From March to May renowned Croatian and regional writers will spend from three to four weeks in writer’s residencies in 15 locations comprising Rijeka 2020 ECOC Lungomare programme.

The writer’s residencies, which will result in 15 original short stories inspired by locations writers will stay at, are the first activity for interpretation of special feature of each of the 15 locations (Mošćenička Draga, Lovran, Volosko, Kostrena, Bakar, Crikvenica, Zebar, Baška, Lopar, Beli, Cres, Mali Lošinj, Susak, and two locations in Rijeka) which will turn Lungomare programme into a cultural tourism route. The end result, in 2020, will be 15 artworks (site-specific public space installations) whose creation will be influenced by the stories written during the residencies.

On March 2nd Faruk Šehić, award winning Bosnian writer and columnist, recipient of the “Meša Selimović” award and the EUPL award will arrive in Rijeka and will seek inspiration in the city’s vibrant fish and produce market. At the start of March Bakar will host Nora Verde (Antonela Marušić), a noted Croatian writers, journalist and activist. Enver Krivac, a local writer and the recipient of the Prozak award will write a story inspired by Zebar. Damir Karakaš, whose dramas and adaptations are performed in theatres and turned into movies will spend time on Cres, and Tea Tulić from Rijeka will spend her residency on Mali Lošinj.

Edo Popović, author of many famous books and the writer critics consider “most urban” will write a story inspired by Baška, while writer and columnist Asja Bakić, last year included in the “New voices of Europe” list will spend her residency in Lopar.

Translated writer Robert Perišić will spend April in Crikvenica, while during the same month you might meet Bosnian writer and winner of “Edo Budiša” award Lejla Kala in Kostrena.

One of the region’s most famous authors, Olja Savičević Ivančević will spend time in Beli while Milena Benini, famous translator and speculative fiction writer will spend time in Mošćenička Draga. Serbian writer Vladimir Arsenijević will seek inspiration on Rijeka’s beaches and one of region’s most popular writers, Bekim Serjanović, will do the same on the beaches of Susak.

Noted writer from Rijeka, Daša Drndić, will be inspired by Lovran and Josip Novaković, Croatian expat writer and winner of many awards in the US, will spend time in Volosko.

Each local community will have the opportunity to meet these writers not just in the streets but also during literary events moderated by Željka Horvat Čeč, an associate of the Lungomare programme.

All the writers were selected for the residency programme based on the themes present in their work so far and on their wider social influence.

We’ll be able to find out how the locations of their residencies inspired them during May, when some of their new stories will be presented at the “Vrisak” literary festival, while all of the stories will be published by ECOC in September.

This residency programme could not happen without overwhelming support from local government, tourism boards, and local cultural institutions of all the towns and municipalities that will be part of Lungomare’s future cultural tourism route.

Photo: Rijeka’s fish market will inspire writer Faruk Šehić