Santo Domingo, August 13, 2018 – The Ministry of Culture, through its General Book Fair Directorate, formally issued the Book Fair 2018 Youth Awards which each year recognizes the talent of young Dominican writers in the following categories: Poetry, Short Stories and Journalism. In the Journalism category, the award was issued to the entry that covered a relevant social issue as well as the journalist’s handling of the written word.
The award ceremony was headed by the Director of the Ministry’s Book and Reading Department, Ruth Herrera, who was followed by César Zapata, the director of the Ministry’s Literary Office. Also present at the event was the president of the Dominican College of Journalists, Professor Adriano de la Cruz.
The annual award ceremony was held at the National Library Pedro Henríquez Ureña in Santo Domingo’s Juan Pablo Duarte Cultural Plaza. In total, 104 entries were received by the organizers: 82 short stories; 14 poetry books, and eight special journalism stories. Winners received cash awards of US$1,500; US$1,000; US$800 and US$200, as well as certificates.
In remarks delivered during the event, Book fair director Ruth Herrera encouraged the new generation of writers to continue living their dreams through literature. “We know that the literary activity is very limited, but in spite of that do not give up your dreams…”, explained Herrera.
The Poetry Award was issued to Edwin Emerilio Solano Reyes with the book Expedición para cazar fantasmas. He received the maximum cash award of US$1,500. The jurors were Dominican writers and poets José Enrique Delmonte, Sally Rodríguez and César Sánchez Beras.
Journalist Katheryn Luna won with her special story “Forced Retirement: Pregnant Student Who Broke Down Barriers.” She received an US$800 award. The journalism jurors were journalists and professors Luis García, Adriano de la Cruz and Elvira Lora Peña.
The Great Youth Award in the Short Story category, with a US$1,000 cash prize, was issued to Jesús Valentín Marrero Peñaló for his book Rueca. Jurors were writers Ismael Melo, Emelda Ramos and Gabriela Llanos.
There were seven honorable mentions in the short story category. All received US$200 cash awards. The winners were Elbys Manuel Paulino, with two short stories: De cómo dos granos de polen labraron la noche and 3:46; Yirbett Joseph Veloz, with Un grito de agua and Elisaury Suárez Martínez for her short story La luz que cae.
Other honorable mentions: Ariel Ortiz Pérez, with La última visita; Mildred De los Santos, for her story Uno de vainilla and Maggie Salazar Sierra, for her story Huellas por otro camino.
Before closing, the winners pronounced brief thank-you remarks. While Katheryn Luna called on the new generation of journalists to remember that “…there are many stories ready to be told, thereby contributing with a grain of sand to our society,”
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