The NEW ‘Rooted Everyday Mediterranean Short Story Prize’ is the first environment-themed Mediterranean writing competition. Its aim is to celebrate and protect the rich culture and biodiversity found in Mediterranean eco-regions.
Winners will get the opportunity to travel to their national eco-site, which includes accommodation and a guided tour. The Winner and the finalists will have their stories published in an international eBook.
Greek entrants to the competition were inspired by the island of Lemnos where visitors to the island can experience the harmony of living off the land as it was before intensive agriculture and industry. Lemnos’s groves of walnut trees, stone built traditional farms called mandras, lush pastures filled with goats, its artisans and fishermen, farmers, and doctors all have tales to tell. Greek writers who made it through to the final of the competition are:
Sophia Sifaki who wrote The Treasure where a young doctor arrives on Lemnos ready to minister to the colourful population and charged by her benefactor to discover the hidden treasure of the island.
Popi Aroniada who wrote White Ground in which a discovery on a new piece of land present an impossible choice for disappointed lover Anestis.
And Maria Dalamitrou with her short story Gone in which contemporary characters experiences of pain, absence and loss are woven together against the power of Greek mythology and the Mediterranean sea.
The rest of the shortlist features a diverse range of voices and nationalities, and is as follows:
- Amska by Abdelhakim Bernousse, Morocco
- The First Day by Maria de Fátima Candeias, Portugal
- Salted Grasshopper by Aziz Charhabil, Morocco
- Antagonisms by Pablo Garrido, Spain
- The Magic Bag by Omar Hammani, Morocco
- The Meadow by Blanca Amelia Marques, Spain
- Rulfo by Ana Catarina Milhazes, Portugal
- Plant Wisdom by Jose Ruiz Rosa, Spain
The judges for the 2019 #MedStoryPrize, who are all passionate about giving a platform to new writers who care about the environment and cultural heritage, are as follows:
- Maria Rousakis, author, Greece
- Joaquín Araújo, writer, journalist and editor, Spain
- Amy Beeson, author, Chair of Judhges, UK
- Brahim Elboukhari, poet author and teacher, Morocco
- Dr Rania Masri, political ecologist, environmental justice activist, Lebanon
- Isabel Minhós Martins, author and publisher Planeta Tangerina, Portugal
Greek Judge Author Maria Rousakis said: “Through writing we can demonstrate the threats that could destroy our natural environment, our traditions and our history. The writers can be like the Mediterranean Sea; a channel for both communication and culture.”
Explaining why the Rooted Everyday campaign wanted to make creative writing part of the campaign, Lily Mordechai Scientific Secretariat with MedINA said: “By engaging writers and creative individuals we hope we will not only raise awareness but also hear stories of how people experience and perceive biodiversity and heritage in the Mediterranean.”
Rooted Everyday would like to thank all the writers who entered the competition. It is motivating to read how diverse experiences create a common conscience. Thank you for encouraging us to continue working towards our goals.
The winner of the prize will be announced after the 1 October 2019.
More information: https://www.rootedeveryday.org
Link to information about Lemnos, Greece
Link to Information about Shouf, Lebanon
Link to information about the High Atlas, Morocco
Link to information about Dehesas (Spain) and Montados (Portugal)
Twitter @RootedEveryday Facebook /RootedEveryday Instagram @RootedEveryday
About the campaign:
The Rooted Everyday campaign is run by a core team of environmentalists who are working with projects, eco-regions and partners from across the Mediterranean.
Our mission is to reverse the loss of biodiversity which is caused when people stop cultural practices that have existed for generations. By working with Mediterranean critical eco-regions and partners we aim to show the value traditional ways of life can have in protecting our environment. By supporting Rooted Everyday projects and campaigns you’re standing up for conservation and Mediterranean heritage.
The Rooted Everyday eco-regions are in Lemnos in Greece led by the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), the High Atlas mountains in Morocco led by the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), the Shouf Biosphere Reserve in Lebanon led by the Society for the Protection of Nature Lebanon (SPNL), and the Dehesas and Montados in Spain and Portugal led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Trashumancia y Naturaleza. DiversEarth is also part of the core team. Other campaign partners working across the Mediterranean are IUCN, Yolda Initiative in Turkey and GOB Menorca.
The projects and campaign are funded by the MAVA Foundation for Nature. The campaign and communications are created with Wordsby Communications.