The Literary Award "Litera" was established in 2015 upon the initiative of the Writers' House of Georgia with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection. It is an anual award that evaluates new publications of the previous year in 6 nominations.
According the decree N00007864 (03.06.2021) issued by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia, any competition financed by the Ministry will have 1 member of its’ jury ed by the Ministry. Accordingly, for the first time, one representative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs was added as a fifth member to the jury of „Litera“ 2021, contrary to the previous practice, when all five members were ed by the Writers’ House and presented to the Ministry for approval.
The management of Writers’ House tried to start a dialogue with the Ministry in regards the new decree, but without success – the Ministry would not respond to the communication request.
Due to the challenges of the new reality and with the aim of transparency of the process, Writers’ House initiated a change in the statute of the literary contests "Litera" and made the composition of the jury - previously confidential - became public.
The ammended principle of jury ion was followed by a protest the literary community. The public evaluated the decision of the Ministry as interference in creative activityy and an attempt to impose censorship. Consequently, the majority of writers and publishers refused to participate in the contest and withdrew their applications. Additionally, 4 members of the jury ed by the Writers' House refused to work. Out of 110 books submitted to the contest, 93 books were withdrawn.
Consequently, due to the current situation, the Writers' House made the decision not to holdthis year's contest.
The Writers’ House management hopes to discuss the current situation once again with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia with the involvement of literary society think of the best solution for the next year.
The main aim of the Writers’ House is the support writers, translators and publishers, to popularize and develop educational and cultural activities.