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CELA (connecting emerging literary artists) is about sharing stories beyond barriers. The talent development project offers a European context to a new generation of literary creators across 10 different countries.

The project

CELA #2 unites 30 emerging writers, 79 emerging translators and 6 emerging literary professionals and mentors them during a 4-year period, filled with assignments, writing and translation workshops, residencies, specialisation courses, performances and collaborations. The results of this collective journey will be presented during a festival tour and international publishing campaign, to broaden the artists’ professional practices and open up new networking possibilities. CELA exists to maintain diversity in European literature, and offer smaller languages a bigger opportunity in the publishing industry

By building a growing network of literary artists across Europe through translating and promoting literary works in non-native languages, CELA aims to break through uneven literary infrastructures in different countries, and to open possibilities to reach European audiences beyond borders. Through working together and sharing their work, the partners and participants of CELA are bridging the gaps between each other, the publishing industry and the European public.

The first edition of CELA started as a two year project in 2017. Again supported by Creative Europe of the European Union, CELA#2 has grown significantly with new partners and more countries. (or) The project is generously supported by Creative Europe, allowing the network to continue to grow.

Our partners

Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren

Vlaams-Nederlands Huis deBuren (Brussels, Belgium) presents, produces, inspires and connects. It offers a platform for culture and debate in the Low Countries and abroad. They focus on talent development of young and emerging writers, radio makers, photographers and moderators, mainly within the literary field, and through the implementation of several acclaimed (residency) programmes. deBuren organizes 200-220 events per year and has reached over 10,000,000 downloads with the international literary residency project citybook.eu.​

Passa Porta

Passa Porta (Brussels, Belgium) is the international house of literature in the heart of Brussels. They focus on talent development of writers and translators, with their international literary festival and residencies, events and assignments for young and emerging talents.

České Literární Centrum

České literární centrum (Prague, Czech Republic) is the Czech Literary Centre. Czech Lit focuses on promoting Czech literature abroad through cooperating with literary agencies, publishers and cultural organisations abroad, organising literary events, and acting as an informational and cultural centre for literary experts and professionals

Scuola Holden

Scuola Holden (Turin, Italy) founded by internationally renowned Italian writer Alessandro Baricco in 1994, is considered an authority in the field of fiction writing and storytelling. The school regularly hosts prestigious international guest lecturers for its students, its main activity being the two-year full-time Course in Writing and Storytelling. Holden also organizes readings, and other activities on a national and international level.

Wintertuin

​Wintertuin (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) is a literary production house. It yearly organises 3 literary festivals and 150 literary events. Wintertuin runs a talent development programme for 29 emerging Dutch writers, and is involved in writing projects with elderly and refugees. Wintertuin is founder of the BA Creative Writing at ArtEZ University of the Arts.

​​Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe

​​Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe (Krakow, Poland) is a municipal cultural institution. The participation of this organisation is important for the project as it has served as a platform for cooperation between the cultural, creative, academic and innovation sectors in the city and beyond. Krakow Festival Office is also the operator of the UNESCO City of Literature programme in Krakow

Camara Municipal de Óbidos

Camara Municipal de Óbidos (Óbidos, Portugal) is a municipality located in the Western subregion of Portugal. The historic town is today considered as one of the main jewels of the country, remaining a well-preserved example of medieval architecture. Óbidos is a Literary Town, and it embraces literature in everything it does, from the reconstruction and reuse of old buildings, to job creation, to thinking up alternative tourism products. Óbidos also hosts the well-known international literature festival FOLIO.

Asociatia Editorilor din Romania

Asociatia Editorilor din Romania (Bucharest, Romania) is the Romanian Publishers Association and the main professional association for book publishers in Romania. AER is the organizer of Bookfest and focuses on promoting reading and writing, thus contributing to the free circulation of ideas, as well as integrating the Romanian culture in the global circuit of values.

Association KROKODIL

Association KROKODIL (Belgrade, Serbia) is a literary production house. They are dedicated to the production of literary, cultural and socio-political projects with the aim of developing literary audiences, promotion of the culture of dialogue, reconstruction of the broken links in the Balkans, but also to deepening the mutual understanding and acceptance of differences in Europe. KROKODIL is one of the most active agents of change in culture not only in Serbia, but throughout the Western Balkans and wider Europe.

Goga

Goga (Novo Mesto, Slovenia) is a Slovenian residency and publishing house. Aside from publishing, Goga focuses on international cooperation in the field of literature. Goga organises between 50 and 100 events every year and co-creates projects connecting literature with other art forms.

Escuela de Escritores

Escuela de Escritores (Madrid, Spain) is a creative writing academy in Madrid. It's a well-known writing programme, with over 2,000 students per year, and a founding member of the European Association of Creative Writing Programmes (EACWP).

Future plans

What are our plans for CELA #2? (A revised version of the CELA #2 structure, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be updated in the near future)

We start with the selection of all the emerging literary talents – writers, translators and literary professionals -, and with putting together the CELA team of directors, project managers and communication officers. This whole group will meet each other for the first time during our Introduction Week in Brussels (Belgium) in January 2020.

After the introduction, the first two years of CELA will focus on the development of talent, skills and network. The writers will deliver two texts, and the translators will translate them into every CELA language in order to make the work and talent accessible and available throughout Europe.
Each writer will follow a specialisation course with one of the partners, on visiblity, transmedia storystelling, writing didactics, creative non-fiction, or literary curatorship. This course will broaden the writers professional practice and open up new networking possibilities. The literary professionals follow a ten-day specialisation course on consulting and strategizing in the European literary scene in Novo Mesto (Slovenia) with our partner GOGA. Next to that, they will go job shadowing with one of the partners for two weeks to gain insight in other ways of working. For the translators our Italian partner Scuola Holden will organize a five-day translation masterclass with workshops, lectures and meetings. This will provide them with time to work on their translations together with other translators (source langage as well as target language) and develop their professional skills and networking possibilities as talent scouts and ambassadors for writers.
Everyone will meet each other again, with new stories and fresh insights, during our Montage Week in Arnhem (the Netherlands), May 2021. This week will concentrate on developing an innovative literary format and stage presentation, and on constructing a presentation format for the European festival tour. Next to that, the CELA team will meet to discuss the second half of the project, and organize an expert meeting with lectures and discussions. This week wraps up the first part of CELA #2.

A main activity in the second part of CELA #2 is the European literary festival tour, where we will present our 110 literary artists at European literary festivals with innovative stage presentations. The tour includes the Conrad Festival in Poland in October 2021; the Wintertuinfestival in the Netherlands in November 2021; Bookfest in Romania in May 2022, and FOLIO in Portugal in October 2022. This second half of the project also concentrates on international marketing and publishing campaigns, presenting the project at the Frankfurter Buchmesse, and representation of the talents at national book fairs and publishing houses with the 10 beautiful brochures we will make of all texts and translations in every language. CELA #2 closes off with an evaluation meeting in Madrid (Spain) in June 2023 for all partners, where we will look back on a hopefully wonderful second edition and its amazing results.

During these four years we will continuously be mentoring the participants on their texts, their translations and the professional development of their skills. We will be promoting the CELA brand throughout Europe through publicity campaigns and publishing CELA texts on online (literary) platforms in all countries. Next to that, all CELA partners will organise educational programmes for participants, other emerging writers and translators as well as general audiences with workshops and masterclasses on writing and translating, to connect and inspire new generations of literary artists and audience in an innovative, European context.