Years and centuries pass, people and countries change, some civilizations disappear and others are born. The fast twenty-first century surprises us with technological inventions and scientific discoveries. Despite all these world changes, the timeless art of writing will forever be a great spiritual heritage of the humankind.
We are always happy to get acquainted with the classics, but time does not stand still and as the contemporary literature develops it requires a place in history. “Open Eurasian Book Forum & Literature Festival” was launched as an international literary festival, which helps to promote contemporary authors.
The festival has been held annually since 2012. In 2015 a non-profit organization Eurasian Creative Guild (London) became a patron of the “Open Eurasian Festival”. The “Open Eurasian Book Forum & Literature Festival” has taken place in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Almaty (Kazakhstan), London and Cambridge (UK).
Famous writers have been in attendance, such as Janusz Leon Wisniewski, Elchin Safarli, Paul Wilson, Hamid Ismailov, Sultan Raev, Mukhtar Shakhanov and Georgy Pryakhin. Public figures have joined too, including former President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva, ambassadors of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, USA Turkey, Tajikistan; professors of Oxford and Cambridge universities; ministers of culture from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; and even royal persons such as Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia and representatives of House of Lords.
The international Literary Festival “Open Eurasian Book Forum & Literature Festival” consists of three parts:
1. A Literary Contest, which includes 4 categories of work: “Literature”, “Translation”, “Illustration” and “Film”.
2. The festival aims to bring together both the well-known and young talented authors, who belong to different literary schools, and serves to revive interest in a wide range of literature among the general population.
3. Book Forum, which includes workshops, discussion panels and scientific conferences.
Modern literature, as well as contemporary art in general, is in a constant state of exploration. So the literary contest “Open Eurasia”, being the key addition of the “Open Eurasian Book Forum & Literature Festival”, year after year seeks to find and publish both new and well-known masters of the pen.
The international literary contest “Open Eurasia” (formerly known as the “Open Central Asia and Eurasia”) is an open and interactive competition, available for writers, poets, translators, illustrators and directors. It is based on the principle of openness and interaction of all the arts on the basis of literature, providing an opportunity to establish a dialogue and communication within the literary and cultural space, and enabling authors to express themselves. The main prize of the contest, is a grant for the publication of the winner’s book in London in English. It should be noted that the prize fund this year has almost doubled in comparison with the first year of the contest, reaching US $ 32,000. Today, 7 books have been published as a result of the contest.
Furthermore, excerpts of the finalists’ works have been published in the annual anthology titled, “Creative Collaboration”
Every year has seen increases not only the prize fund, but in the number of applications and the geography of contestants. In the first year of the contest (2012) 140 applications were submitted from 22 countries, in 2013 – 170 applications from 20 countries, in 2014 – 450 applications from 22 countries, in 2015 – 800 applications from 28 countries, and 2016 – 1300 applications from 40 countries.
The rapid development of the “Open Eurasia” contest shows the great interest in modern literature and its importance in the world. And the festival “Open Eurasian Book Forum & Literature Festival” contributes to the union of the whole Eurasian region, helping authors to prove themselves, to show their work around the world, and readers to learn about authors who in future will become as famous as Shakespeare, Pushkin, Akhmatova, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.