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Vick Foundation ends its activities

Open Letter of Edward Vick – Chairperson of Vick Foundation, founder of the Vick Prize and EVS Translations.

Much work and effort went into building the Vick Prize to become the leading literary prize in Bulgaria.

Our objective was to promote the contemporary Bulgarian novel, to attract interest to  the works of contemporary Bulgarian authors and to encourage reading. In this respect VICK met its objective.

Television, radio, internet, newspapers and magazines in Bulgaria demonstrated their interest in the Vick Prize. There was also some interest in the books themselves.

One of the advantages of the Vick Prize was the readers could vote. Unfortunately they did not use this opportunity. No more than 1,000 people voted annually. The media wrote their stories, but the people did not vote.

I continue to ask myself the questions - why are the books simply not being read? This is a question that the Vick Foundation has been asking many times in the last 6 years. I am well aware that one prize on its own cannot do more, that these efforts are simply not enough and that we need support. Therefore the Vick Foundation looked for support from many places. Our requests for help were met by almost the same answers – that this is a “noble” project, but unfortunately not a project we could do anything to help with.

When we started the Novel of the Year initiative we had long discussions regarding the naming of a foundation which promotes contemporary Bulgarian literature. VICK turned out a good solution – I was told that my surname means a “cry” in Bulgarian. I accepted the metaphor – a cry for help for the Bulgarian novel.

Crying for /*pun – cheering for/ a small group is a great thing. Success needs an impulse.

For these 6 years I would like to thank the 7 laureates of the Vick Prize and the excellent teams of juries that read the books, the committee that appointed the juries. Special thanks to Raymond Wagenstein, who was often available for advice, and to Elena Naynedova, who tirelessly promoted the Bulgarian novel. And last but not least, I would like to thank the journalists without whom we would not have been able to reach our goals.

With the momentum already gained, the Vick Foundation acknowledges that it has done as much as it can to fulfill its original target. It is now time for others to keep things moving.

Edward Vick will be available for questions or interviews in Sofia on 22 and 23 February.





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