What was most striking at the Prize giving ceremony of Prix littéraire de la vocation Marcel Bleustein Blanchet was the youth and enthusiasm of the two laureates. This year the jury, presided by Christophe Ono-Dit-Biot, could not decide between two laureates, Nina Leger and Simon Johannin.
She talked about all the other very talented writers who had a « vocation » a call, and he charmingly said that now that he had won the prize, he would take his work more seriously ! This sort of coronation of young writers has a huge influence beyond the prize money they earn.
The atmosphere was jolly on the beautiful terrace of Publicis which overlooks the Arch of Triumph and the whole of Paris. The buffet lunch was a good excuse for director Anne de la Baume’s friends to meet after the long summer and Erik Orsenna seemed particularly happy in a beautiful blue cashmere sweater as was Pauline Dreyfus who has a new book out.
Traditionnally the laureates of this prize have to be under 30 and it is a vital step for them to become famous writers like Amélie Nothomb and Joël Dicker, previously.
The poetry prize which includes being published by Editions Cheyne was won by Jean d’Amérique, a Haïtian writer who was stuck in Port au Prince by hurricane Maria. He sent a lovely poem which was read by one of his friends.
In December all the prizes of “vocation” will be announced in a ceremony at Théâtre Edouard VII and it is always a magnificent moment celebrating hard work and early genius.
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