New writing competition discovers talents in eastern Ukraine


The contestants of different age groups were encouraged to submit their literary works in different genre, and the winner will have their pieces published as a novel.

Eastern Ukraine hosts the first large-scale writing competition of Ukrainian-language contemporary literature. “Kalmius” took place between July 6 and October 15. Over two thousand works were submitted from Ukraine’s five regions, 277 of them were shortlisted, said Maksym Potapchuk, the festival’s co-organizer, speaking at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center (UCMC) in the framework of UCMC’s project “Spokesperson of peaceful life” implemented by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the German Federal Republic.

“Ukrainians aged 16-45 submitted their works to categories that included poetry, prose, playwriting and essays. Works in the categories were separate for children’s and adult audiences. The competition entries covered Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipro, Kharkiv and Zaporizhia regions, internally displaced from all across Ukraine could also participate,” explained Potapchuk. Literary works that took part in the competition had not been published before. Jury consisted of 26 writers from across Ukraine. Organizers plan to make the competition an annual event.

The festival was organized by Maksym Potapchuk, Oleksandra Papina, Oksana Proselkova and Tetyana Pylypets who volunteered to make the project happen.

Highest number of works was received from Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions. The competition started on July 6, the deadline for submission of works was on October 15. “The competition saw works from the talented people of Kostyantynivka, Dobropillya, Kramatorsk etc. There are several winners from Mariupol, small cities and villages of Kharkiv region. We also had about 50 applications that came from the occupied territories in Luhansk and Donetsk regions. By the way, our winner in the “essay” category is exactly from Donetsk,” explained Oleksandra Papina.

The final of the “Kalmius” competition took place in Kramatorsk and got together 220 industry professionals from across Ukraine over two days. “The competition locations also included Sloviansk, Kostyantynivka and Druzhkivka,” Potapchuk added. Three winners were defined in each category, making them 21 altogether. “Ukrainian writer Dara Korniy awarded the work of a Kharkiv girl in the ‘children’s prose’ category as well as suggested to have the work printed although it was not the winning one,” explained Papina.

Maksym Potapchuk also said that one of the winners became Oleksandr Oliynyk, Emergency Service worker from Kramatorsk. “Kalvaria” publishing house signed a contract with him and will publish his novel “Denny zvuk”.