Yordan Slaveykov was born in 1976 in Vratsa, Bulgaria. He graduated as a Theatre director at NATFA – National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2001.
He is a theatre director, a teacher, a playwright, a writer, a screenwriter.
“The Last step” is his first novel, published by Janet45 publishing house in 2015. The novel won two national literature awards in 2016 – 45th edition of the competition “South spring”, and the award “Pencho’s oak”.
Peter Dentchev is a Bulgarian writer, theatre director and publicist. He graduated from Drama Theater at the “Krastio Sarafov” National Theater Academy in 2010, and afterwards he graduated from the Master’s program in Theater Arts in 2012. He has nominations and awards from various competitions for poetry, prose and drama (New Bulgarian Drama, Contest “Ecstasy”, “Light Stretch” Award). He has twice received the second prize at the National Youth Poetry Competition “Veselin Hanchev”. With his novel “Like a Man kissing a woman he loves,” he won the competition for a new Bulgarian novel “Development” in 2007. Later, he published the collection of stories “Stories from The Past” (2010, Janet 45) the novel “The Quiet Sun” (2012, Janet 45). There are periodical publications, translations of stories in Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Germany and the United States. He has staged performances on the stages of most of the big theatres in Bulgaria (“Ivan Vazov” Sofia National Theater, Satirical Theatre, Youth Theatre, theatres in Pazardjik, Rousse, Varna, Stara Zagora, Yambol etc. At the theatre he staged authors such as Edward Albee, Jordi Galceran, Shakespeare, Moliere, and have performed at various festivals in Serbia, Romania, Montenegro and Kosovo, have been nominated for various national awards, and have twice been a guest at the short story festival “Kikidnda Short” Kikinda, Serbia. His interests are focused on the political history and how it affects the arts & society structures. He has very deep interest in the Balkan’s literary stage.
Jasna Šamić was born in Sarajevo, where she graduated from elementary school and high school – Sarajevo High school -lyceum- and Conservatory – School of music, and from theUniversity of Sarajevo, where she studied oriental languages and literatures,Turkish, Arabic and Persian; also University of Sarajevo: Third Cycle or Post-graduated Thesis in General Linguistics and Turkology, PHD degree at The Faculty of Philosophy of Sarajevo in 1977; at the University of Paris -Sorbonne Nouvelle, she did the Thesis of National Doctorate (Doctorat d’ Etatès Lettres) in 1984, on Sufism and History. Professor of Oriental Literatures at the University of Sarajevo, (expelled from the Faculty in 1992 without reason), Director of Research associated to the CNRS (French National Centre of Research) in 1992, Professor of Languages, Literatures, History and Civilisation of the Balkans at the University Marc Bloch of Strasbourg, collaborated with French radio programs: Radio France Internationale, and France Culture. Member of The Asian Society (Société asiatique), Paris, from 1984, Member of the Union of Writers of Bosnia, from 1974, Member of the international PEN Club, France from 2017 and Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2006, Member of the Union of Writers of France, from 1996. She collaborated at revues in former Yugoslavia and Europe and participated at International Conferences in a number of cities in the world. She gave Lectures at many Universities of former Yugoslavia and Europe. Director of a literary review Književna sehara (www.balkan-sehara.com)
Author of many books (poetry, novels, essays…), published in French and in Bosnian, she wrote also a philosophy essai about Sufism, published by Plima, Cetinje, 2010, and Buybook, Sarajevo, 2014.
Jasna Šamić is a winner of the Stendhal French Literary Prize (Lauréate du programme Missions Stendhal) in 2008, of the Gauchez-Pillippot 2014, Fundations of Bosnian Publishers.
Since 1977, Jasna Šamić has been living between Sarajevo and Paris.
Jerko Bakotin, born in 1984, Split, Croatia. Graduated in Sociology and Comparative Literature at Zagreb University. Between 2008 and 2011 worked as a full-time journalist in the Zagreb office of political daily Novi list. Since 2011 freelance journalist, writing mostly for the political weekly of Croatia’s Serb minority Novosti, the Internet portals kulturpunkt and Lupiga, as well as other media. Published literary critiques, essays, reviews and travelogues in culture magazines such as Zarez and Quorum, as well as for Croatian Radio. Also wrote for the German media, such are Neues Deutschland and Deutsche Welle. Made a number of radio-documentaries about various countries.
At the moment completing extensive television project on Kurdish history and Middle East, of which he is co-author. The series will be aired on Croatian Public Broadcaster (HRT) in 2018. Also working on the literary travelogue book on Kurdistan, as well as completing specialized M.A. degree in sociology of conflict at the University of Potsdam, Germany.
P.E.N. Centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a non-governmental, non-profit organization, registered as a civil association. Founded in October of 1992, as part of the International association of writers, editors, publishers and essayists, P.E.N. Centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina became an equal affiliate of the International PEN in September of 1993. Since its inception, P.E.N. Centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized numerous regional conventions, more than 40 round-table events and discussions, dialogic literary gatherings, but also successfully completed a number of Art and Culture projects.
Lidija Dimkovska was born in 1971 in Skopje, Macedonia. She is a poet, novelist, and translator of Romanian and Slovenian literature in Macedonian. She writes in Macedonian. She lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and temporary is the president of the jury for Vilenica International Literary Award. She has published six books of poetry, three novels, and a diary, and edited three anthologies. Her poetry and her novels have been translated in more than twenty languages. She received several Macedonian literary prizes, the German poetry prize »Hubert Burda«, the Romanian poetry prizes “Poesis” and “Tudor Arghezi”, the European Prize for Poetry Petru Krdu in Serbia and for her novel “A Spare Life” she received the European Union Prize for Literature. Her last novel “Non-Oui” was short-listed for the international literary award “Balkanika”.
Emina Žuna was born in Jajce, Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1981.
She has published short stories and essays in electronic and printed magazines in BH and the neighbouring countries. A few of her short stories and drama pieces have been adapted and broadcast on national radio. She has co-authored several books and contributed to edited volumes.
Her first novel titled Linija života (Lifeline), supported by the Publishing Foundation of FBiH, was published in 2016. In 2017, the novel was listed for two regional literary prizes: “Mirko Kovač” and “Meša Selimović”. Her short stories have won prizes and recognition: Bejahad 2008, Radio Federacije 2002, Avlija 2013… Her second novel titled Čovjek iz budućnosti (The Man from the Future) is in the final stages of the publishing process.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology (2005) and comparative literature and librarianship (2006) from the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, and has earned a master’s in European culture and literature at Strasbourg, Bologna and Thessaloniki (2011).
She is a member of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian PEN centre.
She works as a psychologist and freelance columnist and journalist. She regularly publishes journalistic and opinion pieces on several web portals in the country.
Ognjen Spahić (born 1977 in Podgorica, Montenegro), is a Montenegrin novelist. Spahić has published two collections of short stories: Sve to (All That, 2001) and Zimska potraga (Winter Search, 2007). His novel Hansenova djeca (Hansen’s Children, 2004) won him the 2005 Meša Selimović Prize for the best new novel from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina. To date, Hansenova djeca has been published in French, Italian, Slovenian, Romanian, Hungarian, Macedonian and English.
His short story “Raymond is No Longer with Us—Carver is Dead” was included in the anthology Best European Fiction 2011 published by Dalkey Archive Press in the USA. In 2007, he was a writing resident at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program.
He is the Montenegrin winner of European Union Prize for Literature of 2014.
Petar Andonovski was born in 1987, in Kumanovo, Macedonia. He studied general and comparative literature at the Faculty of Philology in Skopje. He has published the following books: Mental Space (poetry, 2008), Eyes the Color of Shoes (novel, 2013, second and third edition 2016), The Body That Has To Be Lived In (novel, 2015, second and third edition 2016).
His first novel Eyes the Color of Shoes was shortlisted for the Utrinski Vesnik Novel of the Year Award in 2013. In 2016 this novel was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Literature.
The novel The Body That Has To Be Lived In won the Utrinski Vesnik Novel of the Year Award in 2015.