “Publishers Forum”, will determine the award winner and the 4 (four) recipients of the incentive awards.

The final jury will consist of three experts from Ukraine and abroad. Jury members will have one vote, and the jury head two votes.

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

Prize Conditions
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 are 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 was in 2020 in the category of fiction (prose, poetry, drama).

Finalists of the 2020 Prize:

  1. Kateryna Babkina, My Grandfather Was the Best Dancer of Them All [Mii did tantsiuvav krashche za vsikh] (Komora, 2019);
  2. Iryna Vlasenko, Teacher of German [Uchytel′ka nimets′koї] (Universe, 2019);
  3. Maksym Dupeshko, A Story Worth a Whole Apple Orchard [Istoriia, varta tsiloho iablunevoho sadu] (Publishing House 21, 2017);
  4. Marianna Kiyanovska, Babyn Yar: In Voices [Babyn Yar: Holosamy] (Dukh i Litera, 2017)
  5. Vasyl Makhno, Eternal Calendar [Vichnyi calendar] (The Old Lion Publishing House, 2019).

Winner of the 2020 Prize:

Vasyl Makhno, Eternal Calendar [Vichnyi calendar] (The Old Lion Publishing House, 2019).

In 2022, the Prize will be awarded in the fiction category. Works published in 2020-2021 will be considered. Thereafter, works from the previous two years of publication in each category (fiction and non-fiction) will be considered.

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:                [email protected]
Skype :              nfeduschak

Anastasia Kovalyshyn
Award Secretary
Encounter: The Ukrainian-Jewish Literary Prize ™
Mobile (UA):    +38 (096) 390 8765
Email:               [email protected]

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