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Tartu selected Vahur Afanasjev as its City Writer

Vahur Afanasjev Photo: Karl Erik Piirimees

14 January / Tartu selected Vahur Afanasjev as its City Writer for 2019, presenting him with the City Writer Grant.

According to Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas, Tartu has enjoyed very good cooperation with its first two City Writers. 'I am pleased that there are plenty of excellent writers and interesting creative people in Tartu, whose activities add colour to those of Tartu as a city of literature. The City Writer Grant gives us the opportunity to commit ourselves to creativity,' said the Mayor.

Vahur Afanasjev said that he plans to encourage residents of Tartu to think, not to settle for postulations heard elsewhere. ‘If everything goes well, I will start an event which brings together culture and technology. If things go even better, I may even be able to write a book or two. I have written in Tartu before, now I could write about the secret Voikla River, which flows through the centre of the Emajõgi,’ said the new City Writer Afanasjev.

A total of seven applications were submitted for the grant, which is awarded in cooperation by the City of Tartu and Tartu Kultuurkapital SA. The City Writer was chosen from among the applicants by an expert committee, which included representatives from the Tartu Chapter of the Writers' Union, the Estonian Literary Museum, University of Tartu Department of Literature and Theatre Studies, the Oskar Luts Tartu City Library, Tartu Kultuurkapital SA, and the city government.

The one-year Tartu City Writer Grant is awarded to a writer engaged in the writing of fiction or non-fiction, who stimulates literary life in Tartu and helps to shape the city’s reputation as an internationally recognised, literature friendly city. In order to apply for the Grant, one had to submit a vision of the role of Tartu City Writer to Tartu Kultuurkapital, which the applicant must be ready to perform after receiving the grant, and to provide an overview of their creative activities thus far and the activities which the applicant plans to bring to life in 2019.

In 2019 the grant amount is EUR 12,000, paid out in monthly instalments of EUR 1000.

The grant is being awarded for the third year in a row and is one Tartu’s activities as one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature. The title of City Writer was held by Kristiina Ehin in 2017 and Mikä Keränen last year.

The statutes for the grant can be reviewed here: http://www.kultuurkapital.ee/images/stories/download/linnakirjanik.pdf

Last changed 14.01.2019