Vilenica International Literary Festival

The Vilenica International Literary Festival, a gathering of poets, prose writers, dramatists and essayists, is organized by the Slovene Writers’ Association in collaboration with the Cultural Centre Vilenica from Sežana. The festival takes place annually in Lipica and at other venues in Slovenia.

Since the first international festival Vilenica in1986, the climax of the event has been the presentation of the Vilenica International Literary Prize awarded by the Slovene Writers’ Association in accordance with its statute to a Central European author for outstanding achievements in the field of literature and essay writing.

The Prize Winner is selected by the Vilenica jury while the official presentation takes place in the impressive atmosphere of a Karst cave which gave the name to both the prize and the festival. Along with the grand Vilenica Prize, another award is presented within the festival, the Crystal Vilenica. The youngest of all Vilenica prizes is the Young Vilenica awarded by the Cultural Centre Vilenica from Sežana.

Featuring numerous literary and cultural events – round-table discussions, literary readings, a book fair, symposia, presentations of contemporary literatures and literary publications –, the Vilenica festival usually takes place in the second week of September.

The Vilenica jury, advised by the jury consultants selects authors from around Europe and beyond. At one of the several literary readings participants read their work, while the Vilenica Almanac features extracts of their writing in the original as well as in the Slovene and English translation. 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.

The Vilenica International Literary Festival


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Vilenica Prize Winners:

  • 2016 – Dubravka Ugrešić, Croatia
  • 2015 – Jachym Topol, Czech Republic
  • 2014 – László Krasznahorkai, Hungary
  • 2013 – Olga Tokarczuk, Poland
  • 2012 – David Albahari, Serbia
  • 2011 – Mirce Cărtărescu, Romania
  • 2010 – Dževad Karahasan, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 2009 – Claudio Magris, Italy
  • 2008 – Andrzej Stasiuk, Poland
  • 2007 – Goran Stefanovski, Macedonia
  • 2006 – Miodrag Pavlović, Serbia
  • 2005 – Ilma Rakusa, Švica in Karl-Markus Gauß, Austria
  • 2004 – Brigitte Kronauer, Germany
  • 2003 – Mirko Kovač, Croatia
  • 2002 – Ana Blandiana, Romania
  • 2001 – Jaan Kaplinski, Estonia
  • 2000 – Slavko Mihalić, Croatia
  • 1999 – Erica Pedretti, Switzerland
  • 1998 – Péter Nádas, Hungary
  • 1997 – Pavel Vilikovský, Slovakia
  • 1996 – Adam Zagajewski, Poland
  • 1995 – Adolf Muschg, Switzerland
  • 1994 – Josip Osti, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 1993 – Libuše Moníková, Czech Republic, Germany
  • 1992 – Milan Kundera, Czech Republic
  • 1991 – Zbigniew Herbert, Poland
  • 1990 – Tomas Venclova, Lithuania
  • 1989 – Jan Skácel, Czech Republic
  • 1988 – Peter Eszterházy, Hungary
  • 1987 – Peter Handke, Austria
  • 1986 – Fulvio Tomizza, Italy