In the middle of this summer, Narva Art Residency NART and the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre (ELK) launched an open call for Narva children’s literature residency and scholarship. 37 applications were sent to NART by the deadline, 13 of them were from creative duos. The applicants were from Estonia as well as from other countries such as Montenegro and Germany.
The members of the jury were Triin Soone (Director of the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre), Anne Pikkov (illustrator, member of the board of Narva Art Residency), Katrin Reinmaa (Päike ja Pilv publishing house) and Johanna Rannula (Director of Narva Art Residency). They all agreed that the maount of well written application was very high and there were plenty of options to choose from. Many professional writers and illustrators took part in the competition. Two people were selected – one writer and one illustrator, who will each receive €2000 grant and the opportunity to spend a month at the Narva Art Residency.
According to library statistics Greta Alice Liekyte is the most popular children’s book illustrator in Lithuania. She is an active comic artist and gives many workshops for young and old alike in various locations around the world. She also plans to organize workshops and meetings with local people in Narva to gather material for her wordless comic or picture book. The theme of the book will be bridges – what is a bridge, what does it mean to Narva people, what does a bridge connect, etc.?
Veronika Kivisilla is the author of two literary textbooks and has published articles, reviews, poetry, short prose and more. Kivisilla described her wish to come to the residency as follows: “I adapt quickly, a story-reader, an enthusiast. As a restless soul, I believe that the best stories are born by stepping out of the everyday environment and discovering new places and making them home.” Veronika Kivisilla plans to write the story of the legendary veterinarian Hjalmar Ling, who worked in Narva during the first republic. “My friend’s elderly grandmother has told me all sorts of fascinating stories about her uncle Hjalmar.”. I feel I would like to bring the Narva of that time to life, with the people, animals, children and uncle Hjalmar’s fierce Ford, and create a story of the people, animals, and children of today’s Narva”.
The two grantees will come to the Narva Art Residency in October this year to gather creative ideas and work on a planned project. The draft of Liekyte’s wordless comic book and Kivisilla’s manuscript are expected to be completed in spring 2024.
The grant is given with the support of the Estonian Ministry of Culture.