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Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition

by CORPluS Foundation
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition
Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition

The 2020 BCWC Award Ceremony, which took place on February 15, was a wonderful celebration of creativity and perseverance! All attendees relished the opportunity to meet other members of the BCWC community in person, exchange ideas during our daytime activities and reflect on the vital role of literature together – in helping us make sense of our actual world on the one hand and transcend its limitations on the other.

The program started with a tour of the American University in Bulgaria’s outstanding facilities. Our winners and their teachers and parents could then attend a fascinating writing workshop with AUBG Professor Michael Cohen, a seasoned literature instructor and writer himself. He shared incisive advice – “Start with the setting”- and then illustrated how any environment both moulds and reflects the characters by referencing examples from timeless literary works. The participants were particularly impressed with his presentation of the technique of “defamiliarization”, rendering pedestrian objects that have become inconspicuous newly fascinating. With just a few minutes to complete a short exercise, the students came up with original representations of ordinary objects, such as whiteboards and pillows. Their short excerpts, just like this year’s distinguished works about the secret lives of helium-filled balloons or winter coats, demonstrate that literature’s power doesn’t derive so much from its subject matter, as its potential to disrupt the habitual and subtly alter our perceptions.

The award ceremony that everyone had been waiting for started with a brief address from our Executive Director, Dimitar Tsekov, and the announcement of a special anniversary collaboration with our partners from MM TV! Impressed with the quality of the winning poems, MM’s team thought one could seamlessly turn into the lyrics of a song! It was so difficult to choose just one that we decided to put it to a vote and let our online audience pick by voting online! At the start of the evening, Rumyana Ivanova from MM TV announced the winner: Iva from Varna and her poem “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”!

After the Musical Club of AUBG greeted the attendees with a couple of songs from their new production, Rent, it was time to finally celebrate the talented student writers! Before calling the winners in each grade level on to the stage, we tried to share glimpses of their works with the audience, though we felt it would be impossible to convey all their merits: their distinctive styles, the voices of their characters, and all the transporting descriptions of setting and mood.

We want to extend special thanks to our partners for allowing us to provide such outstanding young writes with a fitting platform and reward their accomplishments: The United States Embassy in Bulgaria, The American University in Bulgaria, British Council Bulgaria, Mondelez, Klett Publishing, Express Publishing, MM TV, and Cynthia Phoel, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria and longtime supporter of the competition.

Slavina Moraliyska from British Council presented a special award, a free CAE exam, to Dimitar from Blagoevgrad. Stefan Novoselski, Assistant Director of Admissions at AUBG, announced the winners of two other special awards. Yana from Pleven and Aneliya from Stara Zagora  won a three-week international summer camp at AUBG and an intensive TOEFL course, respectively. Marin-Konstantin  from Sofia was the recipient of a special award generously provided by Cynthia Phoel. All laureates received water bottles with the BCWC logo, books provided by Klett and Express Publishing and the CORPluS Foundation, and a bag of sweet treats from Mondelez Bulgaria.

We hope we’ve inspired our attendees to keep reading and writing!

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Regional Judging
Regional Judging

Thanks to the continuous efforts of teacher coordinators and judges, this years' Creative Writing Competition was a great success! We partnered with 147 participating schools throughout Bulgaria and received a total of 3304 student works! For the first time, our team decided to assign a common topic, shared between all participating grade levels: My brilliant friend-English. We were eager to see how non-native young speakers reacted to the quirks and charms of the language and were not disappointed - Kristina, an 11th grader from Varna, won over the jury with a piece that compellingly captured precisely these idiosyncrasies!

 

The regional and national judging rounds took place on January 11th and 25th, respectively. The former involved 42 judges: some came all the way from Smolyan or Sliven, while others vowed to return next year. 

 

This Saturday, a panel of 13 judges, including English native speakers and Bulgarian professionals, had an even heftier task: selecting the national winners. Our office resounded with sighs of surprise, bursts of laughter, and heated discussions, as our judges were fully immersed into the lively fictional worlds the young writers had created. 

 

Below are a few excerpts from winning works. 

  

What do the coats think in the wardrobe all summer? 

 

Wow, it's finally summer!

Honestly, that's such a bummer.

Hi, my name is Coat the coat!

All winter I've been on a boat,

seeing all the ducks and fish.

But now all I can do is wish

that these three months pass by

because I am going to cry! 

  • Rada from Sofia, 6th grade, 1st place

 

East of The Sun and West of The Moon

 

East and West- two opposite directions, 

sun and moon-two different creations. 

Sun was a man who liked being seen 

Moon was a maiden on him keen. 

 

Sometimes she felt lonely, alone in the night,

and often had nightmares, been trying to fight

but then around dawn when light broke the dark

Moon hid in the clouds and felt quite a spark. 

  • Iva from Varna, 11th grade, 1st place

 

The award ceremony will take place on February 25th at the American University of Blagoevgrad. National winners will have the opportunity to partake in creative writing workshops, mingle and exchange ideas. 

 

We cannot wait to host this celebration of creativity and the power of the English Language together with our partners from the American University in Bulgaria! 

 

National Judging
National Judging
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The book will feature some wonderful illustrations
The book will feature some wonderful illustrations

Anniversaries are a great reminder to revisit the wonders of the past! As the 10th edition of the Bulgarian Creative Writing Competition is swiftly approaching, our team has been re-reading and contemplating the winning works of all past contests.

Heated discussions about each’s artistic merits helped us select the most outstanding 30, which will soon be published as a book, The Story of an Hour!

Participants in the competition are faced with a rather singular creative challenge: a few set topics to choose from and just an hour to translate their spontaneous response to the prompt into a coherent text. Yet we have found this format unleashes, rather than constrain, their imagination.

The authors whose works were included in the volume come from different school grades and various towns and cities in Bulgaria. Some excel in creating suspenseful stories, while others rhyme effortlessly. What unites them is a keen eye for details which often escape adults’ attention, and a mastery of vivid imagery beyond their years.

Here's a sneak peak:

 

Life is too short to wear boring clothes

In the woods two trees loomed green.

An oak tree, tall and breathtaking

the prettiest thing a pine had seen,

so tree love was in the making.

 

A beautiful day in spring.

The two were so happy together.

Nothing stood in the path of their love, not a thing.

It seemed they could admire each other forever.

 

But days were passing by.

Autumn slowly set in.

Clouds set floating across the sky.

And things started changing.

 

The oak tree turned orange and yellow-ish -

his leaves began to fall.

The pine’s apparel was somewhat selfish -

it was the exact boring green as he recalled.

 

Not only did his clothing change

but also his way of feeling.

His thoughts got rearranged.

It was both an end and a new beginning.

 

The pine stood there same as ever –

she didn’t care about a change of clothes.

Frozen to be green forever

amidst the autumn’s multi-coloured robes.

 

A still picture of beauty and grace

yet lifeless and detached

he felt coldness in her green embrace,

her promises seemed to him far-fetched.

 

He sat there lonely and began to contemplate.

Why was it that she never changed?

He knew he couldn’t help her.It was too late.

She viewed his transformations as deranged.

 

Some are prone to new beginnings.

They know the priceless value of rebirth.

The rest are senseless to the feeling

of changing and enjoying life’s worth.

 

Each moment counts.And matters.

It varies from the one before.

Why don’t we make it even better

by getting rid of boring …. clothes?

 

 I. Svechev

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The 7th graders participating in the 9th BCWC knew the answer!

Where does the ocean go?

This is what they always ask,

Does it from the world fall,

Or does it climb up in the sky?

Could anyone give me an explanation

Because I’m dying to know

Or should I go on expedition

To find, where does the ocean go.

My expedition wasn’t long,

I knew what to do.

The feeling was so strong,

It took me a day or two.

Was I was so near

I couldn’t for a second stop,

I felt no fear

Standing on the mountain’s top.

I shouted out loud,

Hoping it would hear

‘’where do you go’’

To its waves so pure, so clear

I didn’t got an answer straight away,

But as soon as a heard a voice,

It started talking with a gentle voice

‘’you want to know where do I go,

But be careful child,

This is a very dangerous thing to know-

Very crazy, very wild.

Whence I was a man

I lived a happy life,

And soon I became,

A happy man with a beautiful wife.

She was so beautiful, inside and out

That nothing bad for her

Came from anyone’s mouth.

But she got very ill,

That only sadness she could feel.

And suddenly she passed away,

With no warning she was taken.

I couldn’t live without my wife,

Without her, I was empty inside.

I couldn’t bear the thought

Living without my heart.

I was desperate I could not!

It was ripping me apart!

So that’s why I went

To the gates of heaven

Hoping they would send-send me back my love.

Suddenly an angel appeared in front of me

He looked so beautiful, so bright

Like golden pure light

He told me that he couldn’t bring her back

That she was in a better place

He saw how much pain I felt

So he put a hand on my face

He said that he could give me a potion

That could turn me into an ocean

The ocean could go anywhere

 even at the gates of heaven

talk with the dead

listen to their breath

I drank the potion

and you see… I became the ocean

and everyday I see my love

I see her beautiful smile,

 kiss her beautiful lips

hold her gentle hand

and come back to this land”

So this is where the ocean go

It doesn’t from the world fall

Once he was a man with a happy life

Now an ocean, loving his wife.

 

Enjoy reading more of this year winning pieces of writing:

http://www.creativewriting-bg.com/assets/2019-Booklet.pdf

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On February 16th, 2019 we celebrated the achievements of this year’s winners and their teachers at the American University in Blagoevgrad. All participants had the opportunity to visit the university campus and ask questions about academic and student life. The students participated in a creative writing workshop facilitated by Michael Cohen – Associate Professor at AUBG. The teachers took part in a session focusing on flash fiction led by Oliver Steel – Head of Teaching Centre at British Council.

The award ceremony itself was a true celebration of creativity. During the course of the evening we presented all winning works and had the opportunity to meet the young writers, their teachers and parents. We had a guest performance by the AUBG Musical “Hair”. Two of this year’s winners also performed during the ceremony. Our partners from MMTV arranged for Orlin Pavlov – a famous Bulgarian singer, to record a video and greet all of this year’s winners.The students and their teachers received prizes provided by CORPluS Foundation, US Embassy, British Council, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, American University in Bulgaria, Klett and Express Publishing, and Mondelez.

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Organization Information

CORPluS Foundation

Location: Sofia, Sofia city - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Dimitar Tsekov
Sofia, Sofia city Bulgaria

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