About the Festival

KIKINDA SHORT is a short story festival which takes place in the northernmost part of Serbia, in the town of Kikinda. The town is only several miles away from Hungary and Romania and the organiser wanted to take advantage of the unique geographic position which bridges the southeastern and middle Europe.

The festival’s main goals are: 1) meeting and connecting of the young authors of middle and southeastern Europe with editors, publishers and interpreters of the region, as well with participants from around the globe by which the festival gains in its variety; 2) affirmation of the short story as a neglected literary genre; 3) popularisation of reading, mainly among secondary school students; 4) affirmation of tolerance and cultural differences.

Since 2006, nine festivals were held with participation of over 160 authors and 35 “professional listeners“ from 28 countries (Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Holland, Croatia, Canada, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and UK). Among them are Rodge Glass, winner of the Somerset Maugham award, Claire Vigfol, winner of the BBC award for short story, Xaver Bayer, winner of the Hermann-Lenz-Preis, Emanuil Vidinski, laureate of the “Balkani” award …

Our guests are successful in other areas of art. Ray Loriga is one of the most popular young Spanish directors, Maike Wetzel is included among 100 most successful young people in Germany, Bernard MacLaverty won a Scottish BAFTA Award for Best First Director ….

On the sixth Kikinda Short we will have 27 authors from twenty countries.

In its concept, the festival is aimed at the authors below the age of 35 and they make the majority of the participants. Bearing in mind that the literature is a matter of continuity, there were some authors older than 35 as well. Along the autors, publishers and editors of the literary magazines from the region were invited to the festival, too. As a result of the meeting and connecting of the participants of the festival, their stories were published in numerous magazines in the region (Altera, Bulgaria; Fosszília, Symposion, Hungary; Naše pismo, Razgledi, Macedonia;  Zarez, Quorum, Croatia, Povelja, Koraci, Ulaznica, Serbia). The festival also is a chance for young interpreters and twenty some of them is included in the project. At the festival’s margins, the interpreters have an opportunity to meet and consult with the authors about the texts they have worked on. After every festival, all participants’ stories are collected and published in a book which is distributed in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Hertzegovina. Four books have been published so far out of which the first one has been printed in four languages (Hungarian, Macedonian, Slovakian and Serbian). In 2010. we presented our Festival at Leipzig Book Fair.

The media covering is a very important element of the festival. Googling Kikinda Short page shows over 10.000 results, the media sponsor is a respectable Belgrade weekly magazine „Vreme“, the reports from the festival are broadcast on prominent TV stations, daily magazines with the highest circulation have reports on Kikinda Short, after the fourth festival a documentary has been filmed which, through the exchange with TV VK from Kikinda, has been broadcast on numerous local TV stations in Serbia. In the last week of June, short story is the main subject in culture sections in Serbia.

Inviting twenty some young authors from several countries, the festival atmosphere, dynamic programme, as well as accompanying activities like workshops, multimedia presentations and concerts, stirr up the interest of vast audience and media for the short prose genre. It is especially interesting to the secondary school students. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs from 2007 only 11.24 % Serbia citizens possess a passport due to a long-term isolation. Bringing so many foreign citizens in a small town like Kikinda instigates a great interest with the youth so for there are three times more secondary school students applying for the volunteers than needed.