Bulgarian and foreign writers to attend the first workshop held by Elizabeth Kostova Foundation

21 May 2007, Red House: Official launch of Elizabeth Kostova Foundation

Five Bulgarian and five foreign writers will participate in the first seminar organized by Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. The US author, who became famous for her novel The Historian, part of whose action takes place in Bulgaria, and which has been published in some 40 languages in 5 million copies, paid a brief visit to this country.

Kostova and the Board of the foundation bearing her name have announced that their mission is to create opportunities for Bulgarian writers by facilitating the translation of their works into English and the establishment of contacts with American and British authors, to popularize the teaching of creative writing in this country, to encourage and publish talented authors in Bulgaria, and to assist the tuition of translators of modern Bulgarian literature.

Chairman of the Board is Julian Popov, a writer and management and communications consultant. Since moving to the UK in 1994, Julian has published two books English Bulgaria or Switzerland on the Balkans(2004) and the novel Island of Mists (2006). He is also Chairman of the Board of the Bulgarian School of Politics. Elizabeth Kostova herself, Bulgarian EU Commissioner Meglena Kouneva, Dessy Gavrilova, co-director of the Red House, Sasha Bezuhanova, HP-Bulgaria General Manager, politicians and diplomats Stefan Tafrov and Philip Dimitrov are among the members of the Board.

The first project of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation will be a workshop of creative writing for Bulgaria and foreign authors. They can apply for participation by sending works of their begining October 15. The works will be considered by a jury, whose members will not be the members of the Board of the foundation.

The seminar will provide scholarships for English-speaking and Bulgarian authors, selected on a competition principle. Elizabeth Kostova, award-winning Bulgarian novelist Emil Andreev, Bulgarian author Theodora Dimova, a novelist and playwright well known both at home and abroad, and Kate Mosse (The Labyrinth) will be among the lecturers at the workshop.

Leading Bulgarian publishers will take part in the workshop to allow authors who have not made a name for themselves yet to learn more about the process of publishing and establish contacts with book-publishers. The Foundation is ready to accept assistance in the realization of its projects.

Elizabeth Kostova said that the filming of her book, The Historian is being delayed and the producers have insisted on a new script-writer. Probably the film will be released at least two years from now. She also said she’s been contemplating the title of her next novel and has been looking for ideas and places in France, in museums and libraries. Part of the action will take place in Bulgaria. “When I arrived here for the first time 16 years ago, I immediately realized there will always be something for Bulgaria in my books, “ she said.

Elizabeth Kostova is married to a Bulgarian.