Call for Applications for the CEI FELLOWSHIP FOR WRITERS IN RESIDENCE for the year 2019 awarded by the CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE in co-operation with the SLOVENE WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION within the Vilenica International Literary Festival


The CEI Fellowship for Writers in Residence is an award aimed at encouraging cross-border cooperation and promotion in the field of literature for young writers from Central European countries not yet part of the European Union. The fellowship is endowed with a cash award of EUR 5,000 for a three-month stay in any of the Central European Initiative Member States, selected by the candidate. The fellowship winner will be guest of the 34th Vilenica International Literary Festival which will take place from 10 to 15 September 2019 at various locations in Slovenia. The fellowship winner will be officially announced at the press conference at the end of August, and fellowship will be awarded to him or her at the festival. The candidate is eligible for the fellowship from 13 September 2019 until 13 September 2020. Within 60 days after completion of the residency, the candidate must submit a written report.

The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a regional intergovernmental forum committed to supporting European integration through cooperation between and among its Member States and with the European Union, other interested public institutions or private and non-governmental organisations, as well as international and regional organisations. In order to offer a solid contribution to European integration the CEI combines multilateral diplomacy and project management, both as donor and recipient, while also bridging European macro-regions. The CEI, whose Headquarters is located in Trieste, is composed of 17 Member States: 9 EU members (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) and 8 non-EU members (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine). In December 2011, the CEI was granted the observer status in the General Assembly of the United Nations.

The Slovene Writers’ Association produces and carries out contemporary public programmes in the field of literature. With a wide array of programmes and activities, it represents the most active organisation and the main centre of literary activity in Slovenia. The role of principal operator of public programmes in literature is also recognized by the Slovenian Book Agency with their active support and regular financing. The beginnings of the association can be traced back to 1872, when authors started to organise, but it took the current name in 1968. It was presided by distinguished Slovene writers. The Slovene Writers’ Association promotes creative freedom, acts as advocate to improve the status of Slovene literature and writers, and brings together writers from the entire Slovene cultural space, regardless of the borders. Always critical and creative, the association has helped make significant changes in the Slovene social and cultural space and life. It was very active during Slovenia’s quest for independence and the formation of the young country. The association fosters regular relations with international writers and carries out internationally acclaimed programmes.

The Vilenica International Literary Festival, a gathering of poets, prose writers, playwrights and essayists, but also translators, publishers, editors and critics from Central Europe and beyond is organised by the Slovene Writers’ Association in collaboration with the Cultural Society Vilenica from Sežana. Since the first Vilenica international festival in 1986, the climax of the event has been the presentation of the Vilenica International Literary Prize, awarded by the Slovene Writers’ Association to a Central European author for outstanding achievements in the field of literature and essay writing. Vilenica Prize Winners include: Fulvio Tomizza, Peter Handke, Peter Esterházy, Jan Skácel, Tomas Venclova, Zbigniew Herbert, Milan Kundera, Libuše Moníková, Josip Osti, Adolf Muschg, Adam Zagajewski, Pavel Vilikovský, Peter Nádas, Erica Pedretti, Slavko Mihalić, Jaan Kaplinski, Ana Blandiana, Mirko Kovač, Brigitte Kronauer, Karl-Markus Gauss, Ilma Rakusa, Miodrag Pavlović, Goran Stefanovski, Andrzej Stasiuk, Claudio Magris, Dževad Karahasan, Mircea Cărtărescu, David Albahari, Olga Tokarczuk, László Krasznahorkai, Jáchym Topol, Dubravka Ugrešić, Yuri Andrukhovych and Ilija Trojanow. Vilenica features numerous literary and cultural events; the theoretical part of the festival provides many opportunities for in-depth debates, while social events add to a relaxed atmosphere for socializing and meeting.

Conditions of entry

Applicants eligible for the fellowship are writers from all genres under 35 (born after 1984 – from 1 January 1985 onwards) from CEI Member States, which are not part of the European Union (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine).

Application guidelines

The deadline for applications is 30 April 2019. Applications must be received in a pdf file by e-mail. The committee will consider entries sent on or before 30 April 2019.

Applications must be sent to the following e-mail address:

The application must include the following obligatory enclosures:

  1. A filled in registration form (find attached).
  2. A biography of the applicant in English (max. 1800 characters without spaces).
  3. Copy of a valid ID or passport with the visible date and place of birth, and the citizenship of the applicant.
  4. A bibliography of the applicant in English (max. 3600 characters without spaces).
  5. A description in English of the project to be undertaken during the three-month residence
    (2000 – 4500 characters without spaces). The project must be a literary work (all genres and themes), not a research project.
  6. Scan of original signed letter of recommendation in English (max. 1800 characters without spaces, letters without the original signature will not be considered).

Incomplete entries will not be considered.

Application procedure

  1. The application form will be distributed through all major writers’ organizations in the candidate states, on the web-page of the CEI, the SWA and the Vilenica festival,
    namely: and
  2. The international committee will consider entries sent on or before 30 April 2019.
  3. Entries will be evaluated according to the following criterion: 30% (3 points) for the bibliography, 50% (5 points) for the project description and 20% (2 points) for the letter of recommendation.
  4. All the candidates will be notified of the decision of the committee by 15 July 2019.
  5. The fellowship winner will be officially announced at the press conference at the end of August, and fellowship will be awarded to him or her at the festival.
  6. 60 days after completion of the residency, the candidate must submit a written report in English (7200 – 9000 characters without spaces) by regular or e-mail to the Slovene Writers’ Association.


Questions may be sent via e-mail no later than 14 days before the deadline to:

Slovene Writers’ Association
Društvo slovenskih pisateljev
Ms Nana Vogrin
Tomšičeva 12
SI-1000 Ljubljana
Tel: 00386 1 25 14 144